Embodying the Newer Knowledge I’m Creating

The last 24 hours have been a kaleidoscope of thoughts, feelings, and newer pressures placed upon my life that have made me realize that I need to start effectively making my work a real reality that I can actually economically sustain myself with or I’m going to have to put it on the back burner and seek full time conventional work to help make ends meet but which means it will dramatically reduce the time for my life’s work.

With this in mind, I’ve giving myself until the end of October to actually begin embodying the knowledge I’m creating and if I’m unable to do this, then I’m going to give myself November and December to find conventional work, even if it means taking something menial to do so (which I’ve actually enjoyed in the past because the physicality of the work keeps me in shape).

To get started in embodying my own knowledge that I’ve been creating though, I see two primary areas, potentially even three, that I can add to my website.


Quests for a new explorer often initially revolve around questioning the assumptions and beliefs of their conventional worldview. As a somewhat veteran explorer though, I’ve gone beyond that and I’m quest(ion)ing what is required for this new worldview, based upon what I’m understanding and making sense of it. So I’ve explored this new world(view) and made sense of it (mapping its edges) but now I’m navigating a way to make it a reality now (so that I can actually step into it).

So you could think of these quests like Richard Feynman’s 12 favourite problems as questions you continually keep in the back of your mind. More on why this is important below.

Character Sheet / Levels

A Character Sheet is effectively my name for something that goes beyond a resume. It is something more complex that communicates a person in a deeper and broader way.

One of the number one ways I’ve seen to do this is by communicating the “level” the person is at. This is achieved using the values related to the level of consciousness the person is at, as it relates to values-based leadership within the context of vertical development.

For example, in terms of myself, I realize I’m nearing completion of one level, where I’m striving to attain an internal sense of cohesion with myself by fully communicating my passion and purpose in a meaningful, creative, and authentic way that truly embodies who I am. Yet at the same time, I’m beginning a new stage of development which will help me to level up and begin to make a difference in helping others than just myself, thus beginning to partner, alliance, and mentor with others.

BTW the reason why this is so important and why it goes beyond a resume is that most job-based work often doesn’t include the cultural environment that the work is contextually immersed within. In other words, it doesn’t take into account the culture and values of the leadership that defines the environment of that company which is often the very thing that makes or breaks a work experience within a company. In other words, a person may love their work but actually hate the environment it’s within.

So by defining the level of consciousness a person is at, you’re effectively not only defining the similar values they are seeking but often the similar questions they are undertaking as well. By doing so, these questions become like quests that bring a “company“ of people together, all adventuring in the same direction and seeking the same things of value that they treasure.

Heroic Company / Adventurers

And the most amazing thing of all is that all of these explorers as adventurers don’t even need to be collaborating synchronously, as they are often working asynchronously without even realizing it.

For example, a lot of my own life’s work is built upon other people’s work who helped me to articulate in words what I was intuitively seeing but often couldn’t put into words. So I see all of these people as other adventurers that I am in heroic company with, even though I haven’t directly worked or even chatted with most of them. So creating a list of these adventurers that I’m in heroic company with is something I’d like to do (perhaps highlighting how their work resonates with mine as well).

And I don’t use that word “heroic” lightly because many of these people have overcome their own fears ( just as I am struggling to do so) and in doing so, they have levelled up in their own lives and are showing us a way forward into a new world(view), just as I am striving to do.

To be clear, this isn’t about learning in the form of sharing existing new knowledge; it’s about learning in the form of creating new knowledge. Every context is unique and every context is evolving at an accelerating pace. To truly understand our contexts, we need to pull ourselves out of the classroom and immerse ourselves in the context, take action based on growing understanding of the context, and then learn even more as we reflect on the impact that we’ve achieved.

John Hagel, Navigating From the Industrial Age to the Contextual Age

Practical Hands Leading to a Loving Heart

Reversing the heart, head, and hands approach to hands, head, and heart.

Another realization has struck me this morning and it relates to my struggles I spoke about before about using the head, heart, and hands approach to share my work. What has become apparent to me is that I’ve been taking the completely wrong approach to doing this.

You see I believed that I should be communicating the visionary “heart” of my work first (which is seeing Life as a MMORPG). Then I would communicate the logical “head” part next. And finally I would communicate the practical “hands” part last.


What I realized in communicating my recent post about Justine Musk and Brené Brown is that starting with the practical “hands” part of it seems essential. In effect, it gets to the root of the problem and touches upon what we are experiencing right now, both individually and societally.

