Feel like every day is a challenge? Like you're clambering up a mountain all day, only to start again tomorrow?

That's not unusual, it's the way life is supposed to be.

Every day, we have a mountain, a spiritual Mount Everest, to climb.

Every day, I'm faced with the challenge of scaling my inner self, reaching the peak of my psycho-spiritual range, lifting myself from the base of life's mountain.

It takes a lot of internal stamina to work against the gravity of self-interestSo, to properly guide my life, it's actually helpful to get a better understanding of mountain climbing.

According to what I read, I'd need three important elements for my adventure:

  1. I need to know where I'm going; I'd need a charted path to know which trail(s) I'm going to follow.
  2. I need to be in good shape. It a takes a lot of strength to haul myself up an incline, straining against gravity's natural pull.
  3. I need to have the right clothing.

King David asks: "Who will ascend the mountain of G‑d?" (Psalms 24:3).Our daily prayer helps us to answer that call by training and equipping us in these three fundamental areas:

  1. We need to have a vision, a purpose, in life. Prayer is a time for me to crystallize that purpose and commit myself to a path that will achieve it.
  2. I need to find the stamina in order to overcome self-absorption's gravitational pull. Self-indulgence is the flip side of a meaningful life. A self-centered day begins with the question "what do I want out of life?" A meaning-centered day begins with the question "what does life want out of me?" It takes a lot of internal stamina to work against the gravity of self-interest. It takes spiritual strength, and prayer is your workout.
  3. "Clothe" your soul appropriately.

Jewish spiritual thought describes the soul as having three "garments": thought, speech, and action.

The way we think, speak and act are the way we interface with the world. And prayer is a time for focus on that interface.

In other words, it's a time to ask myself: Does my "clothing" gets in the way of my daily climb? Where does my mind wander? How do I think about my fellow? Do I communicate transparently and sensitively?

These are questions for our daily prayer; accessorizing ourselves for the day's ascent. It's a daily climb.

And, every day, some prayer and introspection will help you toward your peak.