mogul ski slope in canada

Obstacle or Epic Opportunity?

Rise, swoosh, fall … rise, swoosh, fall. My legs are on fire, and I’m loving every moment. Rise, swoosh, fall … rise, swoosh, fall. It’s a bluebird morning in fresh powder. I am in the zone. In the blissful rhythm of the moguls. Not a care the world. And totally exhilarated. Rise, swoosh, fall … rise, swoosh, fall. Woohooooo! Exceptional run.

It wasn’t always like this. I remember the first time I skied the moguls. I had just started dating this enthralling man. Funny how so many of life’s adventures begin that way! He was an expert skier with a zest for life. He was fearless. And handsome. And devastatingly comedic. We joined friends for a weekend of hot tubs, fire pit cocktails and skiing. I was cutting up the intermediate trails flawlessly, looking carefree, graceful and effortlessly dishy. Confident I could tackle more, he invited me to join him on a more challenging slope. Trusting him, we slid into the adjacent lift line. 

Up, up, up. How far up?? With every elevation gain, I edged closer to him and my wildly beating heart leapt into my throat. Take a deep breath … calm yourself … you’ll be fine. The lift dropped us at the top of a spectacular field of moguls. They were glistening in the sun, inviting us to drop on in and swish, swish, swish. And so he did, quickly linking his first several turns. He stopped, looked up the hill, and saw that I remained above him, frozen. I was petrified with fear. He called out, encouraging me to slide forward gently and attempt the first turn. He assured me that after the first turn, the next would follow, and the next after that. Hesitantly I inched to the crest of the first mogul, side-slipped and slid, scraping my edges across some unseen ice… until I stopped. For good. No way, no how was I going any further. 

To convince me I was truly safe, this charming man catapulted himself down the mountain, landing in a heap in the new fallen snow. He did make me smile, even giggle. But despite his cajoling efforts to coax me from my perch, I remained anchored in place. Eventually he hiked back up the slope, until he was by my side. It may have been then that I fell for him (literally and figuratively), and yet there was still the matter of getting down that daunting mogul field. I was clearly out of my depth, and I was spitting fire. Good thing for him he was wearing his knight’s armour! But truthfully? He didn’t believe for one moment that I wasn’t capable. He kept encouraging me with calm in his steadying voice … you’ve got this … and I’ve got you. And he was right … from the first turn followed the next and the next. Until we linked several more turns and got to the bottom of that slope. With both of us grinning and him elated, he triumphantly shouted, “Now look back up the hill. Look at what you just did!” 

As I stood at the bottom of that first mogul field, I was no longer a perfect intermediate skier. Suddenly, I was a newly minted advanced skier who had vaulted to a new level — one that was messier, riskier and incredibly rewarding. The guardrails were gone, and I loved it. 

There are actually many ways to tackle the moguls, depending on the conditions. Still my favorite is exactly what we did that day, finessing a beautiful line of cushy moguls with lavish snow on the backside to control speed. I could ski those all day, and when I find them, I do. In America’s northeast, however, you don’t always get those pristine conditions. So innovators devised a modified style of skiing the bumps. When the moguls are icy, they pop from one to the next, landing on the topside and compressing their legs to absorb momentum. And for those who are especially exuberant, there’s always the aerobatic flip on the finish!

So moguls … epic opportunity masquerading as an obstacle. Just like life.

In my online masterclass, The Lucky PIG: Creating your Playground of Impact and Growth, I share with entrepreneurs how to shift their beliefs, thoughts and behaviors to invite more luck and opportunity into their lives and business ventures. Seeing obstacles as opportunities is a key strategy to mastering lucky attribute #2, Resilience. 

Cultivating resilience enables us to view disappointments with a silver lining. An attitude of resilience protects our mental state, allowing us to remain balanced and engaged while also boosting our immunity. Going a step further, we can even view apparent setbacks as opportunities for our creative genius to shine. By shining a light of ingenuity, troublesome challenges can illuminate new paths — shortcuts to our goals, or even more impactful outcomes. 

In the Lucky PIG, I advocate becoming aware of the stories we’re telling ourselves about a situation. So often we make self-defeating and inaccurate assumptions. Then we build a story around those assumptions and insecurities, as if they were facts. However, what if we adopt the belief that a setback is simply an unexpected twist in our own hero’s journey? When faced with disappointment, shine a light of curiosity, creativity and humor. Imagine if you were watching a movie, and how this particular turn of events becomes the catalyst for the hero’s redemption or ultimate success. Feel into that story. Allow yourself the space and creativity to shape that story. Now tell yourself that story. When you do that, what else do you notice? What other little gems and insights had eluded you before adopting this more resilient outlook?

When I first encountered moguls, I was afraid, uncomfortable and filled with self doubt. With the encouragement of a guide who had confidence in me, I summoned the courage to tackle those bumps. And I discovered that they weren’t obstacles at all. In fact, they were springboards of fun. Drawing on that revelation, and applying it to other areas of my entrepreneurial life, has consistently provided me with empowering, breakthrough perspectives.

Now, when I encounter a new obstacle, I wonder, “What if this challenge is actually an epic mogul? Or, what if this challenge is an invitation to level up my game?” Framed with this more resilient, flexible and inquisitive mindset, I find all manner of possibilities, renewed confidence and creative insights flow forth.

Monica Laurence is a Quantum Shaper, combining enlightenment principles with business strategies to drive greater impact and growth. After decades in Hollywood and Silicon Valley as a computer scientist, creative strategist and serial entrepreneur, Monica now resides in the Fiji Islands where she hosts visionaries at Tavola, her luxe private villa and venue for retreats, including her Stillness retreats to tap the wisdom of your inner knowing. You can join Monica’s community of inspired and trendsetting innovators by enrolling in her online masterclass, The Lucky PIG: Creating your Playground of Impact and Growth. Learn more about Monica at

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