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?

And, opportunity expands. Or was it me?

Today, I was fortunate to meet – to interview and be interviewed by – six leaders at an industry-leading company with a great mission.

Everyone I met was a smart, savvy, engaged professional. They all saw golden opportunity for me at the company.

This Quest has been very important to me. In it, I’ve evaluated every opportunity as a chance to further my efforts to answer the Call. The Call to be all that I can be, to take risks and make a difference in my life, and hopefully the world.

My concern going into these meetings was that I’d be a cog in a wheel at this company. Not a great way to answer the Call!

However, after 11 – yes 11 – meetings, I now see an opportunity to add value. I can’t quantify where that will happen yet. I don’t know the industry, company or customers well enough. But, I perceive an environment in which I can bring my best to the table, and make a difference.

No offers on the table yet, and I’ve got some thinking to do to compare this opportunity to the other one I have in play.

But, by going in and asking lots of good questions, I see a possible home here for me. You can’t imagine how that feels – amazing really.

An end to a wonderful, blessed day. Once again, I am a very grateful man.

Fear, Doubt, Intuition and Hope: Partners in the Call

I know I come back to these themes on a regular basis.  I have to, as for to me, I am forced to embrace these aspects of the Call day in, day out. Today is a perfect example of what I mean.

As you know, I’m very selectively pursuing strategic opportunities in my professional – and let’s face it – my personal life. They’re all connected.  You don’t make decisions for one, without it also being a decision for the other.

I’m getting close to the end of the evaluation / due-diligence phase with one opportunity.  I can feel the fear and doubt ramp up in volume within me.  So loud in fact, that they are masking the subtle intuitive nudges, and the hope I carry for a wonderful, bright future.

I guess I’ve come to realize that the bravest hero still confronts fear and doubt.  It’s what they do with them that matters.  Today, I felt the fear and doubt in a big way:  “Will I make the right choice, when it’s time to do so?”  That’s the usual question I confront.

That’s where I put my faith in my ability to take a deep breath, and make the right decision.  It all starts and ends with me.

I now embrace all aspects of this journey to the Call – fear, doubt, intuition and hope.

Welcome, as I know you’re telling me a change is about to happen.  And, that’s good.

Bravery and the Call

As so often happens as I go through my day, and think about that day’s post, a theme occurred to me: I have not been very brave.

I have held off on acknowledging my ideal next opportunity – for fear that if I do, then I’ll have to live up to it. That is part of my Hero’s Call. And, that reluctance has been my Refusal of the Call, as outlined by Joseph Campbell in “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”.

There are any number of good reasons for not taking a step towards that ideal, with financial concerns at the top of the list. Not far behind is fear. Followed by past failures.

But, this blog is about addressing those fears, heeding the call, and living a full life.

My ideal is to start, run and grow a business that allows me the freedom to live my life on my terms.

Issue: What business? What do I love to do that I could build into a business?

I honestly believe that when I answer that question, and take the first step, then forces will conspire to help me realize the dream. It will involve work, time, risk and luck to be sure.

But, it’ll be a brave move for this hero.

The veil slid back a little today

Yesterday, I announced my intention to accept the Quest I know of today – to be all I can be.

An interesting thing happened to me today, while I was driving in the car. I was on a 2-hour trip, and I allowed my mind to relax while I drove.

For a brief moment in time, a sense of knowing occurred to me. I became very much at peace, and aware that I was “enough” on this Quest. It lasted for a brief second or two, but was very powerful. I was in a zone or flow that let me know all was going to be all right.

As someone who’s lived a great deal of his life in fear of being real to the world, I was pleasantly surprised to feel the peace and calm of the moment. I am grateful. Thank you.

The Hero’s Quest: Departure and the hero’s refusal

I mentioned previously that I’m reading Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”.  He covers  the various stages of the Hero’s Quest.  Stage one is Departure, and one of the elements of this stage is the hero’s refusal of the call.

I’ve often felt that part of my call – the call for many of us, I suspect – is to be all that I can be.  I can’t help but think that I’ve spent a good deal of my life refusing this call.  And, it has affected the nature of my adventure.  I’ve lived a “smaller” life as a result.

