Collectors vs. Seekers

collector-vs-seeker

My girlfriend and I possess many differences. However, one of our most petty of differences is the one that makes me the most frustrated. Whenever we are walking to get somewhere, it’s always a sprint for her.

I on the other hand enjoy casually strolling along the sidewalk, kicking the rocks at my feet, while observing the yellow cabs honk and fly down Chicago’s Clark street, and staring at the gray pigeons peck at the solid concrete.

It’s the same story in any situation. She rushes through the airport, speeds through the hotel check in and drags me along to make sure we see every attraction and monument on her list.

I drag my feet and rather enjoy flicking away at my Kindle at the airport, creating a conversation with her in the hotel line and more thoroughly soaking in a smaller amount of sights on our list.

I’m a collector and she is a seeker. At least that’s my way of analyzing the situation.

However, I realized that these two classifications can relate to the personalities and tendencies in life and while writing.

Both types of people have their strengths and weaknesses and it helps to realize these pros and cons to further push us along our journeys and accomplish our goals.

Collectors

Strengths:

  • Observe their surroundings more thoroughly
  • Embrace small things in life
  • Are more sensitive towards other people
  • Seek a depth of knowledge
  • In touch with all his or her senses

Weaknesses:

  • Less concerned about time
  • Can be disorganized
  • May be less concerned about achieving benchmarks
  • May be more introverted and more content in their own world, as opposed to working with others (Clarification on this point – I don’t really see this as a weakness, rather an obstacle I have experienced, where our society often considers introverts as being less social and therefore less capable to get work done in groups. However, introverts are just as capable, they just perform tasks in different ways to get the job done. I still think it is important to understand this attribute about yourself and prepare for the “prejudices” that may create obstacles. Thanks to Sophie Cussen for helping me out with this.)
  • Decision making is not a priority
  • Can let emotions get in the way of actual work

Seekers

Strengths:

  • Punctual
  • Everything is very well planned out
  • Sets goals and typically achieves them
  • A strong decision maker – typically using hard data and information to act

Weaknesses:

  • Misses out on experiences that require them to slow down
  • Likes to be in control of all situations – might be more difficult to work with other people
  • May be less in tune with their senses, not absorbing information that may help them with their writing
  • Perfectionism may prove to be inefficient

These assumptions are obviously in no way scientifically based, but accumulated from my own observations of myself and the people around me.

However, it is important to recognize our strengths and weaknesses to excel in life.

Pride in one’s strengths produces results, while recognition of one’s weaknesses provides truth, especially when writing. Truth to communicate a real representation of the world around us.

Are you a collector, seeker or a little bit of both? (Feel free to let me know if my observations are way off!)

See ya next time…

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About Joe Warnimont

I am a writer, marketing expert and adventure seeker. I help people write, market their writing, live truthfully and embrace their lives through creativity. You can find me riding my bike around the streets of Chicago. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

Comments

  1. lensandpensbysally says:

    Thanks for becoming a subscriber. Now I’m going to take a stroll through your site.

  2. This was a very revealing piece for me to read. I realized that I’ve moved from being a Seeker to a Collector, with facets of the Seeker still embedded firmly in my psyche. I will always place importance on being punctual for commitments, and decision-making is not a problem for me. However … I’ve grown to LOVE taking my time … savoring … spending time alone … and allowing a goodly portion of my previously highly-organized system to slide in order to fully enjoy all of the above. A truly fabulous day for me is one in which I wake up knowing I have nothing pressing, nothing looming over me, time to just BE. Great article — thanks!

    • Hi Judy,

      Thanks for the input! I think a lot of us will evolve from one side to the other, or we consistently have attributes from both classifications. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Definitely interesting. I like, too, that the words could describe the other equally as well. The seeker could be seeking the experience at the moment, as on a walk watching pigeons, etc. The collector could be collecting the experiences (as many as possible) when going from attraction to attraction quickly and thoroughly. Is there a way to balance both?

    • Yes the descriptions I gave could describe both. Honestly I think most people fall in between both of these descriptions, but maybe we lean towards one or the other? I also, think that our personalities change as we get older and have different experiences. One might be pressed to follow a strict school schedule in college, balance work and friends and getting a job, but after college they might slow down to appreciate their surroundings more. Just an example, but I think it happens.

  4. Thanks for following and liking! Interesting post! I’m a bit of both, more leaning on a seeker though. Although, when I am with my boyfriend, I try to tone it down to be more of a collector 🙂

  5. Interesting. I think I’m more of a seeker. Go, go, go! Always looking for that new goal to check of my list, the next manuscript to complete. Great observations. My boyfriend is a collector too. Trust me, the frustration goes both ways. I’m always trying to get him to hurry up. LOL

  6. I had to share this with my husband. You’ve just described us perfectly – he’s the collector and I’m the seeker. Yet we’ve managed to stay married for 39 years by drawing on each other’s strengths. Thanks for the enlightenment!

  7. What an interesting way to classify these tendencies!
    I think it’s something many of us notice, but don’t think too much about.
    Your descriptions sound pretty accurate to me, I just think that there is also a middle ground that has a bit of both, as you mentioned.
    I think I fit more into that.