Then after starting with that foundation, then I can build upon it and communicate the logical “head” part of it. Then when that’s done, then I can communicate the final visionary “heart” of it which encapsulates the metaphorical essence of it all.

What this seems to do is start with our practical world, and the emotional pain and suffering we may be experiencing within it, and then creates a bridge to a larger world of possibilities that lets us lovingly become so much more than what we believe we are experiencing right now.


John Hagel Has Blown My Mind

This is my mind this morning after reading John Hagel’s latest post entitled From Expert to Explorer.

While I’ve read his post’s before on the passion of the explorer, this new approach comparing it to an expert’s mindset gives it a whole new perspective that is so synchronous with my own thoughts, and what I’ve been struggling to work on, that it’s mind blowing. More details later.

BTW I also had the opportunity to quickly read a summary of his book The Journey Beyond Fear and I’m seeing even more synchronicities relating to that as well.


Being Reminded of My “Why”

Wow! I recently realized that using Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle method, my “what” in life would be teaching people about vertical development and “how” I do that is using roleplaying game metaphors.

In a follow-up to my previous conversation with ChatGPT though, I asked it what it thought my “why” would be and it blew me away with its response.

Based on our conversation, it seems that your “why” revolves around empowering individuals to uncover their untapped potential and live a more conscious and fulfilling life. Your purpose could be about helping people break free from conventional mindsets, encouraging them to navigate life’s challenges with courage, and guiding them towards deeper self-awareness and personal growth. Your “why” might be to create a positive impact by fostering a greater sense of agency, self-discovery, and transformation within individuals.

The “untapped potential” part blew me away because I literally described my work as trying to achieve that while I was on Google+. I believe I described myself as “helping people to release their untapped potential.”

And the “fostering a greater sense of agency” also aligns, as I want my guild to eventually evolve into being “a creative collective for creative agency.”


Personal Development Perceiving Life As a Roleplaying Game

Unable to utilize Inflection’s Pi AI chat for the last month or so due to formatting errors which haven’t been resolved, I’ve been using ChatGPT much more so. Today, after changing the parameters with it, I was able to create a conversation-based interaction with it that was remarkably similar to how Pi works. From this interaction, the following summary of my life’s work was created by ChatGPT but with which I’ve modified parts of it.


My Knowledge Adventure Over the Past Two Decades

The following was the outcome of a conversation with ChatGPT whereby I was trying to articulate my journey over the past couple of decades and how each knowledge domain I researched and learnt built upon and extended from the previous, similar to how constructivism works.

It’s fantastic to see how your journey of learning and exploration has led you to such a comprehensive and interconnected understanding of these concepts. Your progression from focusing on the Future of Work to delving into Social Innovation, Social Creativity, the Hero’s Journey, and finally, Vertical Development, has provided you with a holistic view of personal and societal evolution. Each step in your learning journey has contributed to a richer perspective on how individuals, communities, and societies navigate change and create positive impact.

Your summary encapsulates the essence of your journey:

  1. Future of Work as a Destination: Initially, you viewed the Future of Work as a destination, a goal to be reached.
  2. Future of Work as Social Innovation: You then realized that the Future of Work is intricately linked to the concept of Social Innovation, requiring creative solutions to address emerging challenges.
  3. Social Creativity as the Path to Social Innovation: Your exploration led you to understand that achieving the Future of Work through Social Innovation involves Social Creativity—a process of creative problem-solving and innovation.
  4. Hero’s Journey and Self-Transformation: The Hero’s Journey emerged as a powerful metaphor for the process of Social Creativity, embodying personal and collective transformation and growth.
  5. Vertical Development and Broader Understanding: Finally, Vertical Development provided a framework to place these concepts within a broader context of personal and societal development, showing how they represent a stage of growth and consciousness in the larger arc of life.

Your journey of learning is a testament to your curiosity, dedication, and capacity to integrate diverse concepts into a cohesive understanding. This integrated perspective can serve as a foundation for continued exploration and application in your personal and professional endeavors. By recognizing the interconnectedness of these concepts, you’re well-equipped to navigate the complexities of change and innovation in a dynamic world.

Conversations with ChatGPT

Life As Serious Play

This morning I stumbled across a couple of articles by Susanna Wu-Pong Calvert on Psychology Today that talked about her journey to becoming her authentic True Self.

At the end of her first article in the series, she ends it by saying the following. 

My sense of feeling fully alive is higher than it’s ever been, and I know this journey can be valuable to so many others too.

