Going Beyond the Self: The Hero’s Way

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, one of the things that I keep coming back to is the importance of the people in our lives. I mean our families first and foremost. It’s so easy to become consumed with our own agendas, fulfilling our own needs for significance, reaching for our dream careers, success, fame, glory.

This is high on my mind now as my wife and I will be having our first child this year (cue the sound of champagne popping). Bringing a life into the world is such an amazing honour. It really sharpens my whole world view. It’s about responsibility really. Accepting and embracing this responsibility is about embracing the opportunity to step up. But it’s even more than that. It’s about stepping out beyond myself because it’s about something far greater than me. It’s incredibly humbling.

What is also exciting is that, while I’ve been teaching for a long time, over ten years in fact, this transformation in our family is going to be mirrored in my work as my teaching expands dramatically. You see, up until now I’ve had the amazing fortune to be able to dedicate most of my time for the last 20 years to my own personal and professional development.

I started my journey with the intention of coming back and sharing what I had learned along the way, knowing that what has helped me can also help others in their own journey. This is the source of my deep passion for teaching and coaching people. While I’ve been doing this intermittently, it has not been my main focus, for good reason.

Knowing exactly when we are ready is very hard. This is especially the case when we really want to be more ready than we actually are. Most of us want to think of ourselves as being further along the road. But there also comes a point when we have to acknowledge that we actually are ready, and may have been for some time. This can also come as a surprise. Then, sometimes you just find yourself in a situation where you simply have no choice.

Being ready doesn’t mean that you have no fear, or that you’re absolutely 100% confident – certainly not when it also means stepping out into the unknown again. But it means backing yourself no matter what, and knowing deep down that we have what it takes to meet what lies ahead. It means having faith in ourselves, and in something far greater that we all share, and investing that faith in our actions in ways that enrich the lives of others.

This is the hero’s way.

In fact, usually when the hero goes out to meet the challenge, they have no idea that they are going to be supported at all. They simply know that they have to act. But in stepping out, in taking that first step the hero is always supported. I laid out some of the steps for this in my last post on transforming crisis into celebration, so I won’t repeat them here. But I want to add another thing to think about.

I invite you to think about the ways in which you can contribute right now. What are you really great at doing? How can you help people the most right now? Most likely it’s something you take for granted, and you probably do it for nothing happily (not that you have to – that’s another story!).

I invite you to act, no matter how small this might seem. Just do what you can. Reach out and awaken the hero that dwells within the heart of all of us.

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