The View from the Top

I had chosen the long road before I ever knew it. At the age of 42, life, the universe and everything unraveled in such a speed that I felt I was living the life Douglas Adams imagined. Reaching the top had a whole new meaning to me.

~Maria Lehtman

I never measured life in career steps, rather the altitude I reached in nature by free climbing or hiking, and during snowboarding trips. I enjoyed the great landscapes and silence, companionship. How the magnificent views stopped my mind from reeling with every-day worries. There was only the sound of the wind and swooshing sound of my board on the powder snow. Cervinia in Italy was one of the most memorable views I have ever seen during our road trips.

I measured my career steps a long while though. I felt a great loss when my path changed 20 years down the road, and yet, in my heart, I knew it was the only way. When I reached the point where my health turned, and my ‘soul’s contract’ emerged – I knew I really had no choice. There was only now. Only one path to execute. And it would take my mind to greater challenges than I had ever faced before.

If you are in a tough situation in your life and raging against your circumstance. If you are angry at someone. If you feel betrayed. If you feel alone and feel like taking it out on someone. Consider this: what if you faced all that, and realized the only way out was love. Because the very situation you were mad at, was not the other person’s fault. What if all that happened because you had made your choice in the first place. What if you were the only person you could really be angry at. And what if you were angry only because you knew this path was unfolding exactly as it was supposed to. It just wasn’t the way you imagined it would be.

All that turmoil inside you ….Where would you take it?

Take it to the top! Take it to the Universe. Scream it out loud if you wish. Take long walks outside. Listen to music, meditate, read, write, draw, paint, rearrange furniture, dig out the whole nine-yeards of the garden and plant it with new greens. Run, take hot yoga, hike, go climbing, river rafting, fishing – whatever you do – do not take it out on the other person or persons.

In the end, the only way to the top is our kindness. And no matter how we feel about the other people  – their growth only happens if we let it happen. If they are toxic – let them go. If they need your help, stay as long as it’s needed, and when you feel you did everything you could and more, then consider if it is time to let go or guide them forward – gently.

I did not get the top that hoped for, but I did gain a personality that is no longer afraid to be challenged. No one from the top can do that. Imagine that. How would it feel that you were no longer afraid because you became untouchable? Not because you were invincible, but because you lived your life with values and reached a summit you knew was always higher than the ones trying to take you down. If they cannot reach where you are – do not mind them.

I look at the mountains, and I know the true top is much higher than we think, after all – most of the mountain is underwater! Never let go of your soul’s summit. You never know how much you have already achieved. We also do not know how much we can still measure up! We are our own blindspot.


What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.

~René Daumal

Maria Lehtman
Maria Lehtman
MARIA has over 20 years of Sales, Marketing, and Professional Services experience from the international telecommunications and travel industry. Her achievements include successful global Transition, Transformation, and Competency programs in management roles in the the global telecommunication field. She is currently working in International Sales & Marketing department with transversal employee and executive social media engagement development programs. Maria is passionate about digital empowerment and the opportunities it can provide for people around the world. She is a dedicated photographer and digital artist engaged in several creative projects at any given time. She is a compassionate leader, and her mission is to support people in self-transformation and in embracing new skills. Her trademark is her capability to share a smile even during the most challenging circumstances and keep a 'mindfulness'-attitude. Maria’s posts and thoughts represent her own view of the world. See Maria's current publication on Maria is a contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change and Crappy to Happy: Sacred Stories of Transformational Joy


  1. Maria, absolutely and wonderfully said, “I look at the mountains, and I know the true top is much higher than we think, after all – most of the mountain is underwater! Never let go of your soul’s summit. You never know how much you have already achieved. We also do not know how much we can still measure up”.

    There is so much deeper meaning in what you shared that it takes some time to fully comprehend the impact.

    “Climb the mountain not to plant your flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” ― David McCullough Jr.

    “If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options. You can climb it and cross to the other side. You can go around it. You can dig under it. You can fly over it. You can blow it up. You can ignore it and pretend it’s not there. You can turn around and go back the way you came. Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home.”— Vera Nazarian

    “Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.” ~Orison Swett Marde

    • Thank you, Jonathan! Such wonderful quotes – I especially love the one from David McCullough Jr. There have been so many times in my life I have felt that our dimensions are not enough to describe, write or illustrate the thoughts that I have. I love the fact that you took the time to look for those angles, to hold the thought like an orb turning it around in your mind. That’s exactly how I felt writing it. Our life, its meaning, and its impact extend beyond our perceived horizon. But yes, making that mountain our home is the only way – we will always be challenged in our path. Avoiding the mountain will never make it disappear, there are more dimensions than we can see.




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