Have you ever noticed that there are usually three types of people? Here are my conclusions from decades of watching people. We all fall into one of three types.
- Life’s gulpers
- Life’s sippers
Gulpers are those people who leap into life with gusto, imagination, and spontaneity. These people dare life to shock them, to present them with challenges that they must overcome, and then repeat the process. The gulpers explore every opportunity for new experience.
These are risk-takers of the highest order. Mountaineers, speed demons, pioneers—all fall into this category. These gluttons of life are envied, revered, and sometimes held in jealous regard by their peers and spectators alike.
Taking on the fullness of all that life can bring seems the end goal of the gulper and performing with excellence the immediate objective.
Sippers come in two categories of their own—connoisseurs and dilettantes. This approach to life has similarities with gulping life.
Connoisseurs strive toward a field of expertise. The field isn’t critical to understanding the drive of the enthusiast. From food and drink to fly fishing or bird watching, connoisseurs have their advocates and detractors. Their devotion to their subject is on the level of the scholar. No tidbit of knowledge or experience in the field is allowed to be overlooked.
Contrarily, dilettantes are samplers of knowledge, craft, and life. A few months learning to master a new embroidery technique or writing the perfect essay suffices for the dabbler. Diving in with enthusiasm is the trademark. Striving to master the subject to a level of personal satisfaction is the objective. The goal is generalized experience, rather than scholarly.
Many people choose to watch the world go by, without participating above the level of a passive spectator of life. The spectator remains on the outside looking in.
Fear of physical harm may keep them immobile and free from risk. Fear of humiliation might prevent an abstainer from expressing their opinions in the public forum of speech or print. Believing oneself is deficient in mental ability could keep a person from seeking any new learning, whether of education or skill.
On the other hand, an overall lack of interest in what is available in life’s many arenas can lock a person into a world of their own devising, which doesn’t allow for interaction outside that world.
Claiming personal life status
People move between types, as their enthusiasm waxes and wanes. We all begin as gulpers. Children dive into activities and learning with gusto. Each new experience must be tasted, savored, evaluated for pleasure. Repeats happen when joy and pleasure come together in an experience. Avoidance results from unpleasant experience.
Thrill seekers move into the Gulper category and stay there. Connoisseurs evolve from tasters of pleasure and benefit as they sip from one large cup of life. Dilettantes are perpetual students of life and living, refusing to get stuck in any one arena as they sip from demitasse’s of life. Abstainers began chose early on to stand on the edge of life’s experiences, getting a whiff of the carrousel as it turned on its axis.
I was a born dabbler with the stubbornness of the explorer and used it to learn from my environment. Whether spelunking alone or tubing the rapids on western rivers, I took my risks with laughter. Through it all, though, the dabbler lurked and finally ruled. I’m not a good spectator.
Which category of life experience do you fall into? Do you seek thrills only to take risk? Do you specialize to a scholar’s level? Do you stand on the sidelines?
Tell me, please. I like discussing why a person chooses their lifestyle.
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