In step three, The hero is defined as “One Who Accepts The Challenge”
What is it that motivates you to take action? The process is to Clarify the outcomes that mean the most to you, long term. It is valuable to differentiate between goals and means to those goals. Be sure that your core outcomes are things YOU can do, that depend upon the person YOU are, or become. And make them inspiring but possible: a goal of perfection is no goal at all. Unconsciously, we KNOW perfection is beyond human achievement in all but the most trivial arenas (tic tac toe, anyone?). But we CAN be excellent. We CAN be Outstanding.
If your vision inspires you, and you are not currently moving toward it, then it is safest to assume that you have emotional blockage: values conflicts, voices in your head, aversive responses. Look at the four major arenas of your life: body, career, relationships, finances. What are emotions arise when you think of being dynamically fit, successful, happily bonded, and financially secure? Content? Excited? Or fearful, angry, resigned or depressed? You will HAVE to take your brakes off to get access to your real abilities. Considering that most of the Big Four are simply human equivalents of accomplishments most animals seem to manage, the question must arise: why do so many people have a problem reaching these goals. Heck, I’ve been there too: I’m not talking to YOU, I’m talking to myself.
For most of us, it becomes easier not to try, easier to pretend we don’t want these things. Some people actually create entire philosophies “norming” failure in these arenas, surrounding themselves with people who agree that it is impossible to succeed, or impossible to succeed unless some impossible external standard is achieved. To do this they have to ignore all the people who DO succeed, which means that they begin deleting information. And that deletion creature, once awakened, will eat your entire life.
So the third step of the journey is ACCEPTANCE of the challenge. Saying I WILL. I MUST. In stories, the character finally hits “threshold” where it becomes more painful to stay the same than to change. IN a Sherlock Holmes story, Holmes is trapped in a malaise that can consume him unless some external challenge arouses his intellect. In literary tales, a character often refuses the real challenge of changing his life, falling back into that “quiet desperation” thing. They must DECIDE.
And they do this by associating more pleasure than pain with action, more pain than pleasure to staying still. That’s it. When you have enough reasons WHY you will find the HOW. There’s a T-Shirt: “If you can’t live without me, why aren’t you dead?” IF you have really staked your existence upon an action, you are either achieving that reaction OR YOU ARE DEAD.
Here’s the trick: I know countless people living that quiet desperation. And many who have actually died for lack of direction, focus, commitment to their own lives, their own dreams. But few who have actually died from commitment to a worthy, well considered goal. I can’t say “none” because accidents happen. But LACK of a motivating, courageously approached intention is far more deadly, destroys lives, marriages, health, and hope.
Choose. Decide. Clarify your outcome, and clarify the emotions that will motivate you. Invariably, if you try to reach a goal and quit, you didn’t have many reasons to do it. Those who power their way toward success, however they define it, have COUNTLESS reasons to achieve, to get up early and stay up late, all woven together into an actual self-definition. I AM THE PERSON WHO CAN DO THIS.
THAT’S their internal dialogue. Not a catalogue of excuses why not. And surrounding themselves with people who say “poor baby” instead of supporting you in believing you CAN and SHOULD have the life satisfaction you desire and deserve.
Make your choice. Step forward, or fall back. There IS no standing still.