The King’s Journey

There is an obsession in hollywood and just about all fiction, with the hero’s journey. Our hero is a typical average joe. A call to action arises to pull them on an adventure. They typically reject the idea, until some mentor or occurrence pushes them into doing it anyways. They enter another world, where they face enemies, find allies, and develop new abilities. Eventually they reach the climax of the enemy base, with their new abilities and allies, they take down the big bad enemy and eventually are reborn back into their regular life, where everything is the same, but oh so different at the same time. They return to their regular life with all their new abilities and experiences under their belts. The Matrix, Star Wars, even the likes of recent children’s movies like Zootopia or Kung Fu Panda 3 follow this same basic system.

We can go through a slew of hero’s journeys ourselves, it can be in a mission to find a new home, spending a week in a meditation retreat, or exploring some new spiritual system. You leave your regular life temporarily for another world, where you must accomplish something before you can return. Once you come back, something in your experience has changed.

Through the powerful teachings of inner game life coach Shae Matthews, I was introduced to another journey, one that can be more powerful, and my interpretation puts it at a journey of creation.

It’s possible much of our experience is decided by people or situations outside of us. Where we grew up, the religion we follow, the career path that may or may not have been influenced by our parents, what our siblings did, what those around us are doing, the things that are socially and culturally acceptable. At the end of the day, it appears a very small portion of our experience is actively and consciously chosen.

This makes life a lot easier, when we can allow our culture, society, religion, siblings, parents, or anyone or anything else to decide our way of life for us, it gives away our responsibility.

This problem I keep having, it’s in God’s plan, I have to live with it.

I really wanted to be a veterinarian and help animals, but my whole family are musicians, so I had no choice.

All my friends are married and keep posting pictures of their babies while I’m sitting here single, I’ve shamefully fallen behind everyone else.

The King’s Journey is terrifying, because a sole person becomes responsible for any and all of your failures, you. On the other side of the coin, there is a limitless beauty in the power of creation. It was my fear of not living life according to all of those around me and their expectations that knocked me into awareness, planting a seed that reached a new level of flourishing once I heard the idea of the King’s Journey.

Of course it’s important to remain grounded in reality, we do still live in the real world, laws exist for a reason. To go on this journey is not to do whatever you want without limit, but your ability to create the reality you want is within your birthright.

So what does this mean? It means you get to decide. Decide what? Practically everything. The career path you want to take. The spiritual or religious ideas you want to follow. The types of relationships you want to have, the way you meet potential partners, at what age you move into different phases of dating, marriage, children, etc, if you choose to move through those phases at all.

You will find that people will judge you. Secretly everyone wishes they could create the life of their dreams, but they have either given up, or simply don’t believe it can be done. It will be easier to bring you down for doing what it is that feels right to you, then for them to put in the effort to challenge their existing realities. It is terrifying for someone who sees you pursue your dreams, to consider that they too may be able to take responsibility for their own life. Better to ridicule you for it.

Thankfully as a King you don’t worry so much about that. You’re too busy creating the lifestyle that you’ve always wanted. It is filled with the friends that inspire you to keep moving forward. With the relationships that help you develop from the place you’re at right now. It involves a job you’re passionate about performing at. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, or what effort is involved. Only that you’re moving towards it. One day at a time, enjoying the journey at every step.

Whether it takes a few years, or a few decades to get everything you’ve always wanted, it beats awakening into consciousness at 85 on your death bed, wondering why you gave in to what everyone else was doing, and never did anything for yourself.

 

I Can Say, Vixi

You only live twice or so it seems
One life for yourself and one for your dreams
– Nancy Sinatra (You Only Live Twice, Bond Theme)

 

Teenagers everywhere are throwing out the term #YOLO before performing potentially life threatening actions, drinking an obscene amount, jumping from a roof that’s slightly too high, or a myriad of other things. I’ve personally used it quite a few times in situations that were perhaps not the best idea at the time, but some lessons you need to learn for yourself.

 

I’m a huge fan of the line from the bond theme “One for yourself and one for your dreams”. For myself, it absolutely has felt like some form of me died when I started to “wake up” to being aware. It was an incredibly surreal experience, to try to imagine why I believed the things I used to believe. To remember a situation from only months previous, and want to go and punch myself in the face for something I did. This is my universal trick for realizing my own growth. “Do I want to punch myself from three months ago? If yes, I’m still growing”.

Alright, so you’ve died to your old self that had their life set in auto-pilot, and now it’s time to live the one of your dreams. Pat yourself on the back, while it may take time to transition into it fully, you’ve started down a path the majority of the world will never reach. Allow yourself some time to celebrate.

I decided the me of today is about gaining mastery at whatever he tackles, in his workplace, personal hobbies, and anything else I decide to put my energy into. I refuse to allow any part of my life to become complacent or standard. The current me thrives on adventure and pleasure. I spent plenty of years living in my shell, and perhaps even this lifestyle will seem strange to me five years from now, but I give myself permission to decide the aspects of my life, even if they seem “greedy” or “self-centered”. Even if you start a particular journey from a place of resentment, or fear, you’re bound to auto-align towards a direction of love as the journey goes on. Don’t be afraid to start for “bad reasons”. It’s much riskier to have continued down the life that was handed to you, feel free to take whatever risks you want now.

