Rock climbing has been an important part of my life for the last year and half. It supported me to stay in my body and to heal while I go through “dark night of the soul” period. As I engage in rock climbing, I witness different ways climbers engage in climbing; roughly divided into ‘process oriented’ and ‘result oriented.’
‘Process oriented’ way of climbing is about the experience of each moment and movement in climbing, everything that happens between the start of the climb and the completion of the climb. On the other hand, ‘result oriented’ way of climbing is about completing the route and achieving harder climbs.
Here is an example. I had a chat with a friend who is also a rock climber recently, and was asked “what makes you pursue to be a stronger climber?” For a second, I wasn’t sure what to answer. I didn’t consider myself “pursuing to be a strong climber.” My answer was that I enjoy being able to climb harder routes as a continuum of climbing routes that I enjoy to climb. My friend, on the other hand, has specific goals, like becoming a 5.12 climber to expand options of climbs and to be able to climb a particular rock, like the Diamond on Longs Peak.
Both are important in order to be a successful climber - being mindful of what is present in the moment as well as to be able to achieve the climb one is pursuing. And just like that, both ways of being are important in our life’s journey. Having a certain goal, whether climbing more difficult routes or achieving certain career, motivates us and energizes us. But there are times we are not able to achieve that goal and that should not mean a total failure. In that process of moving toward the goal, we need to be aware of what is happening in each moment and be able to discern choices to make. And if we can fully be in those moments, that process itself can be part of the success even though the goal may not always be achieved.
I really appreciate how rock climbing has become part of my life. Rock climbing, to me, is an active form of mindfulness and yoga and meditation is gentle and quiet form of mindfulness.
In what ways are you being process oriented in your life?
In what ways are you being result oriented in your life?
How would you find a balance of having both?