Goals and the Hero’s Journey: How to Develop Grit


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Below is a transcription of this video.

Today we’re going to talk about goals, the hero’s journey, and what we can do to stay off the hamster wheel of scarcity and fear in our lives.

I’m Tripp Lanier. For over 12 years I’ve spent thousands of hours coaching folks to get out of the rat race, become an authority in their field, and make a great living doing the work they were put on this earth to do. And for more than a decade, I’ve hosted The New Man Podcast which has been downloaded millions of times and can be found on iTunes or Stitcher.

The other day I was on one of the group coaching calls that I lead, and one guy starts talking about his quarterly revenue goals. In one breath he just breezed through how he met his goal and made tens of thousands of dollars for the quarter — this growth has been amazing considering where he was just a few months prior. But without skipping a beat, he was already shifting focus on to the next quarter and what to do next.

I stopped him mid sentence and asked the other group members, “Did you just see what happened?” But they all missed it, too.

What they missed was the opportunity to celebrate the win and integrate the lessons. Now, on one level it’s important to give ourselves a pat on the back and enjoy the fruits of our labor, absolutely, but most goal driven, achiever type folks just blaze through goals without barely acknowledging what they’ve accomplished.

And this really matters because if we never take time to celebrate the wins we most certainly are not taking time to integrate the lessons learned.
This means we may get a lot of stuff done, but we won’t grow or learn from all of that work. Even if our numbers are going up, internally we stay stuck on a hamster wheel — usually fueled by fear and scarcity because no matter what we do, it’s never enough.

If we break down Joseph Campbell’s famous Hero’s Journey into 3 basic parts it’s easy for us to appreciate the departure from our old way of doing things and it’s very easy for us to focus on the part where we slay the dragon. But there’s also a third part of the journey and it’s just as important. It’s the return. It’s the integration of the lessons we’ve learned into our daily lives going forward.

This means that if we set out to slay the dragon and we don’t complete the return, then we’ve essentially blown the whole journey.

So what does this look like for a guy who’s just trying to hit his quarterly revenue goals?

It looks like the 50-something “successful” guy who still runs his business like a neurotic, scared little boy. From the outside it looks like he’s got it all put together, but inside he’s always scared that things are just about to fall apart.

Even though he’s slayed a lot of dragons over the years, he didn’t really get — on a deep, personal level — how adaptable and powerful he is. He never learned to see how capable he is to overcome challenges. He doesn’t see himself as a guy who can get shit done when it’s time to get it done.

His successes are simply forgotten byproducts of always running scared. No matter what he’s accomplished, it’s never enough because there’s always uncertainty, there’s always another challenge, there’s always something that frightens him.

Because he never shifted his inner story to include that he can handle adversity, he stays stuck in that scared little boy who thinks he has to fight and scrap his way to safety. To him safety and certainty are somewhere out there, beyond the next goal. Because he never integrated what a badass he is, he robs himself of the peace that comes from within, the knowing that he can take care of whatever comes his way.

I don’t want to end up like that. I don’t want you to end up like that either. So let’s do ourselves a favor and slow down. Take an inventory of the successes you’ve had — no matter how small — and look at your role in creating them.

What risks did you take? What bold actions did you commit to? What process did you stick with? What challenges did you overcome? Integrate these attributes into the story you tell about yourself because they’re true — more true than this fear that the sky is always falling.

We’re going to go through dips from time to time, and it’s best to see ourselves — to remember that we’re the guys who get shit done when it’s time to get shit done.

Here’s to you experiencing greater freedom, aliveness, peace, and love in your life. Thanks for watching.