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Quitters, Campers, & Climbers

By Orrin Woodward

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.


Orrin Woodward is the co-founder of TEAM, a leadership development and training company, and the New York Times best-selling co-author of Launching a Leadership Revolution.

Named by the International Association of Business as a Top 10 Leadership Guru, he is dedicated to building leaders and entrepreneurs and promoting freedom and prosperity.

Orrin blogs regularly at Orrin Woodward. He lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida with his wife and four children.

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