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  • Writer's pictureDaniloTambone

(2) The Call to Adventure - How to Go Past Your Doubts and Answer Your True Call

Updated: Mar 3, 2022



Feeling my way through the darkness Guided by a beating heart I can't tell where the journey will end But I know where to start

(“Wake Me Up”, Avicii)

The “Call to Adventure” in the Hero’s Journey is the point when the Hero is informed that their life is going to change, willing or not. There may be a herald, or a sudden event that changes everything.


Was there a moment when you realized that you had to make a life-turning change? Or when happened something that turned your life upside down?


In the previous post we entered the realm of the Hero’s Journey by exploring the "Ordinary World".


Our Heroines, our Heroes, sense that there should be something different to be enacted, because of a current lack, frustration, or unbearable situation, or for an act of joyful creativity.



But… where’s the path to take?


As with any GPS device, the first step to identify your path is knowing where you are.


And this is actually where being aware of your Ordinary World comes in useful.


The second step is knowing where you want to go.


When you want to reach a physical destination, that is quite straightforward. You enter into the GPS the proper address or pick a precise point on a map, and - zap - the GPS calculates the proper itinerary so that you can simply follow the route.


Things become a bit blurred when you do the same with the choices in your life.


You may lull yourself into a false sense of security with goals that “should” make you happy.


Yet, when you reach them, most often than not you realize that what you’ve achieved doesn’t provide you with the feelings and comfort you had actually forecast.

You finally get a Degree on a subject that would make your parents proud, just to discover that you really don’t want to pursue a career in that direction. You marry a person with the expectation that they will fill up your gloomy life with happiness and joy, just to realize that no one but you can spark a light in your inner cave. You take a prestigious job full of responsibilities and good money with the goal to feed your family, just to discover that you have no time left for your spouse and children.

The more I listen to stories like these with my coaching clients, the more it occurs to me that we tend to misunderstand how the human mind works.

In fact, we expect that external changes will provide us with an inner sense of satisfaction - outside-in.


In my and my client’s experience, it doesn’t work that way.


What I see working, again and again, is in fact the opposite - inside-out.

Once you get clarity inside, when you go past your categories of what you think should be right and what you think should be wrong, and you just look at things as they are, plain and simple, then what is “outside” of you - events, circumstances, people - stop controlling you. Your thoughts stop getting caught in closed loops and you stop being victim of uncomfortable feelings. Your inner energy starts flowing again.

“And how do I do that?” I hear you ask.

Your ability to open up to the possibility that there is a “Calling” asking for your attention, and actually listen to it, and finally act upon it, can make the difference between deluding yourself and instead taking the path to let your true potential emerge.

What I’m pointing to here is the fact that you don’t have to “find a Call”, but rather listen to a Call that has always been, and is right now, murmuring into your ear.

Let’s ask for help, with some examples, to our Heroines and Heroes.


 

Minutes after Dorothy’s insight that “Somewhere, over the rainbow” she’ll find her place, Miss Almira Gulch, the hateful neighbor, rushes furiously on her bike to the Gale’s Farm.


She complains that she’s been bitten by Toto, the little cute dog, and she’s got with her a sheriff’s order to have it euthanized. Dorothy and her relatives can’t go against the law, and Miss Gulch takes Toto away with her, leaving Dorothy in tears.


While Miss Gulch goes back home on her bike and with Toto in a basket, the dog escapes and reaches Dorothy back. The girl immediately decides to get away from home with him.

She packs her bags and steps away from the Farm.

She’s acting on her Call.

Her Journey begins.

Not so far from the Farm, though, Dorothy stumbles across a bogus yet good-hearted fortune-teller, Professor Marvel. He understands that the poor young girl is running away from home and asks her to follow him in his wooden caravan to “read her future”.

While she keeps her eyes closed “to better be in tune with the infinite”, he peeks into her bag, and sees a picture of Dorothy with Aunt Emily.

Faking a supernatural vision, Professor Marvel looks into his crystal ball and predicts that Aunt Em has her heart broken because of Dorothy’s getaway.

The girl startles, cries, and immediately decides to go back home not to hurt her auntie.


 

This is what, in the Hero’s Journey, is known as the Refusal of the Call.

Dorothy gives up the journey that she has just started, and gets back at her ordinary world.

But let’s see what the path has in store for her.

