Welcoming problems?

The function of the artist is the mytholisation of the environment and the world.*
Joseph Campbell

Not all problems, of course, but certainly some,
The kind that bring the best out of me
and grow me as a person.

It’s been said that life is basically coming up with solutions
for one problem after another –
What will I eat?,
My clothes need replacing,
How can I get there on time? …

How can I better serve my customers?
What kind of design will work best?
How to give expression to that idea? –

I’ve been on holiday for a couple of weeks,
Something I really enjoy and feel privileged to have,
But while returning to work takes me back into a different pace of life,
Into a different routine,
I’ll also be returning to some more chewy problems,
The kind that are more satisfying to work on,
The kind that demand more of me.

As storytelling animals,
We have the ability to shape our days to be more
enriching and
fulfilling.

In his book Hero on a Mission
Donald Miller writes about how

In stories, there are four primary characters:

  1. The victim is the character who feels they have no way out.
  2. The villain is the character who makes others feel small.
  3. The hero is the character who faces their challenges and transforms.
  4. The guide is the character who helps the hero.**

In our daily stories,
We’ll play each of these characters.
Being aware of this allows us to be less of a victim and villain,
And more of a hero and guide.

*Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers The Power of Myth;
**Donald Miller’s Here on a Mission.

2 thoughts on “Welcoming problems?

  1. Joseph Campbell’s work has been seminal in many ways for my profession, but Donald Miller’s writing strikes home personally. I’d love to hear your take on *A Million Miles in a Thousand Years*, and the idea of editing one’s life in order to live a satisfying story. If *Hero on a Mission* is anything similar, I must find a copy soon and explore it!

    Meanwhile, I must get back to my own “chewy problems”!
    (what a fun turn of phrase!)

  2. Hello again, Nic. My apologies for taking so long to reply to this. I’ve had to wait until I had a day and a half of annual leave to catch up with all my messages here.

    I really appreciated Donald Miller’s message in A Million Miles In a Thousand Years, and, of course, he references this story in his latest Hero On a Mission, which I also very much appreciated – I’m still gleaning texts from this.

    Storifying is the conclusion to the dreamwhispering journey.

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