 

HOT TIP: As I’ve warned previously, any kind of major change may give you push-back from friends, family or co-workers. If the old you would never go skydiving, but now you really want to see what it’s like, don’t let the ideas of others turn you off of it. If it sounds right for you, and you’ve put time into thinking about it, do it. If you didn’t put much thought into it, but you still want to do it, go for it anyways. As long as you’re still alive at the end of it, the other problems can be resolved relatively easily.

 

Where does the beauty of “you only die once” come from? Well to me, it means life goes on. Of course, some people will have more risk tolerance then others. Having a family of people depending on you may limit what risks you can take, but don’t use that as an excuse to live your life miserably, as it will build resentment and eventually your family will notice. If you’re able to risk everything and the worst case scenario is crashing on a friend’s couch for a few months until you get your feet back on the ground, that risk is a much smaller risk, then the risk of living safely for the next 60 years, and dying, never having lived.

 

The title comes from some of the final words of the infamous Casanova, it means “I can say, I have lived”. His memories in full span nearly 2000 pages, whether you would stand by his lifestyle or not, it’s hard to deny the truth behind them. That lifestyle may not make sense to you, but perhaps you do have something rather “extreme” or “risque” you’d like to try, but are scared to do so. How would you have felt at age 80? Would you be glad you stayed home instead, and no one judged you for it? Or would you instead be proud of yourself for attacking head on what you were passionate about, even if it seemed risky at the time?

 

Consider the perspective of you at age 80, imagine how they would judge whether you lived a successful life. Whether you just want to be a great parent, whether you want to travel to all ends of the earth, whether you just want to live peacefully on the country side, working remotely, just enough to make the money you need, we all have our own ways in which we define “living”. You may as well start today, take the smallest action towards “living” and let momentum take you the rest of the way. Even trying to live the life you’ve always wanted, is better then never having started.

The Warrior Mindset: The Death of Timidity

“And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”
― Erica Jong

Do you know what it is you want? Are you fighting for what you want? Are you worthy of the gifts you seek? Do you act in the way that you do to get a pat on the back, or do you express yourself in the same way a musician pours their heart into playing a piece of music? I’ll stop with the questions for now, this isn’t an interview after all, but most of these questions are ones I ask myself frequently, and the answer “No” still comes up frequently.

 

The warrior is not a man or a woman, it’s not are not a young entrepreneur CEO billionaire or a stay at home parent with two kids and a partner to take care of. It’s a mindset that defines how you approach your life. It’s not defined by your gender, income, or life goals. It has everything to do with your approach to life.

 

Thankfully, you don’t need to be able to answer any of the questions from the start to be a warrior, it’s enough to be seeking the answers, and doing it with commitment. That is, by slowly pushing timidity to the wayside. Timidity is the greatest evil that I’ve become aware of over the past few years. The hopes and dreams of so many crushed because they didn’t believe in themselves or were afraid of the judgement of others.

 

“I really want to travel to this seemingly beautiful country, but my mom says I need to be responsible and save up for a house.”
“I’m starting to feel empty at my corporate job but I’m afraid how my friends will see me if I quit, they always say I’m so lucky and have it so good” 
“I may not like anything about my current relationship, but my parents and friends say we’re so good together, so I may as well continue it for another five years”. 

 

All is not lost, far from it. The mindset of the warrior is one you can start developing right now. Find the timidity in your daily life, and start to root it out. The warrior knows what they want, they fight for it, and they act purely out of their need to express their inner desires and provide their gifts to the world. A gift is not given with the expectation of praise or someone telling you what a great job you did. Next time you stopped yourself from doing something you really wanted to do, search for the source inside yourself. If you meditate, this is a good time to dig deeper too.

 

Hot Tip: One easy shift to determine the real impact of your current battle, consider yourself ten years from now, or even five years from now, maybe even one year from now. How will the you who chose to commit to your decision be after that much time has passed? If you disappointed your friends or parents with the choice you made, how much will they still care one year from now? If the answer is “a lot” or “I don’t think they would ever drop it”, you’re either completely wrong, or you need to choose between the risk of going for it anyways, or the risk of growing resentful and bitter because you chose to live your life by other people’s standards.  

 

It may be that you’re afraid to disappoint your friends, your family, that you’re afraid to be judged by society, yet your inspiration to that choices must come from somewhere. The multi-talent Grace Hopper says “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness then it is for permission”. These words embody the warrior mindset in a way better then I could ever hope to say it. Act anyways, if you need to ask for forgiveness after, do so, but never regret you took action in a way that you were inspired to do. You don’t need to justify yourself to anyone, as no one has has spent even one moment living your life.