You can write your own story or you can let other people write it for you. The only way your story is going to turn out the way you want it is if you are its principal author.
Whatever you want in life, get out there and grab it. Life is short. Don’t get to the end and regret that you didn’t pursue the things that you really wanted. Now is the time to do it. Get out there and do it. Don’t be afraid of being afraid. That’s okay. We all are afraid. It’s part of the journey. You have to push yourself forwards despite the fear. If you can do this, you will realise that the fear is completely unfounded, that it’s completely in your head, and that you can completely do this.
Today’s topic is writing your own story. Don’t be afraid to step up into your new journey and be the person that you want to be and go for the things that you want to go for in life.
About a year ago my younger Sister came to me to talk about going back to College. She is eighteen years younger than me, well into her career and stuff, but she just decided that she always wanted to take a degree and that now was the time to do so. So, she registered with the Open University in the UK and the more she talked about it the more I thought about my own situation.
I had always wanted to do something similar but it never made sense to me before to do it. I tried a few times, because I wanted to get more in my life and I felt it wasn’t moving forwards the way I wanted it to. Looking back on that, you all know the reasons why my life wasn’t moving forwards. I was drinking too much. I was drinking alcohol. I was taking drugs to satisfy a need that couldn’t be found outside of myself. I needed to look inside and yeah, I needed to stop doing that but the point is, I started looking at myself and I thought ‘Well this is the ideal time for me to start doing it, to go back to College and to get that degree.’
That was something that I always wanted to do and I chose psychology because it just fits in with what I’m doing now and it’s something that I’ve had a lifelong passion for – psychology for self-help, for understanding, what goes on in my mind, why I think the thoughts that I do and why I do the things that I do.
So, I signed up for the course and a couple of months ago, around the time when I moved house, I started getting cold feet about the whole thing and I wondered if I was doing the right thing. It was going to take a maximum of six years to do the course. If I wanted to do it quicker then I’d have to devote more time to it in the week and it required a lot of time as well, at least seventeen hours a week of study. So I started talking to my Sister about this and she was giving me the usual pep talk -she’s very good at that – and she sent me a link to a video of commencement speech by a woman called Kerry Washington. I think she is a Hollywood Actress, her face is very familiar I don’t know much of her work but she was talking about a guy called Joseph Campbell.
I’ve read a couple of books by Joseph Campbell down the years and he talks about a thing called a Hero’s Journey. So many films, books and stories are basically based on this hero’s journey. Star Wars is one of them. The Hero starts out, he’s in a certain situation, he’s going through a hum drum life and all of a sudden something happens to change his whole life and he basically goes through the whole story – which is about him reaching his end goals. The message in this video. I’ll show you it now, is to go for your life story. Your life is your story and whatever it is that you want to do and want to achieve in your life, whatever your passion is, you should go for it. You have to go for it. Have a look.
Video Clip – Kerry Washington
Your life is your story and the adventure ahead of you is the journey to fulfil your own purpose and potential. So, I want to share a little something with you about stories and about heroes and about how this all works. It was here at GW that I first read the work of Joseph Campbell and what attracted me to his writing was the concept of the heroes journey. He wrote -‘The heroes journey always begins with the call, one way or another a guide most come and say look, you’re in sleepy land, awake, come on a trip there is an aspect of your consciousness, your being, that’s not being touch and so it starts.’ This call to adventure is what we call in film the inciting incident. It’s an invitation out of your comfort zone and into your strength. Because my definition being a hero requires pushing beyond the bounds of what’s comfortable. In 1996 in my Junior year here, I had to push beyond the bounds of my comfort zone. The musical that year, which as you know, I was required to audition for, was entitled ‘Croak the Last Frog.’ It was a beautiful musical about frogs by GW’s own Professor Leslie Jacobson, now I have to be honest with you, it was not my life time dream role to play a frog, in fact, the thought of me terrified me. Scared that the role would be too difficult and afraid of the embarrassment that would result from my failed attempts, I wondered if there was some way that I could get out of this audition. This is what Campbell describes as phase two of the heroes journey. The refusal of the call. You’ve experienced it, an exciting opportunity presents itself but our fear makes us believe that we’re not capable of meeting the challenge. There are 17 stages of the hero’s journey as Campbell describes it, but don’t worry I’m not going to go through all of them, what I tell you is that I crossed the threshold into unknown territory, meaning I showed up for my audition because I believed in the message of the production, a message of love and family and environmental conservation. I wanted to support Leslie Jacobson, my brilliant Professor and my Mentor and I had to fulfil my scholarship requirements, because as many of you probably relate to I wanted to complete my degree and graduate. So, I answered the call, I pushed past my comfort zone and when I did, I won the role so now I was in the belly of the Whale. Now I had to be willing to be the lead frog, again I was terrified. This was a serious musical with important dramatic themes. How could I commit to the role and bring life to the character in a way that made people think and feel rather than giggle and mock us. So, I approached the role as a social scientist the way GW taught me to. I thought I’m going to study frogs. I went to the Zoo up in Woodleigh Park and I spent hours watching frogs. I read about frogs, I held frogs, I watched frog documentaries, I figured out ways to physicalise my performance as a frog without seeming to be a cartoon, I faced my fears and I stepped out onto that Marvin Centre Stage and it became a role that transformed my thinking about how I use my body to do what I do every single day and more importantly, to this day it is my Father’s most favourite thing I’ve ever done. I’m serious, you can ask him. But the lesson here isn’t how you too can be a frog. The lesson is that you are sitting here today because you too learned how to answer the call. Your degree is proof that you have what it takes to take the leap into the adventure of your unique experience. You don’t earn a degree by doing and being and existing in the comfort zone of what you already know. So, whether it’s taken two years or seven to get today’s degree I want you to look back on the journey that brought you here. What moments challenged you most. When were, you asked to step outside of your familiar territory in order to rise to the occasion of your potential. How have you pushed past your fear? I want you to remember those moments because they will embolden you and affirm you and remind you that you did this. You completed this journey. You answered the call and now you can continue to do so. But the choice is yours, when you leave here today and commence the next stage of your life, you can follow someone else’s script, try to make choices that will make other people happy, avoid discomfort, do what is expected and copy the status quo or you can look at all that you have accomplished today and use it as fuel to venture forth and write your own story. If you do amazing things will take shape.
So, that’s about what I’m talking about all the time, which is getting outside your comfort zone, pushing yourself outside the boundaries of what you would normally do. Life is very short, I keep saying this, you haven’t got much time on this earth and I think a lot of people drink because of that, because they feel as though their lives are wasting away, what else are they going to do and that they’re going to end up at the end of their lives with nothing to show for it. Well you’re still alive, you’re still breathing.
I’m 50, I’ve got lots of years left in me. I’ve got more years if I treat my body right, if I stop putting the alcohol in, start putting the right foods in and stop putting the wrong foods in. Just treating my body with respect. If I do that I’ve got a lot more life to live. There’s no guarantee, but at the end of the day, what I’ve got is what I’ve got. I am the master of my destiny, I can push myself, I can force myself to improve the quality of my life. No one can do that for me or I cannot do that and just say fuck it, I’m going to drink, I’m going to smoke, I’m going to eat crap food, I’m going to enjoy myself and then I’m going to die young.
As I said before it’s not just a question of dying young, it’s a question of the quality of your life while you’re living until you die.
I hope you like this video and the clip from Kerry Washington, I thought it was nice clip, it was just something my Sister sent to me. I see a lot of this stuff I’d like to share them in this way, where I can talk about it and put the clip in and do a bit more talking about it and if you like that kind of thing than please let me know in the comments down below or send me an email.
If you have any type of clips that you’d like me to look at and include in the videos then please, I would love to hear that as well. If you want to support the show you can go to http://www.patreon.com/AlcoholMastery or you can go over to the website www.alcoholmastery.com and see it in the sidebar and you can support me and the show for as little as $2 dollars a month.
That’s is basically for today, as I say if you like the video give us a thumbs up and leave a comment down below if you want to see more of this type of video.
Take Care. Good luck to You.
“When writing the story of your life, don’t let anybody else hold the pen”
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!