017 – I am both Sisyphus and Odysseus

So what are my stories? I think don’t think they are particularly resonant as of now because I have not been paying attention to their resonance. Up until now, I have been living my internal storytelling as a given, as something that I inherited from my past and my job was only to execute it. I am slowly realising that this is not the case. I can pick my own stories, I can shape my own internal narrative and design my own game. Of course, my subjective expectations will meet objective reality, but that doesn’t imply that I can frame the subjective expectations however I like, however it empowers me more.

With that said, let’s dig into the stories I hold, the ones I resonate with and the ones I may be considering adopting.

In my to-do list, there is a task that reads “Get yourself to believe that others are willing to listen and that by sharing my ideas and knowledge I can help others and make the world a better place”. This is a good example of a story that I would like to hold but I currently don’t, as in I don’t really believe in it.

But before looking at how to change or extend my stories, let’s look at what stories I am already holding.

I am a hero. I persist and resist. I don’t give up. No matter what. In this sense, I feel like Zagreus in Hades trying to escape from Hell. I keep trying. No matter how many times I fail or die, I keep trying. I personally utterly hate giving up something and I regularly keep dragging things I don’t particularly enjoy because I don’t want to give them now. Now, persistence and resistance may seem like amazing traits, but they can be pretty detrimental too. When you persist and resist things that just arent’ working, or in things that you don’t like that much, you are actually hurting yourself in the long term. This is what happened with my degree. I endured and finished a degree, with honours, that I want’ particularly interested in and as soon as I was finished I didn’t really look back and moved on to other things. My story is that of persistence because I want to demonstrate to everyone, especially my parents, that I don’t give up. I don’t give up. I don’t give up. But not giving up makes me slower, I carry tools with me for a long time, like Sysyphus which is a character I deeply resonate with.

Yesterday I joined a chat about marketing with Visakanv and others. I asked a question related to giving up. My question was “How should we manage the desire to experiment with new things and explore new possibilities? Should we let ourselves keep trying to stick hard with one thing so that we can position it really well market-wise?” Visa’s answer surprised me. He said that premature commitment is very damaging and if we feel like trying more things we should allow ourselves to do so. In fact, in doing so, in trying a dozen things over 2-3 we will most likely notice the patterns of the things we care about and achieve greater clarity about what to commit on.

So I have this internal story about persistence and resistance, which often takes hold of me and forces me into doing or completing things. But that’s not it. Another part of the story, another side of me, is actually the explorer in the narrative. Indiana Jones. Steve Jobs. Psychedelics. Buddha. The inquisitor stares at life with no desire of achieving anything other than understanding and enlightenment. The one who looks deeply at his journey and tries to make sense of it. This is a side of my story that has intersected threads with the persistent toll-carrier. There is not much resonance between the two, but if there was one.

But let’s not stop here. I have a little more to write. What are my stories? What are my archetypes? Let’s leave here a list of characters for my future self to dig into and expand. To describe them in more vivid detail. Let’s leave here a list to come back to. It’s gonna be fun to come back and dig into the characters of my own internal storytelling

  • Sisyphus the persistent toll carrier
  • Odysseus the wandering and ever-knowing explorer
  • An 8 yrs old kid that really just wants to play
  • A monk that really just wants to stay silent and observe
  • A clumsly, unwelcomed and marginalised BGF
  • Jason Borne
  • Aragorn
  • Sam from “I am Sam”
  • Tim from “About Time”
  • Louise Banks from “Arrival”
  • A wallfacer from “The Three Body Problem” that is a strange mix of Luo Ji and Cheng Xin

1,151 thoughts on “017 – I am both Sisyphus and Odysseus

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