Occasionally, as a driver, I come across roads that look ridiculously narrow or steep. Very occasionally, I have come across a combination of the two but I have never, in all my thirty-four years of driving, come across a road that is both narrow and incredibly steep, and is littered with genuine hairpin bends!

I was away last week with my family in Italy, where we stayed at a truly beautiful Airbnb in Tuscany. I hesitate to reveal too much about the location as I would almost prefer we keep this little bit of heaven to ourselves.

What I will say is I am so glad we arrived during the daylight hours, as the drive up to Andrea and Laura’s place was truly terrifying (and I don’t scare easily when driving). On one side of the car, I had passengers pleading with me to create more distance from the sheer drop down the mountain, and on the other side, I was acutely aware how close I was driving to the wall. We came onto one stretch of road where it literally looked like the road was narrower than the car! I promise you, I was hugging the left hand side as much as I could but from the dashboard, it looked like we were about to go off the other side of the road…

Just in case you’re wondering, my wife took the photo from the passenger seat on the right.

But it was worth the risk. The view is always worth the risk. I trust you will agree…

So what? You may say; lovely view from a Tuscan kitchen window. And indeed it is.

My point is this: Many times, it takes a huge effort on our part to secure the view we now enjoy. That may be a financial view, a relational view or something even higher – that gives us the necessary vantage point to be able to offer something back to those who could do with a hand up, or a word of encouragement to keep moving along that narrow, steep, terrifying road that keeps throwing blind bends at them when they least expect it.

Someone has to have gone before them in order to tell them it will be okay, even when it doesn’t look okay. Someone has to have bothered to have made the ascent themselves and then offer the unique encouragement that comes with having had the experience.

That can make all the difference between someone giving up or pushing through and then seeing the view for themselves, and perhaps deciding that they too, can offer some perspective or encouragement.

Paul Hatcher

I am at heart, a communicator. I love to use words, whether written or spoken and maximise those words to hopefully, bring some encouragement - literally, to put courage into the hearts & minds of those who read or hear them. In my work as an executive coach, speaker, workshop facilitator, I love also to listen...deeply, and then respond with some encouragement.