Who’s Myth Are You Living?

21
Feb
2011

A few weeks ago I came across what I felt was one of the most powerful posts I’ve read in a very long time.  It spoke very strongly to me and I felt it would make a great addition to our Make it Happen Monday series over here at Loving the Bike.  So today I am stoked to give you this wonderful motivational post by Talon Windwalker.

Who’s Myth Are You Living?

– Viscount Talon Windwalker

Myth: A popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone; especially :one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society.

How many times have you heard someone or yourself use the dreaded C word? It’s a vile word that demoralizes. It can also rob people of their lives. Yes, “can’t” is a horrid, despicable part of anyone’s vocabulary.

Society has its many pluses, but it is an ordered organism. Boxes and labels provide more comfort. When we meet people socially, one of the most commonly asked questions is “What do you do [for a living]?” Once we know that our minds quickly form assumptions and expectations.  If I tell someone I work in hospice, the typical first response is: “You people are angels.” When they hear I’m a chaplain, all of a sudden they’re reviewing what they’ve told me so far in case they need to apologize for any inappropriate vocabulary that might be offensive to a respectable man of the cloth. Heaven forbid I let it slip that I’m a Zen monk. The silence becomes even more stifling.

I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.

The above quote is attributed to Thomas Edison. Kurt Vonnegut, an internationally acclaimed writer, had boxes of rejection letters stating he had no talent and should give up writing. I have had hundreds of patients who on their deathbed reviewed with me how much power the C word had over their lives and how it left them with so many regrets, having raped their dreams.

Then there is the myth the dreamers create, that anything is possible. “You can’t fly because you think you can’t.” Between Twitter, Facebook, and infomercials, there are hundreds of people trying to convince us all that we can earn obscene amounts of money, retire in our 20s, beat cancer by consuming a certain proprietary blend of herbs.

Inevitably, when our feet are beginning to leave the ground, someone feels it’s their responsibility to ground us, to be the voice of reason. Oh sure, most often it’s out of genuine care. At least we tend to hope so.“Honey, how will you make a living as an artist?” “Do you really want to waste all that time and money in college to be a teacher when you could enjoy a much better lifestyle as an engineer?”

Quitting your job, your “normal” life to travel the world? Take your children around the globe, are you mad? Don’t you know how unsafe some of those places are? How can you possibly afford all that travel? I wish I was brave enough. In this economy?—These myths are just as powerful to the people who subscribe to them as Zeus was to the ancient Greeks. And I’m not saying one person’s myth is more correct or true than another’s. That’s the beauty of myths, you get to decide which ones you give power.

So what do you do? Do you forge your own path when the briars begin to sprout and block your way, or do you turn around and head back to what you know? Whose myth are you living?

Talon Windwalker is an incredibly interesting dude that is full of wisdom.  He’s a single parent, hospice chaplain, Zen monk, ultra runner, snowshoer, endurance cyclist, certified endurance running coach, photographer, and lover of travelling, languages, and cultures.  In June 2011 he’ll be leaving his traditional work life and embarking on a round-the-world trip with his 9-year-old son (aka Tigger) followed by a move to Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Along with his website,  1 Dad, 1 Kid, 1 Crazy Adventure, you can also find him guest posting at TravelingDad.com and TravelGeneration.com.

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6 Responses to “ Who’s Myth Are You Living? ”

  1. Heather Nielson on February 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    That was sooo cool to read!! Thanks for posting it Darryl

  2. Clive Chapman on February 23, 2011 at 7:00 am

    This just emphasises my belief that the only limits are ones you put on yourself.

    “Whether you say you can, or whether you say you can’t, you’re probably right.” – Henry Ford.

  3. Eric Hutchins on February 23, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Awesome Post. Even for the more adventurous of us, if we really look inside ourselves, the number of times we have said I cant to our dreams is stunning. And the reasons so seldom are real, or even our own. I have had the good fortune of having someone (my wife Pamela) shake me out of that daze and while I am not going to give away all my stuff tomorrow and live in a shack in Fiji, that is not what I want for me (us) (at least not right now :) )
    Good Stuff Darryl

  4. Amanda on February 22, 2011 at 12:50 am

    Wow….thank you SO MUCH for this post!! Very inspirational!
    Have fun on your adventure, Talon….and good for you for doing something so awesome with your little man!!

  5. Bryan on February 21, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    This post is so spot on. Thanks so much for it.

  6. Annalisa on February 21, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you SO much for this post. It is just what I needed today. We are hatching our secret not-so-evil plans for a big biking adventure, and won’t let the nay-sayers get us down. The bottom line is that you CAN live the life you want. It’s not always without sacrifice and hard work, but you CAN do it.

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