 

Getting out of the caravan, Dorothy and Professor Marvel get hit by a blast of wind and realize that a tornado is approaching. Dorothy and Toto rush home.


In the meantime, though, Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and the farmhands, after having in vain cried for Dorothy in the midst of the winds, have taken shelter in the storm cellar and closed it, and they can’t hear her when she tries to open it.


Dorothy tries to seek refuge with Toto in her home, when the twister strikes, but a window blows in and hits her head.

She knocks down and faints.


The home gets lift up by the tornado, and Dorothy awakens. Through the window, she sees Miss Gulch shape-shifting into a witch on a broomstick with a devilish laughter.

Moments later, Dorothy’s home touches down in another place, the Land of Oz.

Dorothy’s life will never be the same.

 

Is this a dream or reality? Is it really happening to Dorothy or is this her Unconscious painting the rest of the story?

It doesn’t matter. What will happen from now on will change her life. For real.

Despite her temporary refusal of the call, Dorothy is now back on her Heroine’s Journey.


 


“Ok Christine. I hear you. You’re pointing to a place where you’ll be content with your work, but you’re wondering if, how, and when that could be a reality, based on where you are right now. May I play with you?”


“Sure.”


“Let’s say we meet again three years from now, and you tell me that you’ve spent the most amazing three years of your life. Everything’s fantastic, on every aspect of your life. What would you tell me?”


With no hesitations, and with a glimpse in her eyes, she projects herself into the near future, as she were already there. “I’m finally doing what I’ve always been meant to. I motivate people, teams, and organizations, and I support them on their journey of improvement. The human dimension is at the core of all what I do. I provide courses, write books and blog posts, and speak at conferences. I happen to travel internationally, yet I have plenty of time I can spend with my family. I’m happy and satisfied.”


“Cool! Tell me more - how were you able to do that in these last three years?” I ask her provocatively.


She steps out of our game without realizing, and comes back to today. “Well”, she goes, “I guess I would have increased my skills. Public speaking… my knowledge on sales… maybe I would need an MBA. I would have read more. Written blog posts. Got in touch with a Business School, asking if I could teach there… but definitely I would have improved my competences before, which I guess would require a lot of time. Thinking of it, I’m actually not sure that three years would be enough for what I know I should do before I can set myself free.”


Refusal to the Call. There you are.


“I see. But you actually didn’t reply to my question. I was asking it to your future self, three years from now. She knows what worked and what didn’t, and she can provide you with insights to shortcut your way there,” I tell her with a wink.


“From personal experience” I continue, “studying and learning is part of what we continuously do, especially when we want to provide clients with increasing value. It’s part of what we are. Though, there is nothing like a perfect state to reach before you can actually provide value. If one has been enough time into the journey at work, as you have, and has reached the professional level and recognition that you have, well, you’re ready to go. You pick from your experience. You put your existing know-how in context, and boom, there you go.”


“Let’s try it this way” I go on. “How would you shorten that three years' plan into six months?”


“Wow” she blows, and then goes silent. And, like picking insights from the air, she goes, “I would go straight and have a conversation with the Business School where I studied last year. Maybe they’d love a testimonial for the new students, or I may offer to take on as a teacher or motivator one or two individual classes. Who knows what comes out. That’s worth a try, isn’t it?”


Three days, not three years, later, Christine was already talking to the Business School’s Principal. A couple of weeks later she was presenting in front of 60 people - Managers, Professors, Partners of Consultancy Companies.


Going past her Refusal to the Call, a few minutes' coaching conversation had set her on her Heroine’s Journey path.


Her Potential was getting ready to shine.



 

Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, is willing to bring Odysseus back to Ithaca and to help him reclaim his role of king of the island.


In order to do that, she’ll make Telemachus hear the Call that will turn him into a man. Only then he’ll be able to support his father’s comeback.


In the guises of Mentes, an old family friend, the Goddess then approaches Telemachus and invites him to reclaim his role and to push away the arrogant suitors. The young man calls then an Assembly and tells the Proci to leave the palace. They refuse though, and Telemachus gives up, labeling himself “a weakling knowing nothing of valor”.


He’s refusing the Call, but Athena doesn’t give up.


She disguises then as Mentor, the loyal friend of Odysseus who raised Telemachus when the father was away in the Trojan War. As Mentor, she approaches the boy and suggests him to prepare a ship and a crew and to set sail for Pylos and Sparta, in search of news about his father.


