What is the Explorer Archetype?
Adventurer | Traveler | Conservationist | Survivor | Gearhead | World Citizen | Searcher | Wanderer
Adventure is worthwhile in itself," said Amelia Earhart, and against all odds she created a life of adventure for herself, until those odds finally won. Just days before she disappeared forever, she wrote of the glory of seeing the Pacific Ocean from both sides, and of her desire to put the whole ocean behind her. And that is what the Explorer's passion boils down to: to keep moving.
"Life has no romance without risk," said Sarah Doherty, the first one-legged woman to climb Mount Rainier. Strike a chord? At heart you are nothing if not a restless romantic. In the same way, your romantic résumé indicates that lust may temporarily conquer wanderlust, until your next adventure comes along and the romance of risk beckons.
There's little linear about your life path, and this extends to your life's work. After all, how could your trajectory be straight when your knee-jerk reflex is always to choose the road less traveled? And, as any mountaineer knows, standing still is not an option.
Some might call you reckless, even feckless, but you are simply on a quest forward and beyond. It's not that you have a destination in mind; it's the sense of discovery that drives you. Like Sacagawea, heading into the great unknown West with Lewis and Clark, or Lara Croft, guns blazing, tomb-raiding, you seek adventure anywhere and everywhere, in new frontiers, new friends, new ideas, or new restaurants in sketchy areas of town. Onward!
What is the Creative Archetype?
Creator | Maker | Artist | Storyteller
Long before Lady Gaga was a star she was passionate about her art form. “When you make music or write or create,” she once said, “it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time.” You may not have phrased it quite so graphically, but if you’re creative and devoted to what you do, you probably get what she’s talking about.
Creative women live to create and express themselves. They’re happiest when they’re making something, whether it’s a dress, video, novel, song, dessert or website. Some creative women, Joni Mitchell for one and Miranda July for another, work in various mediums. Zooey Deschanel is another who has found her way from making music to movies to television with a fairly substantial degree of success. The critics don’t stop her.
If you’re a true creative you love the process as much as the final product. And like a child, you have the ability to get completely lost in what you’re doing the way Georgia O’Keeffe got lost in her paintings. “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it,” she said, “it’s your world for the moment.”
But all is not sunny when you’re a creative. Your life is a complicated balance of needing isolation to follow your muse and needing an audience to appreciate your work. Often, the impulse to make people feel something comes from conflict and insecurity. And it’s not always easy to get family and friends to understand that your happiness depends on being able to close the door on them. But you really have no choice, so it’s best to be sure they’re supportive.
And then, once you’re facing down the empty canvas or page or screen, what do you do with it? Mostly you’re unsure, restless for inspiration, discarding one idea after the next. Maybe what you have to write about will be hurtful. Maybe what you want to paint or sing about is sinister. And always there’s the doubt about the quality of the work, the fear of mediocrity.
It can be difficult, but you wouldn’t want it any other way: The high of creation is just so fabulous. Lillian Hellman, the playwright, saw it as a sublime act. “God forgives those who invent what they need,” she wrote. For you, creating something is nothing less than an act of redemption.
What is the Visionary Archetype?
Entrepreneur | Innovator | Pioneer | Guide | Dreamer
Before there was Sex and the City there was Sex and the Single Girl, Helen Gurley Brown’s frank and liberating take on being a woman in the pre-feminist days of Mad Men. Brown went on to edit Cosmopolitan from 1965 to 1997, quadrupling circulation as she raised eyebrows. She may not have been for everyone, but she believed in her message.
Visionary women see important things before others do and end up making new rules that change the world. They don’t mind being controversial as long as they’re relevant.
When Coco Chanel first started designing her sporty clothes with durable fabrics, women still dressed in corsets and frills. They never tanned and rarely showed an arm or leg. Chanel, driven to create clothes to suit her own active lifestyle, broke the rules and became an icon.
Maria Montessori, who believed that children learn by doing, was a Visionary. More recently, Alice Waters, a founding chef of the contemporary cooking revolution, anticipated public interest in local, organic eating. Sara Blakely, the creator of Spanx, had $5,000 in her bank account when she started her business. She saw a need and didn’t listen to the naysayers. “If you’re looking to your friend, co-worker, husband or wife for validation, be careful,” says Blakely, now a billionaire. “It can stop a lot of multimillion-dollar ideas in their tracks.”
Visionaries don’t mind being misunderstood as long as they get heard eventually. And they don’t mind being judged, either. Helen Gurley Brown had an embroidered pillow that put it this way: Good girls go to heaven. Bad Girls go everywhere. Whether flying over the Atlantic like Amelia Earhart or inventing the X-ray like Marie Curie, when you’re a Visionary, you bring the highest level of passion to blazing trails.