I remember standing in a parking lot high in the Great Smokey Mountains surrounded by tourists and the smell of hot engines. We were about to hike to the Clingmans’ Dome observation tower – 6,644 feet above sea level.

There is a sign at the beginning of the trail that warns hikers that the hike is considered strenuous, the average person will take 30-minutes to complete, and there are places to take a break along the way. While reading the sign, two conversions caught my attention –

A couple that had driven hours to get there said, “They say it might be foggy at the top. Let’s not and say we did.”

Then my wife said, “I think we should do it non-stop and in half the time. Let’s go!”

With that, we headed up the hill with our thighs burning. We passed hundreds of hikers giving up on the trailside benches; even more had turned back as they hiked through the fog, but we kept going.

As we closed in on our goal of 15-minutes, we broke through the final layer of fog and found a beautiful day and a 100-mile view in all directions waiting for us when we arrived.

That’s the thing about setting big goals and going for them.

Even if you can’t see the outcome from your starting point, your goals and mission will carry you to your vision. Yes, your legs might hurt, but when you get there, you’ll find the journey up the mountain and the view from the top are always worth your effort. It’s also less crowded since most people never even start.