Prepared by Lucia Valente
Prepared September 2018
Reflections as I Walk on El Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain – September 2018
As I walk each day along the El Camino, usually walking 20 – 30 km per day, provides much time for reflection.
I had walked sections of El Camino several times in the past yet this is the first time that I have thought about El Camino in relation to my business: what does El Camino mean to me – what does it teach me?
As I meander gently along the path, through woods, country roads and through villages and hamlets, reflecting on my business and the journey to establish it to this stage. And just as El Camino has several stages and plenty of opportunity to speed up or slow down on the way, I reflect that my business has posed similar options over the years.
There is beauty in pursuing my vision and dreams. Initially, I had the vision and I had to plan – anticipate difficult times, hardships and joys. Very importantly, just as I cannot walk El Camino in isolation, it is impossible to build a business or to be successful in isolation. Just as El Camino is about engaging with and relying on others to complete the journey; engaging with other visionary people is the essence of CCN.
There are many facets to a successful Camino – preparation, collaboration, planning, adaptability openness, tenacity to move forward are just some of them. And those facets coupled with innovation are foundations of our business. Our clients and partners recognize these attributes of the CCN team and I know that these are some of the strengths that allows a streamlined team to achieve so much.
We built CCN one step at a time – one client at a time and one partner at a time. And each piece of the foundation is solid. And for me, as I reflect on El Camino, each step matters and each step propels me forward on my journey.
Like every pilgrim’s walk, I put one foot in front of the other and rely on the oldest form of transport – my legs – to get me to my destination. I have always liked the proverb ‘…the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step…’ and that is how pilgrims approach El Camino.
Why do several thousand people walk El Camino each year? A good question, and when pilgrims meet each other along ‘The Way’ that is, usually, the first question we ask each other. Each pilgrim walks for their individual personal reasons. Yet there is usually an underlying thread and principle that wraps around the overall Camino experience.
In essence, El Camino is an analogy of life’s journey. Even though we walk the same path, each pilgrim’s Camino is different. We see the same natural beauty – mountains, rivers, trees, forests, streams, lakes, plateaus and all that nature has to offer, yet the experience of walking and interacting with other pilgrims is very different.
For example, while reveling in the natural beauty that surrounds us, pilgrims may suffer with sore feet, knees and hips. Blisters on toes are the most typical issues when walking on El Camino. Yet, even with sore feet and other ailments we have to continue walking. The challenge that El Camino poses to each pilgrim is to continue walking even when we are in pain and have discomfort. We are, really, in a stripped-down experience with just our own stamina and resilience to keep going. We push forward through the pain and discomfort because we want to reach the end of our journey and achieve the goals that we, as pilgrims set for ourselves. Just like real life!
For me, the experience on El Camino is similar to building Computational ClassNotes And just like real business development, if something did not work or something going askew, it does not mean something is wrong. Nothing is wrong, it just needs to execute again. Keep going forward, each step improved, and that is the El Camino of innovation.