Sometimes, I wonder if I still have what it takes to answer the call.  Those thoughts come when I’m feeling low and vulnerable.  I do feel ready, but still feel less courageous and sure, as I hoped I’d be.

I can only imagine that sometimes that’s all I’ll have to go on.  What matters is saying: “Yes!” and figuring out the rest on the Quest.

Ok, then:  “YES!”

Finding one’s mission in life – the hero’s quest.

I love Richard Bolles’ path to mission in life from his book:  “What Color is Your Parachute?”  He describes a 3-step process on page 271 of the 2014 edition:

  1. to seek to stand hour by hour in the conscious presence of God, the One from whom your mission is derived“:  I’m not a religious person, but I do believe in a universal consciousness, so this works for me.  What a wonderful goal – to seek out one’s version of our creator / source, and to connect with that source.
  2. to do what you can, moment by moment, day by day, step by step, to make this world a better place, following the leading and guidance of God’s Spirit within you and around you“:  Since reading this, I’ve made it my intention to remember to act this way as much as I can through the day.  I’m not perfect, believe me, and I fail at this more than I succeed, but the intention is clear, and it helps me to feel better about my Hero’s Quest.
  3. to exercise the Talent that you particularly came to Earth to use–your greatest gift, which you most delight to use …“:  I’m intrigued by the path Bolles lays out here, and which I feel makes sense for me.

Connect to your source, do good deeds, and do what you love to do most to make the world a better place.  Wonderful!

The hero of my own life.

I should mention that one of the key themes I want to play out here is the idea of becoming the hero of my own life.

On some level, I think that becoming my own hero is a worthy goal.  Not out of hubris, but out of a desire to see what I’m capable of becoming as a person.  What fears do I need to move beyond?  What do I need to embrace?  What do I need to let go?  What is my quest?  Can I move beyond my fears and answer the Call?  [The answer has been “No” up to this point – too afraid to let go and take a risk.]

This time in the world, and this life, offer so many opportunities.  I want to move beyond being a spectator and become an active participant.

I’m not sure I know how to be a hero.  It has not been part of my lexicon.  But, that was then … this is now.

What do I know about my Call?

I know that this journey will involve my creativity, and making things – whatever the things end up being.  Could be a product, could be a service.  Not sure.

It will also allow conversation and work around ideas – big ideas I hope.  Ideas that can help change the world – if even on the scale of a microcosm in my immediate world.

Abundance will be a natural extension of my Call.  As will be elegance of solution and/or design.

Seth Godin, one of my favourite authors talks about becoming an Artist, in his book The Icarus Deception.  I want to be an artist – to be remarkable.  I’ve never honestly tried to be remarkable with intent in the past.  Always felt too rushed to take the extra care required to do beautiful, elegant, remarkable work.  It has hurt me on various levels, and I’ve carried the baggage of those decisions for many, many years.  Time to let them go.

Currently, I’m working at my wife’s family cottage, fixing and repairing decks, windows and such.  With each fix I do, I’m trying to incorporate some element of remarkable and elegance in the job.  So far, so good.  Some of these elegant fixes are small and seemingly incomprehensible to the people who view them.  Yet, I know they’re there, and that’s what counts.

The sense of accomplishment and release this has given me is quite wonderful.

So, I’m responding to some of the Call today.  And, seeking to more fully open myself to it as I go along.

That’s where I’ll find my answer, and the understanding that goes with it.  Fun, fun, fun!

The Hero’s Call

Every myth requires a hero, and every hero requires that they answer the Call.  That’s a question I’ve been stymied by my whole life.  What is my Call?

There are some who would say just “be”, and that the Call will find its way to me.  I have found it more difficult than I would have thought to just be.

I have a feeling that my Call will be something of my choosing.  And, it will also allow me to just “be”.  I think this blog is part of my Call – or will be part of a meandering path to it.

For now, my Call will be to keep writing about these ideas, and then see where they take me.