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Scaling Your Everest: A Nonlinear Guide to Risk-Taking for Artists, Founders, and Entrepreneurs

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Mount Everest, Climbing, Effort
Nonlinear thinker contemplating his personal Everest

Ever wonder how some of the world's greatest artists, innovative founders, or daring entrepreneurs manage to do what they do? Their secret lies in thinking differently and approaching challenges non-linearly. Here, we take a deep dive into the analogy of climbing Mount Everest, a feat that encapsulates the essence of these risk-takers' journeys. Identifying Your Personal Everest

For some, Mount Everest is not just a mountain; it's a metaphor for the monumental challenges and life-altering journeys that define us. Whether it's disrupting an industry, creating an art movement, or starting a social revolution, your personal Everest is that insurmountable goal that you've chosen to tackle. This is where different thinking starts; it's about choosing your mountain and deciding to climb it against all odds.

Navigational Skills and Gear for the Nonlinear Climber

Before attempting Everest, climbers invest in preparation that involves both physical and mental training, gear selection, and strategic planning. Similarly, nonlinear thinkers invest in education, relationship-building, and perhaps most critically, in developing a mindset that is not confined by the linear pathways that society often promotes. Resources like the Octopus Movement's workshops or Stanford University's courses on innovative thinking can be excellent starting points.

The Significance of Hidden Milestones

The mountain’s base camps may not get the same media attention as the summit, but they are vital. They serve as progress indicators and rejuvenation points. In the life of a nonlinear thinker, these base camps could be anything from the first customer of your start-up to the initial recognition of your art. These are not just checkpoints; they're validations of your different thinking and should be celebrated as such. The Importance of Your Tribe

Everest climbers often recount how they develop lifelong bonds with their fellow adventurers. These connections become vital in stressful conditions. As an artist, founder, or entrepreneur, your tribe — those who understand your different thinking — are not just a network but a source of emotional and intellectual support. Being an active part of communities, like the Octopus Movement, can be an enriching experience. Your Unsung Heroes - The Sherpas in Your Journey

Sherpas don’t just carry gear; they carry hopes, dreams, and sometimes, the climbers themselves. Similarly, your team, mentors, family, and friends are your Sherpas. They are often the unseen force that makes your nonlinear climb possible. Acknowledge them, for the journey is as much theirs as it is yours. Being a Nonlinear Climber in a Linear World

Navigating through a world built on linear expectations while embodying nonlinear philosophies is challenging. However, it’s this blend that allows you to see opportunities and solutions that others can't. This unique perspective is the epitome of different thinking, which propels you closer to your Everest, one nonlinear step at a time.

Reflective Questions:

  1. What’s your personal Everest and why have you chosen this particular challenge?

  2. What milestones or 'base camps' have you already reached, and what did they teach you?

  3. Who are the Sherpas in your life, and how have they contributed to your journey?


Nonlinear or different thinking is more than a creative approach; it's a survival toolkit for the modern risk-taker. By adopting this mindset, you're not just attempting to scale your personal Everest — you're equipping yourself to conquer peaks that others can't even see.

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