The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life; it’s so easy to make it complex.

— Yvon Chouinard

The most seductive Yvon Chouinard quotes to get the best of your day

How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top

77

There's no difference between a pessimist who says, "Oh it's hopeless, so don't bother doing anything." and an optimist who says, "Don't bother doing anything, it's going to turn out fine anyways. Either way, nothing happens."

74

The secret to happiness is to be working at your passion.

If you want to be miserable, lead a desperate life like everybody else where they drag their asses to work everyday because they hate their job.

72

Who are businesses really responsible to? Their customers? Shareholders? Employees? We would argue that it’s none of the above. Fundamentally, businesses are responsible to their resource base. Without a healthy environment there are no shareholders, no employees, no customers and no business.

59

You ask me about the past, you ask me about the future, the only way to be happy is to be living right now.

58

If you want to understand the entrepreneur, study the juvenile delinquent.

The delinquent is saying with his actions, ‘This sucks, I’m going to do my own thing.’

57

Everything we personally own that’s made, sold, shipped, stored, cleaned, and ultimately thrown away does some environmental harm every step of the way, harm that we’re either directly responsible for or is done on our behalf.

55

We're a part of nature. As we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves. It's a selfish thing to want to protect nature.

54

At Patagonia, making a profit is not the goal because the Zen master would say profits happen 'when you do everything else right'.

51

Going back to a simpler life based on living by sufficiency rather than excess is not a step backward. Rather, returning to a simpler way allows us to regain our dignity, puts us in touch with the land, and makes us value human contact again.

51

Surfing and climbing are both useless sports.

You get to be conquistadors of the useless. You climb to the summit and there is nothing there. And you could hike to the top from another direction. How you get there is the important part. It's the same with surfing.

51

The solution may be for a lot of the world's problems is to turn around and take a forward step. You can't just keep trying to make a flawed system work.

45

About Yvon Chouinard

Quotes 82 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Businessman
Birthday October 16

Hiring people with diverse backgrounds brings in a flexibility of thought and openness to new ways of doing things, as opposed to hiring clones from business schools who have been taught a codified way of doing business.

35

There's a movement for simplifying your life: purchase less stuff, own a few things that are very high quality that last a long time, and that are multifunctional.

33

I think risk is important. I don't care if it's a great financial risk or a physical risk. You only get out of something what you put into it and the fact that you are willing to risk something means that you are going to get a lot more out of it.

27

I drive old cars, all my Patagonia clothes are years and years old, I hardly have anything new. I try to lead a very simple life. I am not a consumer of anything. And I much prefer sleeping on somebody's floor than in a motel room.

22

The word adventure has gotten overused.

For me, when everything goes wrong - that's when adventure starts

20

I never wanted to be a businessman; I was a craftsman and good at working with my hands. At some point, I decided that this company is my best resource. Patagonia now exists to put into practice all the things that smart people are saying we have to do not only to save the planet but to save the economy.

13

Hire extremely independent, intelligent, and passionate people, not necessarily "experts." Maybe three or four of my employees have MBAs, and those guys aren't necessarily at the top of the food chain.

13

Fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all.

13

The rules of the game must be constantly updated to keep up with the expanding technology. Otherwise we overkill the classic climbs and delude ourselves into thinking we are better climbers than the pioneers.

8

No young kid growing up dreams of someday becoming a businessman.

He wants to be a fireman, a sponsored athlete or a forest ranger The Lee Iacoccas, Donald Trumps, and Jack Welchs of the business world are heroes to no one except other businessmen with similar values.

8

The more you know, the less you need.

7

Profit is what happens when you do everything else right.

5

Traveling is my form of self-education.

Every stream I fish now is not as good as it used to be. Traveling is my form of self-education. Every stream I fish now is not as good as it used to be. If you keep your eyes open as you travel around, you realize we are destroying this planet.

