A few weeks ago I spent some time at Nectar, a beautiful co-working/co-living space in the rural mountains of Spain about 90min from Barcelona. While in conversation with some of the other residents, it occurred to me there that there are at least two kinds of people when it comes to mountains. There are those who climb to the top of a mountain to be engulf by their surroundings, and there are those who climb to say that they have conquered the mountain. Of course there is the spectrum in between, but these types brought me some clarity.
Those who climb to be engulfed are affected by their surroundings. They are sensitive to what is happening around them. They sit in awe of the wonder of the world, and in pain from all that they see that is wrong with it. Their work is that of discovery, often through sharpened intuition, and unveiling. They are tasked with listening and observing for long periods of time, and then sharing what they’ve seen and heard.
Those who climb to conquer are the ones who effect their surroundings. They are the doers and builders. Their work is in the achievement of goals, and in the job well done. They are tasked with rallying people and resources, and doing whatever is called upon them to bring a particular vision to life.
Both are well suited for particular times and places and roles within communities and organizations. Neither is inherently better than the other. While some cultures value one over the other, it is necessary to know the benefits and pitfalls of both and when one character or the other may be put to better use. It’s also good to know our own predisposition. Do you climb to be engulfed or climb to conquer?