Reading (and writing) as a Mythic tool

I sometimes have trouble either getting to sleep, or staying asleep in the wee hours of the night.  And, I find this issue is more prominent when I’m dealing with a stressful time in my life.  One mythic tool I’ve found to help me is reading.  Another is writing.

I’ll read just about anything when in this state, and invariably sleep comes to me.  Sometimes I’ll read for a few minutes and at others it’ll take an hour or more.

I tend to find myself in this sleepless state when I let anxiety rule my thoughts – and dreams – awake or unconscious.  Reading serves to force my mind into other places while I’m engrossed in the book of choice.  The more inspiring the story the better.  Writing this blog also helps, as it forces me to focus on positive, affirming thoughts.

When I get lost in these activities the rest of the world, my troubles, my life tends to fall away, if even for a short time.  What’s left is the best of me, and from there I can build a new narrative.

Changing one’s focus, and story, can put us into a more positive place from which our Quest can continue, once again.  Small steps, but steps none the less.

On new ground

I’m in a new place right now. Not physically, but emotionally and spiritually.

Today, I realized that all of my energy these past few months has been focused on finding a new opportunity. That Quest required specific actions and energy. Now that I’ve found my next opportunity, I need to direct my energy, my drive and my actions into success in the new role – this new Quest.

One could say it does not matter, and maybe for some it truly doesn’t. However, as I sit here writing this post, I’ve come to the conclusion that it matters to me. I know it’s true for me because I’ve felt out-of-sorts all day, and could not put my finger on it until now. I’ll try to explain; don’t know that I can – it’s a feeling …

I think it has to do with the comedown related to ending the Quest to find a new opportunity. That Quest was my total focus for the past two months. Now that I have a new opportunity, all of the expectations, hopes and dreams that fuelled my actions have been fulfilled to one degree or another. When I achieved my goal, and slayed that dragon, I was left with a void in my life, and a pretty big one, based on how I felt today.

Now, I need to set out on this new Quest, and create a new set of expectations, hopes and dreams for this role. That’s the piece I was missing today. I need to define this new Quest, and determine where the value is for me in it.

As I’ve written previously, it’s not about the money any longer (although I do need to make that, too). I need to know I’m adding value and becoming something bigger than I am today. I need to create a new vision for myself in this role, and a big one. (I’ve learned that I’m not motivated by small goals. I need ’em big, and hairy!)

Even as I write these words, I can feel a surge of energy in my body. And, a heightened awareness of the task ahead. This does connect to my answering The Call a few months ago.

Now, I need to connect the dots, so that the vision I create makes sense and provides a path.

I don’t define myself by the Quest any longer. Good!

I noticed something today.  I don’t identify or define myself by my Quest (i.e. “job”) any longer.  I’m about to start a new opportunity in the next month, and although I’m looking forward to it, I don’t have the usual stress around it.

In the past, and I’ve mentioned this before, I chased opportunity according to what it would pay me.  My whole self-identity was defined by the role and how much money I would make from it.  I find that incredibly refreshing now that there’s a gap between who I am and what I do!  It’s a no-win game when these outer markers define us.

As I’ve said before, I now seek opportunity where I can add value and make a difference.  It’s a much easier way to go through life.  The rewards now flow based on what I give, not on what I get.

That is the mark of a Hero, too.

This new Quest requires changes in my life

On Friday, I mentioned that I’m expecting an offer from a company with whom I’ve interviewed. That’s great news, and I’m very pleased to be in this position. I’ve been thinking about the changes I may want to make in order to be in fighting form for this new Quest.

At the top of the list are health and wellness – proper diet, exercise and more sleep.  Simple things, yet I know they’ll help me slay the dragons I’m going to encounter on my adventures. I’m starting to make improvements in all three of these areas this week.

Next on the list is an assessment of how I can be most effective in my new role. I’m entering a new market, with a new product set and a need to educate myself very quickly. I want to start running from day one. I say effective, as I’m most concerned with leveraging my skills, strengths and abilities for maximum benefit and value to my customers and company. Dan Sullivan, of Strategic Coach talks about developing a “10x mindset”, and I love that concept.

“What kind of thinking & execution would it take to deliver 10x’s results?”

What a great question, and one that I’ll be pondering over the coming weeks and months.

That’s my starting point. I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list over time. Onward.

A life well lived

Today, I was blessed to attend the Celebration of Life for someone in my extended family.  The man in question died a couple weeks ago after living a good, long life well into his 80’s.

He was a man who definitely answered the Call that was made of him.  Yet, based on what I know about him, I’m not sure he would have seen it that way.  He didn’t overtly answer the Call – he just lived as if he had.

He focused on living and giving, and that defined him in his life.  And, more importantly, it defined him with the people he surrounded himself with each and every day:  his family and friends.

Laurie was a fun and unique character.  He was known for his “groaner” jokes, oblique sense of humour and general sense of living a fun life.

In my mind, he was a master.  He got this living thing.  He fell into it, and he was a Hero – in his own life, but more importantly, he was a Hero to his family and friends.  I heard his grandchildren talk about the great times they spent with him – Poppa to them.  Rides in the wheelbarrow, Mac & Cheese after school, and flinging elastic bands around the house when they least expected it.

He did big things and little things with those he loved.  It all added up to a large, wonderful life.  He will be missed.  And, he has left a legacy that will live long beyond his own years.

A true Hero!

One Quest ends; another begins

My first major Quest as noted here came to an end today. And it means another has begun!

I found out that one of the firms I’ve been strategically targeting will be sending me an offer early next week. They are a very good firm, extremely successful and have a great mission: to feed the starving, inoculate children and house the homeless to name a few. More on that in another post – it’ll all make sense then.

So, your question to me should be:

Have you answered the Call?

Yes, I have. I’m not sure I could have answered “Yes” to your question, if I had not started this blog and really looked inside and done serious soul-searching.

The reason I can answer “Yes” is that I’ve approached this opportunity in terms of whether or not I feel I can add value – for this company, her customers, her partners and those served by its’ customers.

I’ve spent many a year seeking what I could gain from my work, and not enough about what I could give. No more.

This time I’ve turned the tables – on myself. It’s now about giving value first, helping others be successful and making a difference.

The best part is that I can do all of that while leveraging my creativity, being entrepreneurial and applying vision to the role. I can be part of something bigger than me.

I’m not sure exactly how this new Quest will unfold – early days. But, I can tell you I feel blessed and I’m very grateful to be invited to join this company’s Call.

How’s this Myth thing going anyway?

I’ve been on this Myth Quest for almost 3 months now.

So, how’s it going?

That’s a fair question and one I’ve given thought to today.

It’s safe to say that the most significant contribution penning this blog has made in my life is that it has kept me accountable – to you and to myself.

The accountability factor is more mental than it is physical. It’s not about ensuring I write every day. I enjoy writing, which is a great outcome I’ve gleaned from this blogging process. A nice bonus!

No, the accountability is related to ensuring I keep to my mission: to answer the Call.

Even when I try to deny the Call out of fear or doubt, I cannot now escape knowing it’s there in front of me. Calling to me, so to speak.

My biggest fear right now is that I’ll settle – for less – of myself and in my decisions the Call is asking me to make.

You see, the Call is not concerned with success or failure. It doesn’t care if you risk everything in order to answer the Call’s siren song. That’s my fear; that’s the doubt!

What I’ve learned is the Call is a little like Pandora’s Box. Once opened, I can’t put it back in again.

It’s always there, it’s real and it has high expectations of me. Can I trust enough for that to be enough?