Finding a Practical Way Forward

This last week has been a world wind, where I didn’t have very much time to post things, but a lot was happening, particularly something very profound that shifted my whole mindset and forced me to take a more practical approach going forward.

Practical Community

More and more it’s becoming evident to me that my larger goal is to create a guild-like community of practice as a creative collective in which all of its members will focus on their vertical development (i.e. changes in their identity) which will embody their collective learning. Yet at the same time, there will also be a focus on horizontal development as well (i.e new skills & knowledge), as these members work together on purposeful projects together. Yet to achieve this community, I need the following.

Practical Tools

I stated before that what I realized was missing from my vision was some way of applying vertical development practically to our lives and I believe that some sort of note-taking or journalling system seemed to be the cornerstone of this.

While chatting with ChatGPT this week (as Inflection’s Pi output format is going bonkers again), what become apparent to me is the the foundation of this note-taking / journalling system is three things. You life story as a series of objective events. Your narrative identity that subjectively interprets these event. And finally your worldview which I realized emerges from the way you change and re-interpret your life events over time.

With this in mind now, I’m going to rework my narrative and make it a longer, more comprehensive narrative identity (as it should be), incorporating all of my life story and interpreted life events within it. And my newer worldview, which will be a more concise essence of who I am right now, will replace this narrative identity on my home page somehow.

Practical Identity

The most profound thing of all I realized this week was that I need my approach to be more practical across the board. What I mean by this is that my overarching vision of where I want to be can’t override my identity of who I am collectively as a whole, it just needs to be a future stepping stone of it. In other words, if I’m too focused on my vision of where I want to be, I’m not addressing my practical needs in the moment.

This is critical because more and more it’s obvious that our journey of where we want to be as our vision often takes much, much longer than we initially expect it. So it’s kind of like an explorer deciding to go to a new world but then realizing they have run out our supplies and energy because they have no patron to fund their adventures for the long term.

And while it would be amazing to have patrons to fund our adventures in exploring our larger sense of self indefinitely, we realistically need to be our own patrons by finding work that can utilize our previous more conventional practical skills and knowledge right now. Simply put, I’m not doing this but I need to be doing so. At the same time, what this does is show the arc, integration, and progression of my skills as they start to be put to use for something larger beyond the conventional.

What I’m getting at here is that what seems to be the most important thing in moving forward isn’t stepping towards your vision first but rather creating a more entrepreneurial lifestyle and work environment that lets you have the freedom, autonomy, and agency to be you. Yet when we’re working for someone else, often these conventional work environments work against us, causing us to burn out and be distracted from our larger visionary work (which I can attest to from my past experiences).

Anyways, when I redo my About page in the future, while it will contain my worldview and my narrative identity, it will also contain my practical skills and knowledge. Actually it’s funny because what I’m realizing my About page will turn into is something like an identity “character sheet” of my life adventures so far. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Practical Metaphor

Last but not least, I’m realizing that my Life as a MMORPG framework has to go, in the sense of “life as a game” is distracting. Instead life needs to feel more like an adventure embodying self-exploration, self-discovery, and self-development. How I can achieve this without the metaphor becoming distracting, I’m not sure yet. I just know I need to tone it down a bit and get rid of MMORPG gaming images and replace them with images of a more artistic adventurous nature.

That said though, above all else, I believe the number one most important thing in my life’s work is realizing that vertical development, as an inner journey of growth and development, feels like exploring a larger world within ourselves whereby challenges in our lives shake our world(view) and cause newer lands to emerge from the oceans of ourselves on the edge of it.

So we have to be explorers discovering these newer lands of ourselves and navigators making comparisons between our old sense of self versus our newer sense of self emerging, and finally we need to be storytellers to fully integrate these new lands into our larger sense of self as our newer worldview.

Practical Website

And finally, in the interim, I’ve also returned by home page to being just my journal, rather than having it as a narrative of myself, as I really prefer my most active page being as my home page.

I’ll need to play around with this more in the future but perhaps my worldview, as the essence of who I am, can be inserted at the top of my journal on just the home page.

Oh, I also had some conceptual ideas of using my site footer as a sort of community area that ties into the creative community that I become a part of. So the top of my site ties into who I am personally but the bottom of my site links to the community I’m a part of. This kind of reminds me of the community “rings” (if I remembered that name correctly) that used to be around a couple of decades ago.

And just realizing what I’m talking about here, it seems like I want to make this creative collective a community of practice whereby each person does their self-exploration and vertical development on their own website but then the collective conversations weave together a larger purpose and direction for the community overall. So it’s almost reminds me of the old schools sites like the 9 Rules Network that people like Keith Robinson’s Asterisk website used to be on but one with a specific intention of vertical development, growth, and development (so going beyond just knowledge acquisition to identity transformations).

By Nollind Whachell

Questing to translate Joseph Campbell's Hero’s Journey into The Player’s Handbook for The Adventure of Your Life, thus making vertical (leadership) development an accessible, epic framework for everyone.

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