Are You a Quitter, a Camper or a Climber


ErrigalMountains are a much-used metaphor for 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.

Basically, they choose to opt-out, back out, or drop out. Quitters eschew the opportunity the mountain presents. Furthermore, 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. Additionally, 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. Climbers are the Energiser Bunnies of the mountain. Furthermore, they 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. Also, they have abandoned their dreams and have selected what they perceive to be a flatter, easier path.

Likewies, 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. These ‘Campers are ‘satis-ficers’ – more so, they are content with satisfying rather than striving.

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


Reilly and Wifey bid adieu to an adored Camper on Monday last. Thanks to Covid, their baby had camped with them ever since being forced to work from home two and half years ago. It was an idyllic time of home comforts, Friday evening pints, and some wonderful sporting memories.

Seemingly, Reilly was unsuccessfully trying to make some sense of it as they returned tearfully from Dublin Airport.

His heart argued that the easy thing to do was to stay in the convenient career in the cozy home in the convivial country.

By and large, reading his thoughts, Wifey answered for his head.

‘He’s a Climber, Reilly. And Climbers thrive on challenge and change and curiosity.’

‘Fair enough,’ says Reilly. ‘Book two flights to Vancouver for the pair off us for Easter. Onwards and upwards.’


It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.’
Sir Edmund Hillary.

Life is like mountain climbing. Fulfillment 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 Thursday next, September 29th, as part of Smacht Mor, Reilly is bringing a group up Mount Errigal to experience the journey of going from quitter to camper to climber. On the following morning, Friday 30th, he will lead a seminar on the 1-Page Marketing Plan. Learn how to map out your entire marketing strategy on just one page. The 1-page marketing plan is the fastest, easiest, and most scientific way to propel business growth. Please check it out on or email Reilly here to join.)



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