It's almost time to make New Year's resolutions, and One Life to Live and Guiding Light alum Sonia Satra (ex-Barbara Graham; ex-Lucy Cooper) may be able to help inspire a few changes soap viewers can make to improve their lives.
The inspirational actress recently completed a personal goal of climbing Africa's Mount Kilimanjaro -- one of the highest mountains in the world -- and she's sharing five everyday lessons she learned from the experience that fans may be able to implement into their own lives.
Climbing the mountain was one of Satra's most daunting challenges, as the altitude sickness brought on by the steep incline can cause nausea and fatigue and even hallucinations and death. But she (as well as her two sisters, who accompanied her on the climb) pressed on through the extreme discomfort, and she is now happy to pass on these important lessons, taken from her blog.
Lesson One: Go Slow
"Polepole" -- that means "slow" in Swahili -- and that was our rallying cry. And we meant it. We might've been the slowest hikers there, being passed left and right, but I didn't care. I'm told that slower you go, the better your chance of success, because you have more time to acclimate to the altitude.
Slow, small steps will get you to the top. (The tortoise and the hair, right?) As long as you're moving forward, you'll get where you're going.
And after the first few bathroom stops, where Karin and Isabel and I would stand around chatting, our guide said, "You need to take shorter breaks. This is taking you longer not because we're moving slowly, but because your breaks are too long."
Lesson One: Go slow, but don't stop.
Lesson Two: Everything Will Pass
The saying "This too shall pass" took on a whole new meaning up there. You have a headache? It'll pass. You have to throw up? It'll pass. Your feet are freezing? Every sensation, no matter how uncomfortable, is temporary. It rained a few times, and Robert shrugged and said "We'll be dry later." No matter what happened, if you just waited it out, either the circumstances or your feelings about them would change.
Lesson Two: Don't get too attached to what's happening. It'll pass.
Lesson Three: Passion Will Prevail
On the sixth day, Robert came into our tent to give us a briefing. We'd barely touched our dinners, and he knew it. "You're too nervous," he said. "You just have to relax. Passion is what will get you to the summit. You've already come 70%. Now we have the last 30% to go. Your mind is what will make the difference. If you believe it, and have fun with it, it will work. And if you don't, then that will stop you."
There was a lot of time for thinking while we hiked, which means there was a lot of time for self-doubt to creep in. So I used the Mindset Reset process constantly. What do I have? What do I need to believe to make this happen? I used affirmations, especially on Summit Day literally for nine hours, I repeated "I am healthy, I am strong, I can endure," remembering those studies about how repeated self-talk is proven to help athletes go further. That positivity helped keep my confidence and my passion alive.
Lesson Three: At the end of the day, your passion will drive you to your destination.
Lesson Four: Break It Down Into Milestones
This one really saved me on the last leg, because it was so steep. It was a nine-hour hike that night, so I broke it down by time. At 1am, I just needed to make it to 2am.Then just till 4. The sun was supposed to come out at 6am (it didn't, but it was enough to get me there). Then 7am, and by then we reached that first sign. From there, I could see the final sign in the distance, and that was all I needed to go those last few hundred yards. We'd done it.
Lesson Four: Everything can be broken into smaller steps. And you are always capable of small steps.
Lesson Five: Look Back At Your Success
Looking at the trail ahead, winding up this enormous mountain? Yeah, that was pretty daunting. So I often looked back to our basecamp, and it would look so miniscule it was hard to believe. Every time, that made me realize, "Wow, I've come so far already. I can keep going." It was empowering to see how far we'd come even while going polepole.
Lesson Five: Draw strength from your past.
There they are: the five truths that Mount Kilimanjaro taught me. It's amazing how simple they really are. But simple steps, taken over and over again, will get you to the most mind-blowing heights. Whatever mountain you're climbing in business, or in relationships, or a personal challenge just keep putting one foot in front of the other, as slowly as you need to. Look for that next milestone. Remember that everything you're struggling with will pass. And let passion be your guide. Go out and shine.
What do you think about Satra’s five life lessons learned by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? Will you use any of them for your New Year's resolutions? What lessons have you learned from facing your greatest challenge? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.