Telemachus finally listens to the Call and goes after it.

This journey will turn that boy into a man.

In fact, firstly from Nestor, king of Pylos, and then from Menelaus, king of Sparta, Telemachus listens to heroic accounts of his father and comes to appreciate his cunning and bravery. Both kings inspire then the young man with the story of Orestes, who killed the suitors of his father Agamemnon’s palace. This is the model and example that Telemachus was looking for. He projects himself into the brave future that awaits him and his father.


Then the Suitors, informed of Telemachus' new standing and worried by his newly acquired confidence, prepare to ambush him upon his return to Ithaca. The young man will be able though to escape from that, and to go and support Odysseus on his vengeful return.


 

This book has been my latest calling.


After years without answers to the question “What’s the legacy that I want to leave?” the idea of this creation has come alive. Not just as a thought, rather as an inner knowing that this was the right time to just do it.

I’ve finally listened to the calling to sum up the insights and awarenesses that continue to arise from my exploration of the human nature and the coaching practice with my clients, and to share them with you.

I’ve learnt through the years that, when you resist the calling, it anyway comes later to you with a bigger and bigger pressure, until you can’t refuse it anymore. Sometimes you’re been waiting for so long that you are finally forced by life events - take or die.


Later in the book I’ll share the story of how a prolonged refusal from my side to follow the flow turned into despair and suicidal thoughts, and of how such lowest point in my life became the start of my whole renewal and rebirth.

As for now, just know that it was enough for me to completely switch my approach to life. Learning to feel comfortable into the unknown, being one with the source of creation, leaving my ego aside, and enjoying like crazy the creation process that unrolls every single day in front of my eyes, almost without me doing anything.

An “active surrender”, in full presence.

And, regardless of my human daily ups and downs, I’ve been in that eternal creative place since. I’ll share more about it in the following posts.

 

And so, what does all of this tell you about your Calling?


How could you “find" it?

How could you “listen” to it?

Fun thing is, you don’t have to do anything about it.

The Calling shows up, as you live - your life is the actual representation of it.


You may resist the flow, or you can relax into it. Your choice.

Your Call might seem pointing to a certain path, and as you go it takes you to unexpected plains.

And all is well.

The Journey that Telemachus thought would make him find his father turned into an experience that made of him a man with the regained power of his nobility. The Journey that Dorothy thought would put her and her dog away from adults and out of troubles turned into an experience that would make her grow in love, intelligence, and courage, and prepare her to step joyfully into the adults' world.

I suggest you to stay open to the possibility that what you will reach through your Journey might be different, much wider and deeper, than the target you could be aiming at right now.

You would be pleasantly surprised.

And don’t worry about trying to be crystal clear about “the One and Only Call that matters” among a bunch of different callings that you might hear right now.

Life is wise, and knows how to direct you to your greatest good. If you resist, things could become tricky. If you let it, things become easier and fun. The choice is yours.


And wouldn’t your Journey be easier if you found someone who prepares you and gifts you with the proper tools and tricks for the road ahead? Someone who shows you how to connect with your higher Wisdom, Creativity, and Intuition?


When the Hero is ready, the Mentor shows up.


That's what we’ll discover in the next post.

Happy Journey!

 


INSIGHTS CHECKPOINT

  • Where is your Calling leading you to, right now?

  • Is there anything holding you back, making you refuse your call?

  • Is there any limiting belief in your head that lets you see only one possible outcome, that maybe scares and stops you?

  • What if the reality opens up beyond that single outcome that you expect, into a multitude of “out of the blue” potentials ready to disclose if you only allow them to? What's your very next step to take to let it come alive?

 

Is this post lighting you up? Are you willing to open up to your potentials?


  • Make sure you download my free Hero's Journey Map and Hero's Journey Workbook from here.

  • If you want to know more about it and stay in the loop of my new book’s creation as I do it, sign up here! No spam, max one email per week, unsubscribe anytime.

  • Want to share your feedback on this post? Does it resonate with your life? Please comment below or send me a message!

  • Want to get a bit more clarity on your own Journey with a complementary introductory call with me? Find your free online spot here.

Love,

Danilo


 

The Journey so far:



Copyright © Danilo Tambone. All rights reserved.

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