5

Nature doesn't like empires. It doesn't like accumulation in one place, it doesn't like monoculture. It's always trying to make diverse species. It wants to spread everything out. And we're constantly trying to hold everything in.

5

We took special pride in the fact that climbing rocks and icefalls had no economic value in society...We were like a wild species living in the edges of an ecosystem - adaptable, resilient and tough.

4

I say the last 10 percent of the way to perfection takes so much of your life that it isn't worth the effort. This overzealous attitude is what creates religious fanatics, body Nazis, and athletes who are exceedingly dull to converse with.

4

You climb to the summit and there is nothing there.

4

We choose to believe that the granite is alive.

If life is movement, then rock - with its atoms flying around like stars in cosmos - is alive.

3

Remember: if you take bivouac equipment along, you will bivouac.

3

My favorite quote about entrepreneurship is that to understand an entrepreneur, you should study a juvenile delinquent. They're both saying: "This sucks and I'm going to do it another way." You have to want to break the rules and prove that your way works.

3

I've accepted the fact that there's a beginning and end to everything.

All species are born, evolve, and then die off. We're going through the 6th great extinction and the large mammals are going first and, you know what - we're large mammals!

3

The reason it was so scary was that there was only one climber capable of rescuing us, and that was Layton Kor, and he was in Colorado.

3

The future of Yosemite climbing lies not in Yosemite, but in using the new techniques in the great granite ranges of the world.

3

Yeah, leading an examined life, I always say, is a pain in the ass.

It adds an element of complexity to business that most businessmen don't want to hear about. They just want to call a fabric manufacturer, and say, "Hey, give us 10,000 yards of shirting."

3

So all of these companies that are going for the big growth, if it continues for any length of time, will outlast their resources and outlast their customers and go belly-up. And that's why these huge companies have massive layoffs all the time.

3

Personally, I would rather climb in the high mountains.

I have always abhorred the tremendous heat, the dirt-filled cracks, the ant-covered foul-smelling trees and bushes which cover the cliffs, the filth and noise of Camp 4 (the climbers' campground), and worst of all, the multitudes of tourists which abound during the weekends and summer months.

3

Is climbing, as a passion and as a sport, better off now than it was in the past? We can do harder climbs now in faster times - techniques are more refined and equipement more sophisticated - but are we really any better off?

2

You have a whole life in the outdoors, you realize you have a sense of responsibility to protect these wild places.

2

I believe the accepted model of capitalism that demands endless growth deserves the blame for the destruction of nature, and it should be displaced. Failing that, I try to work with those companies and help them change the way they think about our resources.

2

...it's always been difficult for us to lead an examined life as a corporation. I've always felt like a company has the responsibility to not wait for the government to tell it what to do, or to wait for the consumer to tell it what to do, but as soon as it finds out it's doing something wrong, stop doing it.

2

One thing I did not want to change, even if we got serious, work had to be enjoyable on a daily basis. We all had to come to work on the balls of our feet and go up the stairs two at a time.

2

I purposely try to hire people who are really self-motivated and good at what they do, and then I just leave them alone.

2

Traveling is my form of self-education.

0

We're not citizens anymore. We're consumers. That's what we're called. It's just like being an alcoholic and being in denial that you're an alcoholic. We're in denial that each and every one of us is the problem. And until we face up to that, nothing's going to happen.

0

The most important thing is to get the fish in quickly and leave it in the water. Forget the hero pose.

0

Just why is Yosemite climbing so different ? Why does it have techniques, ethics and equipment all of its own ? The basic reason lies in the rock itself. Nowhere else in the world is the rock so exfoliated, so glacier-polished and so devoid of handholds. All of the climbing lines follow vertical crack systems. Every piton crack, every handhold is a vertical one. Special techniques and equipment have evolved through absolute necessity.

0

The whole purpose of climbing something like Everest is to effect some sort of spiritual and physical gain. But if you compromise the process you’re an asshole when you start out and an asshole when you get back.

0
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