Commitment to heroism

I write about what it means to cultivate a Life's Work, and I also talk about the Path of the Hero.

These are two sides of the same coin. A person who begins to cultivate a Life's Work walks the Path of the Hero.

A Life's Work is a life long path, and the Path of the Hero is a life long commitment.

Let me describe these things in a different way.

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When we are born, and as we are educated and growing up, we incorporate a lot of messaging from our parents, our teachers, our culture and our society. Much of this messaging relates to what it is we should do with our lives.

But I believe that much of this messaging is a great distraction from our true purpose. I believe that every single person has a unique reason why they are here, and a unique set of gifts and talents they are meant to cultivate and express: a Life's Work.

I believe that people who realize that they are here for a reason, and that they can make a difference, have a choice to make. They can either ignore these thoughts and feelings, and continue to live a life that someone else has already created for them; or they can walk a very individual path, one that permits them the time and resources to cultivate a Life's Work.

But there are many challenges in walking this path.

There are economic challenges: society does not rewards artists and free thinkers, as a general matter. And so one who decides to cultivate a Life's Work must learn to be very good with matters of finance and the market.

There are social and cultural challenges: people who do things against the grain are seen as rebels at best, or dilettantes at worst.

And there can even be political challenges: people who rock the boat too much, in many societies, are jailed or killed.

It takes a real form of heroism to walk a unique and individual path and cultivate a Life's Work. This is why I call this path the Path of the Hero. One who walks it must be a hero in every sense of the word.

In normal times, walking the Path of the Hero would be an interesting path for many people.

But in extraordinary times, where the Earth is radically changing and where the species itself may not survive, walking the Path of the Hero may be the only way to preserve any semblance of civilization. 

It boils down to a series of ethical choices. If you know that the world is headed in a terrible direction, do you do nothing, and pretend like it doesn't matter; or do you do something, and try to change the direction of the future? 

Is our species, or our civilization, worth preserving? I don't think there is actually a right or wrong answer to that. But depending on how you answer that will very much determine whether you decide to walk the Path of the Hero or not.

The Path of the Hero is my path. Will it be yours, too?