Hardly a Smácht session occurs without someone alluding to a ‘mountain’ in one form or another.

Mountains are a much used metaphor for business and life.

How many times have you heard people say?

  • I’d move mountains to be with you.
  • You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.
  • I’m over the hill now and it’s all downhill from hereon out.

Here’s the thing about mountains. We are born with an inherent instinct to ascend. From some deep inner recess of our mind springs a deep calling to go up, to ascend.

If this is true then why aren’t there more people at the top?

One explanation posited by Dr Paul Stoltz in a great book called ‘Adversity Quotient’ is the existence of three personality types who approach the ascent of a mountain in different ways. He refers to them as the Quitter, the Camper and the Climber. 

The Quitter never climbs the mountain. They choose to opt out, back out or drop out. They eschew the opportunity the mountain presents. They ignore, mask or desert their core human drive to ascend and with it much of what life offers.

On the other hand you have The Camper. The Camper sets out enthusiastically on the ascent but somewhere along the way tires and gives in. They find a nice, secure and comfortable plateau on which to hide from adversity, discomfort and pressure. 

But not so the Climber. Stoltz says of them. ‘Regardless of background, advantages or disadvantages, misfortune or good fortune, they continue the ascent. They are the Energiser Bunnies of the mountain. Climbers are possibility thinkers, never allowing age, gender, race, physical or mental disability, or any other obstacle to get in the way of the ascent.’

The reality is that Quitters lead compromised lives. They have abandoned their dreams and have selected what they perceive to be a flatter, easier path. 

Campers too, lead compromised lives, only to a different degree. Their ultimate goal is comfort and inexorably create a ‘comfortable prison’ – a place too cushy to risk leaving. Stoltz says of them. ‘Campers are ‘satis-ficers’ – they are content with satisfying rather than striving.

Of these three personality types, only the Climber lives life fully. They exude a deep sense of passion and purpose about what they do. Knowing that the summit can be elusive Climbers never forget the power of the journey over the destination. 


At a typical Smácht fortnightly meeting, members get a minute to summarise their victories from the past fortnight.

Last Wednesday, Margaret Cox, CEO of ICE and author of the bestselling ‘The Three Day Weekend,’ got the entire sixty minutes to summarise her learnings from having just summited Mount Kilimanjaro and returning safely.

It wasn’t that she hogged the meeting. It was simply that her story was so riveting, inspiring and motivational that people just kept asking her questions. 

Reilly would love to reveal it all in todays post but you will get the opportunity to hear it all in full and live at The Big Bang free event on December 12th next in Galway. Go now to and reserve your place. 

You will hear how Margaret, along with her daughter and son, and a slew of their friends from Final Med in the University of Galway, scaled both a physical and emotional summit.

As Margaret said, ‘I might have been twice their age and maybe not as physically fit, but I made up for that with attitude, preparation and surprisingly for me, many conversations with God.’ 

Learn how…

  • Abstaining from ‘FADs’ – Food, Alcohol and Devices – can significantly improve your focus, energy and results.
  • Feeling the fear and doing it anyway really can help you cross bottomless chasms at extreme heights.
  • The Tanzanian people exude a joy of living; a joy of giving; and an innate sense of kindness that can literally move mountains.
  • Mostly, meet and be inspired by one of life’s ‘Climbers’ who lives life fully and completely.


‘It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.’

Sir Edmund Hillary.

‘Life is like mountain climbing. Fulfilment is achieved by relentless dedication to the ascent, sometimes slow, painful step, by slow painful step.’

Dr Paul Stoltz.


  1. In what areas of your life or business are you quitting, camping or climbing?

(On Tuesday week next, November 21st, Smácht begin a new cohort of people seeking to grow their business, simplify their lives, and make an impact in 2024. If you’re fed up ‘camping’ and have an itch to ‘climb’ lofty summits  please email Pádraic on 

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