“We will see that our greatest crisis leaders toil in sadness when society is happy, seeking help from friends and family and doctors. Sometimes they’re up, sometimes they’re down, but they’re never quite well. Yet when calamity occurs, if they are in a position to act, they can lift up the rest of us; they can give us the courage we may have temporarily lost, the fortitude that steadies us. Their weakness is, in short, the secret of their strength.”- Nassir Ghaemi, First Rate Madness
Since embarking upon the adventure and answering “the call” in 2010, I have had the privilege to witness amazing acts of serendipity first hand and meet some of the world’s greatest creators. Over the course of this journey, I have grown increasingly interested in the factors that contribute to the building of real life super heroes; individuals who have discovered their inner power to create their path.
What makes someone an outlier, a hero that is willing to consistently push through the darkness to bring large scale visions to reality?
Here are the answers I have come across in my journey thus far…
1. Successfully Harnessing Forms of Mania (Genius Disease), OCD, Addiction, or Other Form of “Mental Illness” in the Pursuit of Truth
I have found that many of the world’s greatest creators often suffer from conditions that the medical community would often deem as mania, schizophrenia, bi-polar, or obsessive compulsive disorder. This concept is brought to light by medical psychologist Nassir Ghaemi, who explores the lives of Sherman, Lincoln, JFK, Gandhi, MLK, and many more prominent leaders who suffered from symptoms of these diseases.
As a result of the taboos associated with “mental health” in our society, many of the world’s greatest artists/heroes are being drugged and brain washed into believing that they are victims of an incurable “dis-ease”. The biggest obstacle many of these talented individuals face is overcoming the sense of shame associated with these “taboo” conditions that are not well understood by our world. If one learns to channel their gift, however , a new world emerges that connects the conscious and sub-conscious realm. This is the key to modern alchemy (bringing large scale visions to reality) and as our world progresses you will see more and more people affected.
This isn’t an easy or comfortable process and many will refuse to answer the call out of fear of death (ego) and the challenges associated with channeling huge amounts of collective energies. In the negative, people that have these awakenings will be heavily drugged to “control” their gift.
2. Encountering Traumatic or Life Altering Experience As A Child or Young Adult (Forces Deeper Questions)
This is not a necessity but can serve as an accelerator for a child or young adult that encounters a traumatic experience early in life . As a result of trauma, human beings are often forced to ask the deeper questions. Who am I? What is the point of life? What is death? Why do I fear what I fear?
To discover any type of truth in this life, we must first be willing to ask the right questions. It is amazing how life opens when we learn to surrender and let go of limiting ideologies.
3. Undergoing a Death of Perceived Self (Ego) & Rebirth (Discovery of “I AM” Presence)
At some stage of life, the hero must undergo a transformation that forces him or her to let go of the perceived self and the past story. In the modern age this often happens in the form of a mid life crisis, traumatic accident, or some type of failure that derails the perceived sense of Self. Why hold to past stories, ideologies, and heavy forms when you can create whatever you want in the present?
Once the heaviness of the ego departs, a new world emerges that is far more vibrant and fresh than anything previously experienced. During this stage, creativity is enhanced which often leads to astonishing successes that many fail to fully comprehend.
Again, this is not an easy process since the hero most confront the darkness directly to prevent against experiencing these negative , reoccurring cycles that consumes the masses. Suffering is a natural, necessary process to discover the inner hero (the creator).
“Out of the ashes rises the phoenix (self)”.
4. Successfully Confronting Opposing Parental Views & Limiting Societal Perspectives To Build Path
The first step of the hero’s journey is confronting the father and it has been common thread throughout all cultures since the beginning of time.
You are not your parents and you must be willing to confront your loved ones if they challenge your vision or dream. This is the hardest thing for a hero to do; however, it must be done if you wish to discover your own potential. The greatest heroes usually grasp this early and take the leap!
5. Becoming Unafraid of Failure & Accepts Rejection By The Masses
The first step of the journey is often the most difficult because we are often too paralyzed by our own fears to muster the courage to embark. Once the hero understands this illusion, he or she is no longer afraid to act since they know that the resources will be unlocked once the first step is taken.
