“You need to plan for success,” I said to the young man in front of me.

We had just met by chance during a walk in the magnificent mountains of Snowdonia. It was a beautiful sunny day, yet cold and windy.

After quite a steep climb I was standing on a big boulder gazing at the wild waves of a mountain lake. There was a misty spray rising from water due to the waves the wind was creating.

My inner ears were opening to the rich song of nature around me. I could sense my whole body buzzing with life and I felt invigorated from the climb.

I took a few deep breaths and my lungs felt alive and vibrant as they took in the fresh mountain air.

Engulfed by a profound sense of gratitude for the wonderful gift of life I allowed myself to bathe in this precious moment of connection.

“Excuse me!” – I turn around and a dapper young man is approaching me looking determined.

“Hi, I’m Robert,” he said as he held my gaze with an apologetic look. He went quiet for a brief moment catching his breath before he continued.

“I saw you go up this mountain and I decided to follow you as I was lost. In fact, I tried to catch up with you to ask for directions. But I couldn’t keep up.”

“My younger brother actually suggested to take a map with me,” he went on, not waiting for a response. “I couldn’t be bothered, though, as I figured I would be perfectly able to navigate this afternoon’s hike.”

“Seems like your brother knows you well. Why didn’t he come with you?” I asked.

“He had to work. I texted him a bit earlier that I was lost and asked him if he could email me a picture of the map of this area. But, reception here is lousy. All I managed to get back from him is this text.” Promptly, he grabs his phone and shows the text to me.

“You need a map BEFORE you go into the woods, Einstein 😉 Email on its way”

“Never got the email though,” Robert says with a grin on his face.

I grab my thermos flask with warm miso soup and pour both of us a cup to drink. I gesture to him to sit and relax.

While we both enjoy our miso I take in the sight of this young man and the surrounding mountains.

“What makes you think that I am not lost myself?” I ask.

“Uhm, … I … dunno … you just looked like you knew where you were going. You’ve got all the right gear. I just assumed … You’re not lost, are you?” Roberts looks at me with an air of disbelief.

“Not lost. I know these mountains well.”

Intrigued by this chance encounter I wonder why our paths have crossed. Over the years I have found that there always is a good reason, a perfection as if orchestrated by a high power of two souls seemingly coming together by chance.

“I really needed some time and space for myself. That’s why I came for a hike here,” Robert says just as the wind dies down making his voice sound overly loud to his own surprise.

“I’ve had such an incredibly busy and stressful time. I just needed a break and create some space and quiet in my head. Got a big decision to make.”

“What decision is that?” I asked.

“I’ve created a small startup company which over the last couple of months has drawn serious attention from a group of investors. We’re currently a small team of 4 people, including my younger brother. To grow we need to expand and therefore we need funding. But, these investors want to acquire our company all out and with it comes a completely different set of responsibilities and other people’s opinions of how our company needs to be run.”

I catch and hold his gaze, one filled with the vitality and youth of a thirty-year-old, I guess. Vibrant, sharp, that of a man on a mission. Yet, I couldn’t help but take him getting lost on this mountain as a reflection of what is happening for him in his life.

“You need to plan for success,” I said. “Similar to finding yourself up this mountain without a map and getting lost, you find yourself at crossroads in your business and probably life for which you haven’t yet prepared yourself.”

“Plan for success no matter which way you will go.”

“You know, Robert, a long time ago my dad invited me for a walk. He loved taking me out in nature and prepare me for the things that he could foresee would be coming my way.”

“This particular time he encouraged me to develop the art of creating a golden plan for my life. He taught me not only how to create a plan so that I could achieve success, he also taught me how to plan for actually having success.”

“This golden plan is underpinning everything I do. I have a plan to make every day a success and continuously uplift my life and that of others.”

“Being up here in nature amidst the timeless wisdom of these ancient mountains with the elements fully alive all around you there is a tremendous potential of energy for you to tap into. This is an ideal opportunity for you now, to reflect and tap into your inner wisdom. Let it speak to you and help you get your bearings.”

I noticed Robert nod as he took in my words. He turned his gaze into the distance and we both sat silently for a while.

After about five minutes he broke the silence and asked if I had any practical examples of what could be part of a golden plan.

“Well, plan to wake up early in the mornings. Start your day slowly with intention before anyone else has woken up. Meet the day from a place of restful awareness. You’ll find that tremendous clarity and a strong resolve will come to you.”

“Then, have a plan for your day. Know what your three most important objectives are for the day, the really important outcomes that will move your life and or business forward. Do all that you can to have those ticked by early afternoon latest.”

“Give your body the food and nourishment it needs. What you eat determines the quality of the focus of your day. It influences the way your mind thinks.”

“Realise that you can’t control the world outside but that you can control the world inside. Be mindful of how you talk to yourself. Notice how you listen, how you communicate not only to yourself but also to others. Dedicate your energy only to those things you have control over and don’t invest your energy in those things you can’t control.”

“Know what you want. Everything I have shared up till now helps you to have high energy and a clear mind. Energy and clarity help you to develop proper discernment and know what you want. Success in life starts with knowing what you want.”

“Finally, finish your day early. Don’t take you work home, don’t take your problems to your family. Refresh yourself in nature, do some sports, meet some friend. Have some fun time in the evening. Finish your day off in an absolutely magical way.”

By this time the wind had picked up again and the sun started to disappear behind a mountain ridge. It was time to start walking off the mountain and make our ways home.

Once at the car park, we said our goodby’s and Robert started walking to his car.

“One more thing, Robert,” I called after him. “One of the secrets my dad shared with me is to always include people in your plans. Involve people in your plans, in fact, design your golden plan around the people in your life. That’s where you’ll find real and lasting success. People first.”