Orrin Woodward LIFE Leadership Team

Winner of the 2011 Independent Association of Business Top Leader Award; Orrin Woodward shares his leadership secrets.

Quitters, Campers, & Climbers

Posted by Orrin Woodward on September 15, 2011

In the journey of life, a person has three choices before him. Does he quit, camp or climb? The answer to this question directs the rest of his outcomes. Here is a portion of my new book RESOLVED: 13 Resolutions for LIFE. Which of the three choices have you picked? Sincerely, Orrin Woodward

Doctor Paul Stoltz describes three types of people. All of them begin in the valley staring  up at the mountain of life with the inborn urge to climb. The three types are:  Quitters, Campers and Climbers.  There are billions of people in the world who are made for the climb, and yet the mountaintop remains practically empty. What happens to all of life’s mountain climbers? Most of them end up compromising what they truly want for what is immediately available, unwilling to endure the painful climb, becoming given-ups, instead of grownups.

Quitters see the mountain with its jagged cliffs, threatening storms and endless paths as dangerous, deciding to pass on the climb entirely, avoiding the PDCA process rather than risk failure. But through denying their God-given urge to climb they make major compromises in their life. Quitters are typically people who entertain themselves to death, escaping into drugs, sex, or other non-contributing time consuming activities.  They keep themselves busy doing mindless activities in order not to confront the mountain they are doing everything to avoid climbing.  Regrettably, they suffer the worst pain of all—the pain of regret – for a life spent in a service to self, not others.  Quitters lead compromised lives, selling out convictions for conveniences. However, when confronted with the truth of their pitiable lives, they obfuscate the facts, attempting to justify the unjustifiable: a completely wasted life. The worst quitters, those having no remaining conscience, actually solicit others to join their lamentable condition.

Campers, on the other hand, start climbing the mountain through using the PDCA process. They are excited about the opportunities present on the mountainside, beginning life’s climb enthusiastically. However, at some point, through a combination of success already achieved and the pain associated with further climbing, they cease the PDCA process, compromising their ideals, and selling out their courage for the comfort of camp. They may achieve a nice mountain view, but their best days are behind them, surrendering their future for doing “pretty good”.  Although campers know the price of the climb, they are unwilling to pay it any longer. They may convince themselves that they are only resting for a season, but few will ever break camp again. Some of the most talented people are content in camp having achieved a good lifestyle, fooling themselves that this is more important than their purpose. Don’t misread this, everyone needs a break once in awhile to refresh, but not one for the rest of his life. Take a vacation when needed, but a person should never compromise his calling for his comforts. Vacations end, but one’s purpose only ends with his life.

Lastly is the group of Climbers. These are people who refuse to compromise their calling and convictions deciding to press on with their PDCA processes as far as they can go no matter how painful the climb. They know they were called to climb the mountain and are willing to do the work in order to accomplish it. Climbers are a rare breed since they understand that life isn’t about obtaining the best spot in camp or gathering the most items into the tent. Life is about purpose; it’s about the climb. Climbers have learned one of the keys to a happy life is fulfilling one’s purpose, becoming who he was intended to be, not necessarily through reaching the top, but through the constant effort to improve.  A true climber battles his mountain, and in the process, he conquers himself.  A climber’s journey leaves a path for others to follow in pursuit of their purpose, and it allows the climber to teach others the lessons he has learned through life’s mountain climb.

Each person must make his own decision while staring at life’s mountain. Will he quit, camp, or climb? If he chooses to climb, the PDCA process will be an invaluable aid in his journey to improve, helping him to learn life’s lessons, so that he can pass them onto others. This is what true success in life is all about.

6 Responses to “Quitters, Campers, & Climbers”

  1. Charlie Mallios said

    So true. Great article. We are climbing! Keep leading the way.
    Charlie and Elaine Mallios

  2. Thanks Orrin for the great leadership God Bless John and Victoria Fellhauer

  3. Excellent post! I can not wait for this book.

    Is it true that one’s purpose may even extend beyond their life, or not end with it? Wouldn’t our God given purpose extend beyond our time here? Sure there isn’t much we can necessarily do to further it once we leave; however, if we do it right while we’re here it can out live us yes?

    • Jason, Great question! The answer is yes. Our purpose can live longer than us, similar to Paul’s lived longer than him or Martin Luther King’s lived longer than he did. In fact, in the Legacy chapter of the book, I discuss how to ensure your legacy lives longer than you. 🙂 thanks, Orrin

  4. malissa said

    How do you shift your thinking about reading from a competition with others to just simply reading it 100% to better yourself? I take notes, highlight and enjoy learning new things. I’m on a book right now that is becoming a real test of commitment to reading the specific number of pages everyday. I’m staring to doubt my ability to understand the magnitude of information in this book. The 5th Discipline is becoming really intense. I don’t want to be a quitter, I really enjoy reading it, I don’t want to put it off, I set a goal to finish it by Sept. 25th, I want to keep climbing towards my goal, how does a person maintain their why

  5. […] Quitters,  Campers and Climbers.  Great article by ORRIN WOODWARD, Mentor, Leadership Guru, Coach, and Author that talks about PDCA and how to use it on your journey in LIFE. […]

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