Category Archives: Exploration

a hero’s journey

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Joseph Campbell

Heros Journey

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Epic in nature, it is your journey through change and life.  It’s your story and it is about your outer world, the one you see, and your inner world which remains hidden.

As we figure out what we want we have to make choices that involve what we can do and who we are.  The hero’s journey is about discovering who you are to do what you want.

The journey involves facing some of your deepest fears and when you are able to face those fears and battle with making a change then you are able to grow.   Tackling your fears is where having someone with you to identify what is holding you back is beneficial.

 

Where are you in your journey?   Are you struggling and not sure why?  Are you stuck or trapped and need a helping hand?   Are you growing or are you staying put?

“Nobody ever talks about the pyramids that weren’t built, the books that weren’t written, the songs that weren’t sung. Stop letting your fear condemn you to mediocrity. Get out of your own way. Your dreams are a poetic reflection of your soul’s wishes. Be courageous enough to follow them. There is no greater time than now to experience the full power of your potential. Make this the day you take the first step in the beautiful journey of bringing your dreams to life.”
― Steve Maraboli

choices

“I won’t tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world’s voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely—or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose!”
― Oscar Wilde

You have a choice.

It is that you don’t want to do it, it is just that you don’t do what you want.   Our habits inhibit us from making the choices that allow us to grow and to experience  new things.   Our brains are so intent on staying the same and staying safe that making a choice to change for the better takes a supreme effort and most people are unwilling to choose change over being the same.

Our choices will dictate how we feel about a day, overwhelmed, satisfied or overjoyed.   For some people the day defines their mood, others their mood defines their day.  How do you choose your mood?   Why not be satisfied with an average day?   A day without the tiresome worry of doing more, a day that is filled with just enough, an average day.   What would it take to create an average day rather than a day stuffed with too much activity?  It is a choice.  What do you choose to make important?

Time management is about choices.   Some people are stuck with so much to do that they become depressed.   They seem to be putting all their effort into tasks that are neither important or urgent, it just feels that they are.   People that know how to master their time, focus on doing two things, the important and urgent, and the important and non-urgent tasks.  What do you focus on?

Here’s a simple way to decide what to do, use the ABC rule.   All things that are very important are done first as in if you don’t do them bad things happen, those are “A” choices.  Then there are “B” choices,  good things happen when I do these.  And there is the “C”  choice, these are the, nice to do when you have the time.  Where do people put their time in effort into, the “C” choices, often waiting for bad things to happen before they address those “A” choices, and neglect the “B” choices, the choices they really want to make.

Barry Schwartz (TED) thinks we have too many choices.  What do you think?

determination

“When the thunder rumbles,
Now the age of gold is dead.
When the dreams we’ve clung to
Trying to stay young,
Have left us parched and old instead.
When my courage crumbles,
When I feel confused and frail,
When my spirit falters on decaying altars
And my illusions fail —
I go on right then.
I go on again.
I go on to say I will celebrate another day.
I go on.
If tomorrow tumbles
And everything I love is gone,
I will face regret all my days, and yet
I will still go on.”
    Leonard Bernstein

Determination – facing the odds and not quitting in times of difficulty.   It takes determination to do anything of value in your life.    Remember back to a time when you were determined to do something, how did feel to accomplish that goal?

For some people it means pursuing a college education, it means having the resolve to face the challenges and push through even in difficult times.   For some people is going after a vocation that they believe in.   For some people it is climbing a mountain.    Whatever the goal it takes determination to reach the objective.    Rock climbers climb with determination to reach their goal, going beyond what most people would imagine possible.

In 1914 Earnest Shackleton set sail for Antarctica with the goal of crossing the continent.    Before Shackleton and crew could set foot on land their ship Endurance was captured in ice which quickly surround the vessel.   Months later the crew abandoned the ship as the ship became overwhelmed with the pressure of the ice.   The crew survived the harsh winter on Elephant island.    Shackleton was determined to get his crew rescued and set out in a small boat with a few others and made a long trip to South George island.

