I tagged along on my wife’s trip to the south of France. On the days while she was in her training, I took some solo excursions.
One was up the side of a mountain in Eze (pronounced “Ehzz”). Bono has a home there on the beach, but the real magic is at the top, and on the climb up.
The tour books warn you not to take the journey lightly. At the base, there’s a sign letting you know it will be 60-90 minutes of serious hiking. There are no flip-flops permitted, or smoking. The trek ended up being 1.4 miles, straight-up from sea level to 2,300 feet elevation.
The local woman at the Office De Tourisme told me she would never consider walking the path. It’s too much work. I had to do it, and was a sweaty, elated mess by the top.
Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was so moved by his first climb in 1883— from the train platform at the base, up to the incredible Eze Village Sur Mer— the trail is now called Nietzsche’s Footpath.
Like Nietzsche, I found a profound sense of rejuvenation and connectedness in the serene Mediterranean vistas, and lush landscapes. I was awestruck more than a few times.
About two-thirds up the mountain, I stumbled upon a path-marker sign that spoke directly to my soul. It included an excerpt of Nietzsche’s writing, from “Beyond Good and Evil.”
Apparently the poem was included because Nietzsche rediscovered his inspiration to write while on this walk.
The words on this sign speak DIRECTLY to The Missing Link I’ve seen repeatedly over these last few years coaching start-up founders, and executives. The people who hire me are wildly capable individuals, all of whom are already creating their unique impact in the world— many at staggering levels. In most cases they’ve already built their ideal career, or companies. They have created incredible relationships, or have their own epic families.
They hire me to go higher.
For me, this poem speaks to the force-multiplier of including others in our success. It makes me wonder if personal achievement— without witnesses, or collective effort— is really much of an achievement at all?
WHAT THE FOOTPATH SIGN SAY?
“Every poem is a magical incantation that prepares the soul for journeys into the mysterious beyond. What poem is more beautiful than Nietzsche’s Zarathustra?
If “man is a bridge for man”, our super humanity is found in our friendships. “
Beyond Good & Evil (Extract)
Oh midday of life! Solemn time!
Oh garden of summer!
Restless happiness in standing and watching and waiting
I await friends, ready night and day
Where are you, friends? Come! It is time, it is time!
Oh midday of life, second youth!
Oh garden of summer!
Restless happiness in standing and watching and waiting—
I await friends, ready night and day — NEW friends.
Come! It is time, it is time!
Certain of common victory, we celebrate
the fest of feasts:
Friend Zarathustra has come, the guest of guests.
Now the world laughs and the terrible veil is torn,
Through light and darkness the wedding has come.
What are your key friendships, or what should be?
Who can you reach out to right now to make plans with for the epic Summer ahead of us?