“Everything worthwhile is uphill.”

In his book No Limits: Blow the Cap Off Your Potential, John C. Maxwell says, “Everything worthwhile in life — everything you want, everything you desire to achieve, everything you want to receive — is uphill. The problem is that most of us have uphill dreams but downhill habits. And that’s why we have a cap on our production capacity.”

Think about that powerful statement “Everything worthwhile is uphill.” Let’s break it down even further to help it settle in:

  • Everything is all-inclusive and all-encompassing.
  • Worthwhile encompasses all that is good and desirable. It also includes all that is advisable, appropriate and good for you.
  • Uphill paints a picture of being demanding, grueling, exhausting, rugged, punishing and strenuous.

While the “everything worthwhile” piece of the puzzle sounds enticing, “uphill” presents all sorts of obstacles to the average mind. It implies an impending challenge, which many of us do not want to deal with.

On the other hand, “downhill” is easy. It has no requirements, and it take little to no effort. It’s like taking advantage of gravity, which simply pulls us down without us doing any of the work. While going uphill takes work, you can literally slide downhill — heck, you could in your sleep.

A downhill is marred by unintentionality, complacency, inconsistency and excuses. There’s no big-picture vision for the future — only instant gratification.

Then there’s the uphill struggle. It’s hard. Forging uphill requires energy, determination and hard work. You have to be intentional; you have to be consistent and deliberate. You have to keep your eyes on the prize, with a focus on the big picture. You have to be determined, demonstrate character and put in the time and work.

To paraphrase Maxwell, the right thing and the hard thing (to do) are usually the same thing.

Along those lines, the average person resists doing the right thing because it’s hard. Instead, they choose what’s easy — what’s comfortable. They go downhill instead of uphill.

So, where are you headed? Are you going to coast downhill? Or, are you going to strap on your boots for the uphill climb? That, after all, is where you’ll find everything worthwhile.