    Thank you for this!

    • Hi Viktorya,

      You’re absolutely right and I think many people fit into this middle ground. I know I have some tendencies of both, but still tend to be a collector. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I’m most definitely a seeker, except in certain fields like enjoyment of classical music. Your description of your girlfriend’s behavior while walking is exactly my own; if I have a destination I have a preferred minimum walking speed—which is faster than an average human walking speed—below which I am almost physically uncomfortable. I guess I need to stop and smell the proverbial roses; maybe that will help the descriptive and feature-article side of my writing (I’m more accustomed to hard-news and technical writing, which is direct and to the point).

  9. lindseygendke says:

    I almost chuckled reading this. Reminds me so much of my husband and me, especially your comments about walking (and in our case, this applies heavily to driving). I am the dawdler, (idler?) my hubby, the racer. He calls me a dawdler in about everything I do. Guess it’s a bit true. I am cowriting a book with a man who might also be called a racer; he wants to speed through to publication (it is self-publishing, so we set some of the speed of production), but I say, “Wait! We need to check this again!” (He’s also not a writer, so that has something do with it.) Good post. I’m glad I’m not the only one with this problem.

    By the way, how do your “collector’s” tendencies work with your, from what I can see, hyper-planned schedule? I am an avid planner, too, but sometimes it conflicts with my “dawdler’s” personality…

    • Hi Lindsey,

      I tend you see sparks of being a seeker in my life, where I can schedule things out and make sure that everything goes to plan with my week, but honestly I think it’s just a forced day per week or month to try and counter the collector in me. I always want to take life slowly (which may not be the most productive). But I usually take something I learned from my previous job to make it look like I am more organized. 😉 I leave one day of the week for planning everything out for the coming week. With the power of technology I can take a Sunday, write a couple blog posts for the week, a newsletter and whatever freelance jobs I am doing and then schedule them for the upcoming week. After that I can embrace my collector personality and absorb my surroundings. May sound weird to some people, but it helps me look more organized than I actually am!

      Keep in touch Lindsey!

  10. Hello, a recent follower I am. I came to thank you for stopping by own blog Lady Barefoot Baroness. and I discovered your delightfully charming blog.
    I have read your Ebook which is gift that you share with all of us who are mindful enough to read it. You are a wonderful wordsmith. Thank you for this,

    I adore your word imaginionist. It s is my dictionary now. Such a perfect new word.

    Commenting on this post I would like to share I am a collector also, only I truly collect as I go. I collect new friends wherever I go, I collect the flowers, leaves, rocks,that speak to me, branches from trees the wind gave to me, and even old pennies I find along my treks here in my home state Oregon. I am a slow mover, I walk and watch methodically.
    I love watching people watch people.

    I am a collector who seeks the wisdom and peace that I find along the paths I cross in my life
    Your path is one I am grateful for just crossing. Thanks for such a lovely share. ~ BB

  11. Thanks so much for the follow! And I’m going to return the favour…

  12. Thanks for the follow! I think I will do the same!

  13. I’m totally a collector. It makes my husband insane, but I am ok with that 🙂 Pleasure to meet you.

  14. madiebeartri says:

    My husband and I have been married for 28 years. It’s the differences that makes life fun. 🙂

  15. sorry for the delay in reponding. I like your blog, and thanks for stopping by earlier.

  16. Ha! I read the beginning of your post and thought, “I’m more like his wife.” And then I read your writing type breakdown and laughed out loud. You are spot on. Thanks for liking and following my blog. I will definitely reciprocate.

  17. It reminds of Seinfield’s of nesters and hunters classification (sorry if you don’t like him). Btw thanks for the follow. Your blog might just be the thing I need to keep me going. Cheers! 🙂

  18. I think you definitely got the general personality types of Seekers and Collectors right. Most people will move from one role to the other depending on individual circumstances. BTW, thanks for visiting my blog. I will surely benefit from your ideas.

  19. Viktorya, your name is the name of the main character in my recent novel, “The Hammer and Sickle.”
    Mr. Walkintalk, thanks for visiting my blog. Yours is quite interesting. Please enjoy my novels, available worldwide on BN.com and Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/Eddie-Edwards/e/B0034OKI42/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1358291362&sr=1-2-ent

  20. i dont know how to follow you

  21. CandiceReyes says:

    It’s interesting how you gain a deeper insight from your differences and relate it to writing. Thanks for sharing this. I surely hope you and your partner are able to talk about this openly. From what I read, seems like however frustrating these differences are, you two will still find a way to complement each other’s strengths & weaknesses. 🙂

  22. Nice post. Interesting that you’d discuss “collecting” because after reading some Jack Spicer “letters,” I’m forming some ideas about collection. Anyway, I am a bit of both: a seeker/collector of knowledge, though I tend to take my time exploring rather than hitting all the hot spots. When it comes to walking though, I’m a sprint walker myself. Got places to be, people to see! Thanks for the follow. :]

  23. Joe,
    Thanks for the follow. I think I’m a little bit of both; sometimes I’m a manic seeker, other times an casual collector. I’m trying to find that happy balance!

