I've been thinking about the value of failure lately. I started my first business when I was in my twenties, and it failed miserably. I was already $50,000 in debt when I realized that it was never going to work. To pay off that debt, I spent a few years bartending at night while teaching myself how to design web sites. Eventually I was able to quit the bartending job and became a full-time web designer. This led to creating videos for the web, which led to my first voiceover jobs, which allowed me to be able to work remotely and finally create the life of my dreams in the mountains.
It took almost twenty years. There were many other failures along the way, but when we take the long view and learn from our failures, they become the seeds of our successes. Here's how I learned to do that.
We all have dreams, and the journey to reach them can often be a long and challenging one. It's easy to become frustrated or discouraged when we're facing obstacles along the way. But what if we were to embrace the journey itself, and see it as an opportunity for growth and self-discovery? This is the central idea behind the hero's journey, a concept that has been used in storytelling and mythology for thousands of years.
I've always loved these kinds of stories where the hero embarks on a quest, faces challenges, and eventually returns home a changed person. The journey of the hero is really a metaphor for the journey of life, and I've found that its lessons can be applied to our own experiences as we work toward our dreams.
What can we learn from the hero's journey as we work to achieve our own dreams?
- Lean into the challenges. The hero's journey is filled with challenges and setbacks that test the hero's strength and their ability to yield and be flexible. But it's these challenges that help the hero to grow and become a better person. The same is true for us as we work toward our dreams. By embracing the challenges and using them as opportunities for growth, we become stronger and begin to trust our own abilities more deeply. Mindfulness can help us stay centered through these challenges.
- Learn from the journey. The hero's journey is not just about reaching the end goal, but also about the lessons learned along the way. The hero may encounter mentors, wise people, spirits and magical beings, who offer guidance and wisdom. So many people have helped me along my journey, and I've learned so much from them. Being open to this kind of synchronicity comes from cultivating an inner stillness that allows us to surrender to our intution instead of our doubts.
- Embrace change. The hero's journey is often transformative, and the hero returns home a changed person. As we work toward our dreams, we may also experience growth and change, and it's important to be open to these transformations and to welcome them as part of our journey. Sometimes our dreams need to change; sometimes we do.
- Celebrate your progress. The hero's journey is often long and arduous, but it's important to celebrate our progress along the way. Whether it's a small step forward or a major milestone, taking the time to acknowledge our achievements can help keep us motivated and inspired as we continue on our journeys. Celebrating our victories with family and friends is wonderful, but simply taking an afternoon off to rest and reflect on our progress can also be very healing.
The hero's journey is a powerful metaphor for the journey of life and can help us move past the challenges and obstacles that come with pursuing our dreams. By celebrating our progress, learning from our experiences, and embracing change, we can find joy and fulfillment in the journey itself, and become the heroes of our own stories.
If you'd like support for your hero's journey, you can join my Awaken Your Myth group for free.
Here’s something that brings me peace.
A good friend gave me a copy of Red Pine's translation of Pu Ming's "Oxherding Pictures and Verses" recently. Originally created in the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) as a series of ten hand-painted scrolls, the book depicts the journey of a seeker toward enlightenment. It has become a classic of Chinese Zen Buddhism.
The ten scrolls tell the story of a young man who sets out in search of a missing ox. He encounters various obstacles and temptations but eventually finds the ox and tames it. Toward the end, the man and the ox reach a state of enlightenment together, symbolizing the idea that the journey to enlightenment is not a solitary one, but one that requires both inner and outer work.
Each of the ten scrolls has a beautiful illustration accompanied by a verse that brings the oxherding journey to life, and inspires us on the journey we all take to find our own inner peace and understanding.
Here’s some of the latest science on sleep.
There is still much that scientists don't know about the processes that occur in our brains during sleep. In recent years, however, researchers have made significant strides in understanding sleep and its role in our lives. Here are some of the most exciting and impactful sleep science discoveries of the past few years.
- The link between sleep and memory consolidation
One of the most exciting areas of sleep science research is the link between sleep and memory consolidation. Recent studies have shown that sleep plays an important role in helping us to consolidate and process the memories we make during the day. This means that getting enough sleep can not only improve your memory, but also enhance your ability to learn new information and skills.
- The impact of sleep on physical health
Sleep is also important for our physical health, as lack of sleep has been linked to a number of health problems, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Recent studies have shown that sleep helps regulate our metabolism, reduces inflammation, and supports the immune system. So, if you want to keep your body in top condition, make sure you're getting enough sleep.
- The role of sleep in mood regulation
In addition to its physical benefits, sleep also plays an important role in regulating our moods. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can contribute to depression, anxiety, and irritability, while getting enough sleep can help improve our mood and overall sense of well-being.
Here’s something I made.
Making a music video for a band is something I've dreamed of since I was 18 years old back when music videos were still fairly new. This month, I finally realized that dream.
Come join Bodhi and me for a calming walk set to a beautiful song by R. Ring from their new album War Poems, We Rested.
Thank you for being here. You're the reason I've found found peace through living my dreams.