Humor me. Let’s take a little trip in our minds…
Imagine being on permanent vacation on a lush island in the Pacific somewhere around paradise.
There are people at sea level on the beach and people up at the top of a mountain where you get 360-degree views of everything around. Then there are the people in between who commute from beach to mountain top, ushering others up and down – the docents.
The mountain is steep and rough terrain. The top is paradise – everything you could ever need and want is up there – fresh, drinkable waterfalls, plentiful food, and peace. At the top of the island, they work together to protect and preserve paradise and their abundant lives. They are grateful and they do not take for granted the bounty with which they are bestowed. They are in communion with the land and each other.
It was not easy to get there. They had to find great inner-strength to battle not only physical feats, but also to fight their inner demons. Once they reach the top, they see how worth it was to push through the challenges. Now, looking down the mountain at those attempting to climb up, they wish they could encourage them to believe how worth it is to keep going. They carved a path for others to follow, but it’s more clearly visible from the top, and very hard to find from below. Sometimes they forget just how hard it was and all the times they almost quit.
The people on the beach are grateful, too, but life is harder down there. Every so often a storm or tidal wave comes and wipes out all that they saved in terms of food, which is much more scarce. They have to rebuild their shelter and their spirit.
The docents are people who know where the carved paths are and choose not to stay atop the mountain in paradise, but instead to travel back down to help people up.
You see, the further up you go, the better your perspective. Some docents go all the way down to the beach and are very good at getting the people on the beach to follow them and make it all the way to the top, but most docents only help in getting people a little bit further along. Even then, the people climbing up the mountain are much more inspired to keep going, because they already see that the end of the journey will be worth the effort. Lastly, there are people who are too weak for the trek, people who just believe they are too weak for the trek, and people who do not want to leave their loved ones who are too weak for the trek.
It’s an uncoordinated effort, but if the docents worked together, they could make sure that everyone gets off the beach and up the mountain to where life is better and perspective is stronger. The higher up you go, the better you can see a storm or tidal wave approaching and the safer you are. In fact, science predicts that they are going to become much more frequent.
In a coordinated effort, each docent would train others in multiple paths, and the increased traffic would make the paths wider and easier to transverse. Docents would co-create solutions to get people who are too weak for the trek up the mountain. This would require their time and probably some resources from up above, like food and supplies.
Why do we want to get all the people off of the beach? Because tidal waves are sure to come again. Storms are sure to come again.
In a docent’s journey and mission to help people from the shore reach the mountaintop, it’s common for them to get stuck. Sure, they know the way, but they still face the challenges that continue to exist while ascending the mountain. It’s important to practice self-care and to notice when you are putting yourself at risk of not making it back up the mountain yourself. If you get stuck on the beach trying to get everyone to follow you, it could be hard to tell if you should put yourself at risk for a small crew of willing followers or stay on the beach putting yourself at risk of getting swept away by overwhelm, chaos and change, and not getting back up to safety for yourself.
For docents who find themselves stuck with these challenges of going back down and up, especially on their first few journeys, it is critical to accurately assess your own resilience, stamina, energy, and resources. You may need to get yourself back up the mountain to nourish yourself, allow paradise to raise your vibe, remind you what’s possible, and gain greater perspective again. From there, it would be easier to strategize a path down and back up that requires less effort.
Eventually, with more people going up the mountain, it becomes much easier to convince the people on the beach to start their journey. However, even in the event of a tidal wave or deadly storm, there will be people who will not abandon their home on the beach. Even though life is hard on the beach, it comes with its rewards as well. I mean, it’s still a beach after all.
When you think of this analogy, who are the people on the beach?
What is paradise like?
Who are the people in paradise and what do you think about them?
Who are the docents?
Where are you?
How far up the mountain did you get?
Where do you want to be? Why?
What else can you add to this analogy?
Thanks for playing along. I do hope you share your answers with me.
If you are a docent, we want you in the C3 LinkedIn community. We are building a foundation for a coordinated effort to make the path easier for more people to make it further up the mountain.
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Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006.
While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.
Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot.
She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award.
She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.