“Everything worthwhile is uphill. Sadly, many people have uphill hopes and downhill habits.” – John C. Maxwell

No matter what you want in life, there is one simple truth that you have to accept: Everything worthwhile is uphill. There are no shortcuts, and there are no fast tracks. Virtually anything that has value and purpose requires work to attain it. You have to put in the effort to get what and where you want.

Whether it’s a good marriage, a successful career, a healthier, better-looking body, you name it, you have to work at it.

As John Maxwell says, “Nothing that is good in life comes easy. And very little that comes easy is good.”

Put differently, anything and everything you desire in life, everything you would like to strive for, is uphill, meaning that the pursuit of it is often challenging, grueling, exhausting, strenuous, and difficult. No person who has climbed the mountain of success (in any domain) ever said, “I have no idea how I got to the top of this mountain. I just woke up one day, and here I was.”

Any climb uphill must be deliberate, consistent, and willful. It must be intentional. And the climb also requires tremendous self-discipline, which is essential for a successful life.

If everything worthwhile is uphill, that means you have to make the choice to go and get it. You have to put one foot in front of the other and take that hill one step at a time. You must grow and stretch yourself a little every day.

What is that keeps you from climbing? What are your “downhill habits” that are weighing you down? What are your “downhill beliefs” that are holding you back?

We ALL have them, and one of the most important steps in the powerfully rewarding uphill journey is recognizing what they are. And there’s a good chance you have more than one. That’s okay; that’s normal.

The key is tackling them one at a time—not all at once, as that typically leads to feelings of frustration and overwhelm. Focus and work (really work) on one downhill habit or belief at a time, and each time you successfully uproot one, make sure you give yourself an uphill hope.

After all, the uphill climb never stops. It’s not a matter of “when” you achieve a certain goal or “if” you just get that next shiny object. Every day is an opportunity to take climb a little further uphill, and as you get higher and higher, the view just keeps getting better and better.