The human drama: What the personal development ‘gurus’ are missing

Let’s say I wrote a novel…

And what if, in that novel, my main character sat on the couch all day and thought about… nothing?

What if the main character didn’t have one bad thought?

What if she was totally content with her lot in her 1 bedroom apartment in Lincoln Park?

What if, every time her friend complained to her, she looked at her with a far-off, starry-eyed gaze and said, “This too, shall pass,” before lighting another incense.

What if, when she woke up every day, she lit a candle in her bathroom and read aloud, with enthusiasm, her affirmation for the day?

What if all she consumed was green juice?

What if she walked around with an airy fairy smile wearing yoga pants (because the only time she leaves her apartment is when she’s headed to yoga — and then Whole Foods, of course)?

And then… The story ended.

How would you feel as you closed my book?

You’d be pretty pissed, right?!

You’d want some CONFLICT, some intrigue, some loss of some sort (and gaining back), right?!

I’ve been studying story a lot lately, and I’ve learned a lot. This is what I’m getting at...

As much as we say we hate it, we humans love drama. It’s one of those things that makes us human. Without it, we’d be… Something else.

And drama includes all those elements of an epic tale, a monomyth as Joseph Campbell (‘JC’, as I call him) — the call to adventure, a supernatural aid, threshold guardians, beginning of transformation, a helper or two, a mentor, challenges and temptations, the abyss, death and rebirth, revelation, transformation, atonement, the gift of a goddess, and the return home.

Here, I’ll even give you the diagram…

What I’m getting at is, we humans yearn for adventure. We enjoy a bit of a struggle. Maybe not in the heat of it, but in looking back at it.

Because without the conflict — inner and outer — and the bad stuff and the idiots in line at the DMV, it gives us no reason to be heroic.

And this goes not only for men, but women as well.

Heroism is what moves us full-circle. Not just happy cloud thoughts.

Shangri-La, the land of the Eckhart Tolle’s of the world (I love E-Dawg, don’t get me wrong) is worth nothing without the journey.

We’re human. Yes, I can guarantee you, even Eckhart Tolle flips fools off and rides their asses when they block him in going 7 below the speed limit. Especially when he’s listening to Lil’ Wayne. Can you imagine that dude when he’s mad and in a damn hurry?

(Disclosure: I have no idea if that’s a fact. Maybe Mr. Tolle never gets mad and rides people’s asses. I think I’ve even heard that he doesn’t even have a license. But that’s kind of a lame story. I want to read the version that speaks about his secret road-rage-while-listening-to-Lil’ Wayne version.)

When we understand that life is a fiction piece with us as its main character, we can step outside the drama, write our own lines, and enjoy it.

This is what the consciously creative person understands that others do not.

While everyone else is running around aimlessly, swept up by the grand dramas of their lives and trying to escape them, the conscious creative writes his own.

When he wakes up to cold, greasy pizza and a warm PBR to ward off the after-effects of last night’s post-rugby match, he doesn’t let that define him. He knows it’s just another crazy scene in this grand novel of life.

If he doesn’t know he can write the next scene, that may be his destiny. But if he takes control of the pen of his soul, he can pencil in some eggs... Maybe some avocado... Hell, maybe even a green juice and a few affirmations.

It’d be way better on his digestion.

Jonas shares short, whimsical daily vignettes here at Higher Thoughts. To get them delivered straight to your inbox as soon as they’re live, click here.

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