The “road” of trials” aspect of the Hero’s Journey is the distance you have to travel between where you are and where you need to be in order to accomplish your goals. This is determined by studying at least three of the people who have already accomplished it, and seeing what they all have in common.
Specifically, what DAILY behaviors will, in sufficient time, uncover your own maximum potential. You must focus only on doing YOUR best. This is what you keep in foveal “first attention” focus. The magic happens in peripheral “2nd Attention.” Every moment you spend worrying about how you rank against other people is a moment when your attention is split, when you are not doing the very thing that gets you there.
But…is it unreasonable to wonder how you are in comparison with others? No, it is not. But this evaluation takes place out of “flow” or performance state. It can help you see where you are on the map, but not what helps you drive fastest and safest. The way to avoid the fear of never being “the best” is to be sure you are enjoying the trip along the way. So…
GOAL is clear and sharp, powerful enough to motivate you. If you have no goal, your first goal is to get a goal!
FAITH is your belief that you CAN and SHOULD achieve your goal. Unless you can find a spark of faith, you cannot build a roaring blaze of accomplishment, or even a heart-warming little cookfire. Everyone able to read these words has had successes in life. Associate deeply with them, and you will find your belief in possibility.
ACTION is the key we’re talking about. You cannot change yesterday, and cannot live in tomorrow…yet. All you can do is take care of today, as close to perfectly as possible. And then do it again tomorrow. The idea is to define clearly: “If I do X (or X and Y and Z) every day for 1000 days, will I reach the next level? No? Then study and design action more carefully. Yes? Then all that needs doing is to increase my clarity (GOAL), faith, and gratitude to empower those daily actions. The more you increase these things, the more motivation and the less resistance. If you aren’t taking action, you don’t believe pursuit of your goal will bring more pleasure than pain. When we believe this, we ALWAYS take action. That’s our wiring. Works with any animal with a nervous system. If you could properly adjust pain and pleasure associations, you could teach slime-molds to Samba. If you can keep your goal clearly in mind, and BELIEVE that today’s small action will take you one step closer, you can do it.
GRATITUDE is your antidote for fear. Once the fear is handled, love will pull you toward your goal, a wonderful feeling.
How far will you get? Who knows? And the part of you engaged in the action doesn’t care. It simply wants to immerse in flow, doing something it loves. And if you create that space, just take care of today’s tasks feeling gratitude and faith, you have created a perfect day. And if you pile up seven perfect days you get a perfect week. Four perfect weeks and you get a perfect month. Twelve perfect months and you have a perfect year.
One day at a time, one step at a time, one action at a time, one breath at a time. From time to time, stop and look around and measure progress. But spend most of your time actually acting, and living, and loving.
That’s how you build your dream-castle…and move into it.