  24. I’m not sure if I’m a collector so much as an observer, and in many ways I’m a seeker, too. But when it comes to hiking a mountain trail or walking our own pine woods, it drives me crazy to be with someone for whom the journey is a contest of speed. (They tend to step on wildflowers, whereas I want to hunker down and take pictures of the tiny sweet things.)

    Super blog — thanks for following mine so I could discover yours.

  25. the perfect goal will be find exactly what exactly it is actually that’s causing you to need these attacks and additionally confront it. When you hurt from societal anxiety it can be difficult to see the larger imagine, since youre and so unlikely to feel an estimated some other people you just like to get out of any societal circumstances making your uncomfortable just as possible. For instance, the loss of the job or the change in living arrangements can result anxiety.

  26. please note: i dont know why this window jumped to posting before i was finished. so the first post was not complete. and the second one was not accepted because it “detected” a duplicate post. so now, i’m trying to post my finished version and you can of course delete the previous post.
    aloha Joe – i think your classifications are reasonable. that is i agree with them basically. i think “seeker” isnt the term i’d use for the one because i see myself as “collector” but that includes seeking—that is to being a collector i am also seeking.

    yes, i have some of both in me (i think we have both or all of everything in us as a human being, just in varying proportions). still i’m basically or maybe predominantly in your collector category.

    i agree again on recognizing our strengths and weaknesses. often our weaknesses can become strengths (imo). it’s a matter of how we look at it and the choices we make as i see it.

    interesting observations. aloha

  27. To me, the great thing about categorical descriptions such as the collector and the seeker is that identifying which one we tend to emulate most often is only the beginning. The real benefit to recognizing ourselves in such descriptions is that we can embrace the strengths while finding ways to minimize the weaknesses.

    I think that too often people get caught up in which category is more “right” than the other, rather than just reveling in our differences and using the information to strengthen our approach to life, whichever one we instinctively favor. 🙂

    Great post!

  28. Hey thanks for stopping by my blog. I think I can safely say I am more of a collector than a seeker! 🙂

  29. My husband and I used to adventure race together. He learned to enjoy the race, rather than racing to win. I had to stop at every snake, heart shaped cactus and nice view… I even chased an armadillo once, much to his amusement. He commented on how I help him see the little details that used to just fly by. But, without him, we would have never finished a race. I would have given up when I had hit the wall and it was no longer fun. We balance each other. I think lots of couples are versions of this “collector” / “seeker” thing!

  30. Interesting discussion. On my blog, I hope to focus on favorite words from time to time, with the first of these being the word serendipity. I thought of this word several times as I read this. The original story behind the word intrigues me as well as the idea that when you are looking for one thing, you are likely to find another thing that will be even better. There is even a scientific discussion of the phenomena and a major point is that serendipity is NOT luck because the person is indeed looking for something.

    Anyway, that’s what struck me as I read this!

  31. Awesome site! Also, thank you for subscribing to mine.
    I can totally relate to your personality observations here though I’m not sure which one I am haha. I think I’m more of the “Catcher,” but at the same time, a “Seeker” too.. is this weird?
    Also, this reminded me of the movie, “License to Wed” (2007)!

  32. I can definitely relate to the point you have raised here. There is a book called, Quiet, by Susan Cain that looks at the notion that there is something wrong with being quiet or shy. She found that a lot of successful companies and their best ideas have often come from introverts who have been given the time and space they need to work on things ‘internally’ instead of being forced to work in group situations and constantly share their ideas. If society recognised the qualities of both the talkers and the thinkers more equally, I think we achieve a lot more.

  33. Thanks for the Follow at http://sunkist2.wordpress.com.
    As a Photographer, they both go hand in hand. Being in the right place at the right time is crucial and having the vision and securing the memory is a start. I enjoy the “hunt”.

  34. Thanks for following.

    I’d say I’m somewhere in between, and I think both sides deserve respect and expression. Of course the challenge is knowing what objectives call for what type’s manifestation. May we all get it right.

  35. I love your page and this post! It cound not be more true. I am definitely a seeker myself. Your observations really hit the nail on the head. I’m incredibly punctual, planned, and am rushed all the time. If I’m early I feel that I am late! I’ve learned through my stress management health class in college that I have a Type A personality (your gf might too?) and that it has all of the above symptoms…Type A personalities are even linked to certain diseases which I found interesting. I do wish I could be more of a collector though and take time to breath & enjoy my surroundings. I’ve started doing meditation for my class and have felt SO relaxed by it that I think im going to keep it up! Good post!

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  37. Great post. I’m a bit of both, and because of this my husband insists I have multiple personalities. He never knows which me I’m going to be, lol. It works for me though. When I feel like I have a deadline or must get something done immediately, I’m a whirwind. When I have the opportunity to be more laid back and observe, I do.

    And thank you for the follow!

  38. Sangita says:

    Do you thinks collectors and seekers go together as a couple. I am definitely a collector and my husband a seeker. I think it leads to many fights but in the end we both appreciate a look into another’s world view. However this can be quite a challenge if one personality is dominating as other(collector in this case) might lose his way.