One Infinite Life
January 28, 2015

Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found is a memoir of a 26 year old woman - Cheryl Strayed - who embarks on an intense and healing 1000+ mile solo hike with no hiking experience or training. Here's my 5 favourite lessons I've taken away from Wild and Cheryl's inspiring journey http://oneinfinitelife.com/lessons-from-wild-by-cheryl-strayed/

Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found is a memoir of a 26 year old woman – Cheryl Strayed – who embarks on an intense and healing 1000+ mile solo hike with no hiking experience or training.

The story follows Cheryl’s challenging journey along the Pacific Crest Trail as she reflects on the events that had led her there: her mother had dying 4 years earlier, her family falling apart, using heroin, and her marriage breaking down.

Cheryl’s story is brutally honest and completely raw. Her journey to self-discovery entails unimaginable grief and brave redemption. It’s an extraordinary read (and so compelling that I couldn’t put it down) and now also an amazing movie – with absolutely incredible cinematography.

This story has stayed with me, and I’ve learnt so many amazing things from her journey on the PCT. Here’s my 5 favourite lessons I’ve taken away from Wild and Cheryl’s inspiring journey.

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5 LIFE-CHANGING LESSONS I LEARNT FROM WILD BY CHERYL STRAYED:

 

1. Everything that has ever happened to you has led you to this very moment.

This was such a profound realisation for Cheryl during her hike. It also became a profound realisation for me the first time I read Wild. It made me wonder the same thing as Cheryl: what if every single thing that had ever happened to me had got me to where I was right now? Even the things I considered to be ‘bad’? What if it all got me to where I am today? Like Cheryl, I realised that if I could go back in time and do everything again — I wouldn’t do anything differently.

 

 

2. Learn from your mistakes.

We are all imperfect humans. We all make mistakes. We all do things that we shouldn’t do. And you know what? That’s totally okay. What if every time you made a “mistake” you accepted that it’s already done? You can’t change what has happened in the past, all you can do is accept it, learn from it and move on. Cheryl’s story is a powerful example of learning from past experiences — even the bad ones.

 

 

3. Forgive.

Echoing what I have already said above you can’t change what has already happened in the past. You can’t change what you’ve done, who’s hurt you, or who you’ve hurt. You can’t erase your mistakes. All you can do is forgive and move on. Forgiving yourself. Forgive others. Cheryl’s story illustrates that forgiveness is healing and empowering.

 

 

4. To move forward you need to deal with fear.

On the first night of her hike Cheryl has to camp out in the wilderness alone and is scared (I mean who wouldn’t be!?) She realises that if she gives into the fear now it would doom her whole journey. I think the same is true of life. If you give into fear it will keep you from moving forward towards the life you want. Cheryl’s story showed me that you need to deal with fear in order to get you where you want to go.

 

 

5. You reach your goals by moving in the direction of your destination.

Cheryl’s journey to complete a 1000+ mile hike was challenging, but she got there in the end by constantly moving in the direction she wanted to go. Essentially she reached her destination by putting one foot in front of the other — time and time again. By taking one step at a time, she eventually made it to where she wanted to go.

 

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Now I would love to hear from you: Have you read Wild or seen the movie? What did you think of it? What lessons did you takeaway from this incredible story?

One Infinite Life

PS. You might also like: 5 books that changed my life8 lessons we can takeaway from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

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Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found is a memoir of a 26 year old woman - Cheryl Strayed - who embarks on an intense and healing 1000+ mile solo hike with no hiking experience or training. Here's my 5 favourite lessons I've taken away from Wild and Cheryl's inspiring journey http://oneinfinitelife.com/lessons-from-wild-by-cheryl-strayed/

  • Kris Franken

    LOVED this movie, such a great woman and a brilliant story. Love your points, you’ve put into words what I’ve been feeling since Sunday. Nice one x

    • Thank you Kris. I have to agree Cheryl is such a powerhouse women! I’m glad I managed to do that because I had to play with this post a lot trying to get how I felt about Wild out into a coherent post.

  • Rach // In Spaces Between

    One of my all-time favourite books. Cheryl is a total rockstar. LOVE this one: Everything that has ever happened to you has led you to this very moment. Ahh, yes. It sure has. x

    • I would have to agree Rach it’s one of my all-time favourite books too! I think it will be one I reread again (and again!) That one is my most favourite lesson from Wild – pure gold! xo

  • Romina

    Great lessons, I’m looking forward to seeing this at the movies.

    • Thank you Romina! I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did 🙂

  • Jenni Rose

    Chloe, I loved reading the lessons you have learnt. Every single one of them resonates with me so deeply. Thanks for the reminder to keep forging ahead despite my fears x

    • Oh Jenni I’m so thrilled that you enjoyed this.
      YES! Keep going lovely – you can so do this! xo

  • Sarah Jensen

    Beautiful Chloe. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie yet but I definitely will now. Thanks for sharing lovely. Sounds so inspiring. xx

    • Sarah, I’m so glad you are interested in reading/watching Wild. I would love to hear what you think of it when you do lovely. And yep I think it’s completely inspiring.

  • Che // Life With Che

    What beautiful learnings, I love them! I’ve read the book and am off for a little solo date to see the film today. CANNOT WAIT! Thanks for the reflections – and congrats on the ebook! X

    • Thank you Che! I hope you enjoy your solo movie date today. I would love to hear what you think of the movie 🙂

  • This is a fab book to refer back to many times over. So so glad you’ve chosen to write about it Chloe. I adore the way Cheryl challenges the gender divide that is prevalent not only in society, but in many books and movies. I’m definitely noticing more and more media where the woman is the heroin. I read WILD when I first quit my job in 2013, bought copies for friends, and am impatiently waiting for hubby to read it so we can see the movie. Tracks is another which I think has a similar vibe, putting the woman at the centre of her story. Here’s to seeing more women celebrated! Gorgeous post.xx

    • I totally agree Cynthia, definitely a book to read again and again!

      I love what you have brought up here up women being the heroine of the story. Cheryl definitely is one incredible role model for all women.

      For me when I was growing up a lot of the books and movies I was into involved the male being the hero/centre of the story or involved the woman being ‘saved’ by the man.

      Nowadays I so appreciate that there are more books/movies that challenge gender roles. Two popular ones at the moment that are coming to mind are The Hunger Games and Divergent, both with a strong female and the heroine of the story.

      I’m not familiar with Tracks but I definitely going to look it up. Thank you for your comment Cynthia it really has given me much to think about and consider. And YES here’s to seeing more women celebrated!

  • Erin Williams

    Such a fantastic post Chloe. I love Wild – it’s one of my all-time favourite books, and I can’t wait to see the movie. xx

    • Thank you so much Erin. Yes it’s such an incredible book! Would love to hear your thoughts on the movie when you see it 🙂

  • Lana

    That’s it, I NEED to pick up this book and watch the movie asap!!! I’ve heard so so many wonderful things about Cheryl and Wild, so I think it’s about time I get on that, stat. xo

    • I totally and highly recommend both the movie and the book Lana. I hope you enjoy Wild!

  • Love this post Chloe – I can’t wait to see Wild at the movies, and now I think I’ll have to go pickup the book too! xx

    • Thank you so much Hayley. I hope you enjoy Wild as much as I did! 🙂

  • David Longley

    Good stuff, Chloe! Thank you. A friend just shared a link to this blog with me. I host a podcast called All Who Wander. Here’s my take: http://allwhowander.us/wild-a-movie-review-addressing-the-criticisms/