One of the perks of my job is access to GetAbstract. It’s an amazing tool which allows you to preview leadership, business, and economics books in a five page summary.
Each week, GetAbstract sends me an email with a book recommendation. The recommendations are random. Most of the time I delete them. Sometimes I read them. Sometimes it reminds me to go look on the website to preview other books.
Today, I received a preview of The Camino Way: Lessons in Leadership from a Walk Across Spain. The email tickler said “Victor Prince took a month-long sabbatical to hike across northern Spain as a pilgrim on El Camino de Santiago. He describes many ways the Camino changed his perspectives on life and leadership…”
A pilgrim’s journey.
Intrigued immediately, I opened the PDF preview.
I couldn’t stop reading. The tickler caused me to devour the five page summary which caused me to investigate the Path of Santiago.
Located in northwest Spain, El Camino de Santiago is a 500 mile pilgrimage route to the tomb of the apostle Saint James. There are several versions of how the apostle came to rest in this town, but since the 9th century pilgrims have journeyed to the shrine.
The scallop shell has served as the symbol for El Camino because of the lore surrounding how James’ body arrived. But it has taken on symbolic importance for both the journey and the journeyman. The grooves in the shell, which meet at a single point, represent the various routes pilgrims traveled to arrive at the final destination. As to the pilgrim, as the waves of the ocean wash scallop shells onto the shores, God’s hand also guides the pilgrims to Santiago.
As I sat, completely taken in and debating how quickly I could fly to Spain to make the journey, I returned to the summary of Prince’s lessons.
They were equally thought-provoking.
First, Prince’s trek resulted in him finding new lessons for him to apply to his own life. Averaging 15 miles a day, he journeyed with follow pilgrims and offers six insights, many of which reminded me where my own journey veers off course. Among them are to allow alone time each day for self-reflection and engage in easy interactions with strangers to create encounters with those different from you.
Then came the blockbusters. As a part of the journey, travelers are given a “pilgrim’s passport” which grants them entry to low-cost accommodations and marks the stops on your journey with stamps. On the back, are seven reminders:
- Welcome each day, it’s pleasures and its challenges.
- Make others feel welcome.
- Live in the moment.
- Feel the spirit of those who have come before you.
- Appreciate those who walk with you today.
- Imagine those who will follow you.
I’m unpacking what those could look like over the next few weeks. How we could all change our perspective a bit from this pilgrim’s journey.
And I’m trying to find a way to voyage to El Camino de Santiago.