After each successive journey into the unknown is completed, the hero gains confidence and refuses to worry about the opinion of the masses. If perception creates reality, why should we focus on anything outside of ourselves? Again, this is a difficult process since many of us depend on the views of others to define our sense of “self”.
6. Abandoning Traditional Media & Follows Intuition (Inner Knower)
Deep down everyone knows the direction they should go in, however, fear and uncertainty can often paralyze the strongest ambition. The greatest heroes learn to listen and trust their internal compass despite external circumstances. By living a life that is authentic to whom they wish to be, they indirectly empower everyone them to discover their own strength.
**In a world of endless information, we must be willing to discern what is important by following our own intuition. If not, the hero’s journey becomes an endless reading of self help books with the same universal message. Action comes as a result of your belief in yourself…. Be the creator rather than the consumer!
7. Using Fear As An Accelerator
“They burned in my heart and drove me to all the boldest acts of daring, and forced me to rise above myself. You let me see truths of which I had no previous inkling. You let me undertake journeys, whose endless length would have scared me, if the knowledge of them had not been secure in you.”-C.G. Jung, The Red Book
I received this advice during an interview with one of the greatest leaders of my generation (Eric Greitens). He told me that it is through the feeling of fear that we know we are headed in the right direction. It sounds counter-intuitive right? Doesn’t fear protect us from danger? The truth behind Eric’s statement is that a vast majority of our society hides behind their fear and is afraid of anything outside the status quo. These individuals do not truly live because they never will possess the ambition, drive, or courage to free themselves from their self created limitations. Take the time right now to think about something you were deathly afraid of as a child. What happened when you confronted that fear? Now think of something you feared this past month. Have you been able to confront it? What was the outcome? Many times our fears are just layers of our insecurity that we must purge to strengthen our human potential.
As a rule of thumb, if you fear something it is an indicator that you must take action. This mindset will accelerate your life path if put into action.
8. “Connecting The Dots” Between Perception & Reality
The hero realizes the powerful relationship between perception and reality and becomes more conscious of the world they are creating. Rather than focusing on external situations, they dive within, discovering their power to transmute suffering and dissolve obstacles. This gives the hero confidence to take bigger and bigger leaps of faith for the benefit of his fellow man.
9. Becoming Comfortable In The Darkness Through Confronting Deep Depression & The Unknown
In order to experience the “light”, a hero must undergo a deep transformation where dark aspects of the psyche are analyzed and transmuted. The world exists in opposites so one will experience success and failure interchangeably, learning to become unattached to outcomes.
To cure a condition, we must endure it ourselves to obtain the weapon to transmute it. Unfortunately, most of society’s leaders (doctors, teachers, politicians, psychologists, psychiatrists) obtain all of their perspectives from “text books” and fail to have any impact on those they are trying to help. A hero must undergo intense suffering at some stage in their lives and learn from direct experiences to help those caught in the darkness. How do you learn to follow your intuition any other way?
10. Feeling At Home In All Situations Through Repeatedly Embarking Upon The Hero’s Journey
The adventure never ends in the life of the hero and it is embraced rather than fretted about. Once one goal is accomplished another “call” will come, leading to a fresh set of challenges. With this mindset, the hero over the course of his/her life seems to be at “home” in all environments and is unafraid of what life may bring.
11. Using The Practice of Dream Analysis To Access The Subconscious Realm (Inner Knower)
The renowned psychiatrist, Carl Jung, brought attention to the phenomenon of dream analysis that has been utilized by many of humanity’s greatest leaders. By remembering and analyzing the symbols found in our dreams, we are able to connect our conscious to our sub-conscious mind, allowing human beings to recognize blockages and accelerate their ability to manifest.
Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Mary Shelley, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, James Cameron, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams are just a few who have attributed some of their greatest breakthroughs to dream analysis.
*I highly recommend the following books to better understand this concept.
12. Grasping The Connection Between All Human Beings & Grasps A Universal Theme Behind All Religions (Resists Any Form Of Duality aka “Separation”)
To succeed in this life at the highest level, there can be no separation or division based upon limiting beliefs or religious ideology that cut off sects of humanity. The true power in all religions is found in the metaphor and if a hero grasps this, he realizes that god is within, not without. We must be willing to connect the dots in our lives and evolve beliefs that limit our potential.