When  have you been challenged beyond what you thought was possible?   What kept you going?

am I?

‘Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Am I …

It might be a question, it might be a thought, or it might be a sense of hopelessness that some people have when they don’t know who they are.   A person who asks, “Who am I?” may have been going through the motions of life really to never understand at their core who they are and what they should be doing.   For some people they have never resolved or peered into their own identity and at some point they realize they don’t know who they are and that often presents a frightening picture.

I am? 

I am, as a question.   “I am” asks a much bigger question.  It is a statement about who you believe you are.   “I am _________________”.   It goes beyond just the meaning of who you are to the meaning of who you are in the context of those around you.   What does “I am?” mean to you?

i am

“i am” as a weak declaration, one where the words are spoken quietly and without certainty.   It is a statement without the belief behind it that would give power to the words.

I am

“I am”, an assertion with some level of confidence and not strong enough that someone would believe that what you are saying is really true about you.    Increasing that sense of I am can be done by focusing on positive self thought.

I AM

Bold, assertive, positive and confident with a sense of direction, purpose and significance.   This is beyond emergent behavior and shows up as having strength with only small amounts of uncertainty in their lives.

I AM!             

Fully confident, fully assertive, fully humble, fully alive, fully present, significant, bold yet calm. Able to use skills wisely, developing others, a leader, a sage, engaged, fearless.

Where are you?   What level of being do you live at and participate at?   What would it take to raise your level of being up a level?  What would it take for you to feel more alive, more present, and more capable?

“Jenny: Do you ever dream, Forrest, of who you wanna be?

Forrest: Who I’m gonna be? Aren’t I gonna be me?

Jenny: You’ll always be you. Just another kind of you. You know? … I want to be famous. I want to be a singer like Joan Baez. I just want to be … on an empty stage with my guitar, my voice. Just me, and I want to reach people on a personal level. I want to be able to say things, just one to one.”

from the movie “Forrest Gump

journey …

“‘Time’ doesn’t pass.  We human beings have enormous difficulty focusing on the present; we’re thinking about what we did, about how we could have done it better, about the consequences of our actions, and about why we didn’t act as we should have.  Or else we think about the future, about what we’re going to do tomorrow, what precautions we should take,  what dangers await us around the next corner, how to avoid what we don’t want and how to get what we always dreamed of. ”  Paulo Coelho  from “Aleph”

Many years ago it seems I took a bike and rode from Colorado to Connecticut a journey of 2500 miles.   It was a dream to ride across the country  and we did it in 36 days.    The people we would meet along the way would be weary from living a life that thought they “had” to live.   We heard things like “if I were younger ….” and their story of a life that had passed them by would float out into the air.   What was their journey going to be like?    Was it going to be a routine of living a hard life and not a life that was designed but a life that was handed to them by the hands of others who did the same thing.    They were living a life, a life of existence, a set of patterns that were ingrained into them that limited the life they could really live.

Many people spend their lives chasing something and not being sure what it is or why they are chasing it and some people chase nothing at all and wonder what or if anything life will offer them.

Journeys start with a goal in mind,  a place to arrive at, and that  gives purpose to the journey.   A goal provides direction and acts like a compass guiding the traveler to a place.   The journey in between the starting place and the destination is the place where growth takes place.   The journey is the hard work to realize a goal.

Riding cross-country on a bike built for two allowed us to experience what many people fail to experience, to live in the present, to live in the moment between the past and the future, there was nothing else.   Turning the pedals for hours on end and experiencing the wind, the sun,  and each breath was being able to live in the journey.

What goal do you have that is powerful enough to allow you to experience the journey?   The journey where you can feel the heartbeat of each day and you can hear each breath and feel the sun, when are you going to start living in that journey?

“Leave your comfortable life and go in search of your kingdom”   Paulo Coehlo from Aleph

 

 

 

 

what is your personal mission?

“Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.” – Viktor E. Frankl

What is your purpose?   For  many people having a purpose other than getting through the day is a thought that they have never entertained.   What is  your purpose?

Purpose is a driving force, a reason, a passionate desire, a legacy, a story and an internal motivation to do something that matters.    It is amazing that most people haven’t taken the time to discover their purpose.   Without a purpose life loses some of its meaning.   Work becomes a way to pass time, to collect some money and to continue to exist.   Life becomes a series of routine activities that has no meaning.   Eventually those without a purpose wake up one morning and wonder what life is all about.   What is my purpose?

There is an intrinsic purpose to life of course but there is also something deeper and more meaningful to purpose other than to exist.    People without purpose feel like they are lost.   They feel like they are just going through the motions of life and feeling less and less engaged in life as each day passes by.      That often means that whatever they are doing they are doing because they feel like they “have to”.

Where do you start?   If you have no idea of how to identify what your purpose is then it’s time to take out a piece of paper.   Divide the paper in half along the vertical axis.    On the left hand side of the paper list your strengths, the things you are naturally good at.  Identify the things that come easily to you.    Those will be things that just are easy for you to do or to learn.

On the right hand side of the paper list the things that you like to do.  These will be interesting things, perhaps reading, exercising,  or whatever those things are that you like to do.

Now you have a list of things that come naturally to you, or strengths, and a list of things that you like to do.

From those lists circle the things that are the most interesting, most energizing and most consistent in  your life.   What do you find yourself naturally doing?  What things do you do that makes time just fly by?

For those things that didn’t get circled put a box around the things that you would do if money or time were no object.   Maybe these things are things you are curious about that you want to know more about but just haven’t found time to do.

Using your core strengths which ones speak to “who” you are the most strongly.  These could be things that go to the core of your being.   They might be, your “to be” statements.    My purpose is to be ” _____________________ ” something.  What is that something?

Next, define what it is you want “to do”.   What is the activity that you will undertake.    “To do work that makes a difference in the world”  or “to work with people ” or ___________________.

And then we take the to be and to do and culminate with a “so that”.  Why do you want to do that.   ” … so that I can positively influence those closest to me”  or “so that I can make a difference in ____________”.   The “so that” summarizes your ” to do” and “to be” statements into a result.    That result is your “why”, your purpose and that will be your unique contribution.   Your purpose lived out will be your legacy.

“My life is my message.”  Gandhi

what do you really want to do …

Many people will pay the price of misery to say they were successful.  That is they will do something they hate doing just to show others how good they really are.  Now, who is paying the price?   Do the neighbors, friends and acquaintances really care how successful you are?   Is the size of the bank account more important that living a life that was meaningful and satisfying?

There are people who will be miserable for 50 weeks of the year to enjoy two weeks in solitude.   There are people who will amass such enormous debt in proving to others that they “do matter” that they risk losing everything when things turn downward.

The economic world flipped over just a few years ago and we are still in the midst of that chaotic mess.   Work is no longer guaranteed for any position.   If the promise of job security is melting away faster than the polar ice caps then why would you marry yourself to a job that could evaporate quickly due to factors that you have no control over?   The world of work is changing and changing quickly.

Instead of being miserable at any job why not choose a job that you really like to do.   Recently a woman reported that she worked for years at something she was really quite good at but she wasn’t in love with what she did.  She was making good money and was good at it, but then she found a job that she really loved, it made an impact on the lives of others, for her it was a job filled with great meaning and joy, even if the job paid just the minimum wage.

People aren’t going to be remembered for the size of their bank account, they are going to be remembered for the value they brought to others.

What dreams are you postponing?   What are you doing to create the life you desire?   What changes do you want to make?

What do you really want to do?   What is stopping you?

“We are desire. It is the essence of the human soul, the secret of our existence. Absolutely nothing of human greatness is ever accomplished without it. Not a symphony has been written, a mountain climbed, an injustice fought, or a love sustained apart from desire. Desire fuels our search for the life we prize. Our desire, if we will listen to it, will save us from committing soul-suicide, the sacrifice of our hearts on the altar of “getting by.” The same old thing is not enough. It never will be.”   John Eldredge from “Desire”