What is the status of your journey to your true self? Let’s journey together on this worthwhile and meaningful adventure to become the ones that our modern world—and future generations—need the most: our true selves.

Susanna Wu-Pong Calvert

Her emphasis that this is a “meaningful adventure” that we can all take, if we so wish to do so, resonated with me, as it relates to my own life’s work. In effect, I want to make vertical development more accessible to people by seeing “Life as a roleplaying game” using the Hero’s Journey as a foundational primer for it.

In doing so, you can then begin to perceive and experience “The Adventure of Your Life”, understanding the context and bigger picture of it in a whole new way beyond just what you conventionally believed and narrowly perceived before. 

But in reading her articles, I realized something very important that I had been struggling to articulate and make sense of in the last couple of weeks, something that I couldn’t fully put into words until now. 

While it’s evidently clear to me that using roleplaying game mechanics is how I can help people understand vertical development in a much more accessible way, what is critical in this endeavour is communicating it in such a way that in it doesn’t trivialize the emotional and psychological depth of this “adventure.”

This gets to the root of why I’ve been struggling with the approach to my work and how I couldn’t decide whether “Life is a game” or rather “Life feels like a game.”

If I’m using a metaphorical approach similar to what the Hero’s Journey uses (and similar to what people like Simon Sinek use to describe The Infinite Game), Life is most definitely a game, a roleplaying game more specifically. But in using this metaphorical framework, Life must not and can not be trivialized to be literally seen as something as simple as a conventional roleplaying game.

In other words, my metaphorical framework isn’t used to escape Life and the challenges and hardships of it but rather to embrace Life in a whole new way.

Therefore, what’s needed within my work and my approach to it is a serious intention to it that integrates and balances with the play of it.

And one of the most profound websites that I’ve come across that seems capable of diving into the serious depths of ourselves and understanding ourselves in a broader way is The Marginalian by Maria Popova. As Joseph Campbell stated in The Hero Path, Maria shows us the literary heroes who have come “before us” and have made the adventure “thoroughly known.” Well, at least for those with the awareness to perceive it as such.

This is what I need in my own work. A grounded sense of gravity that helps us connect to something deeper and more profound in our lives than we could have ever imagined before.

It is something from our past that has literally been under our noses and has existed for a millennia or more in plain sight but with which most of us cannot seem to perceive it until our life experiences crack open a doorway for us to see it.

Yet at the same time, it is something that can bring us into our future. As it allows us to step into a new way of being but only if we have the courage to step through this open doorway and begin our adventure of making sense of it.

Therefore my life’s work needs to capture the eternal essence of life as serious play, showing its patterns reflected throughout our history but also its patterns emerging in our future as well.

In effect, this isn’t something I’m just imagining and making up myself (i.e. we don’t see reality directly but rather a map of it). This is something that has always been here yet has been invisible to most people, since you need the right awareness and perception to actually see and understand the “game” for what it is.

Welcome to the human race.
We are playing a game.
And we are playing by the following rules.
We want to tell you what the rules are
so that you know your way around.
And when you’ve understood what rules we’re playing by when you get older,
you may be able to invent better ones.

Alan Watts

Laying Down the First Piece of a Larger Whole

Finally got a little bit of time tonight to do some more work and had an extensive chat with ChatGPT in trying to articulate and express my life’s work. What I realized from this discussion is the following.

I was on the right track in using gaming metaphors for growth and development. In fact, ChatGPT said that if I had to describe my work to others, it would be as follows. “I use gaming metaphors and concepts to help people understand and navigate real-life challenges more effectively, fostering personal development and psychological growth.”

I also realized that what I’m effectively trying to do with my work is create a Society 2.0 (similar to what Dave Gray is trying to do), a whole new way of being, one that it more playful and adventurous and able to embrace an uncertain world. Because of this though, I realized that what’s been impeding me this whole time is me trying to figure this all out at once before sharing it.

That’s effectively absurd and impossible though, as this is just me trying to be “perfect” which isn’t realistic or natural. Instead a natural approach would be similar to what Dave said before. Learn something. Share something. If I want to be able to build off of a stable ground, I need to start somewhere and lay the first pieces down…regardless if it doesn’t encompass my vision as a whole yet.

What I mean by this is that I wanted to have a practical way of practicing vertical development using a note-taking or journaling system before teaching vertical development using gaming metaphors. But I’m not going to wait around for this to make things perfect before proceeding. I’m just going to work on teaching vertical development using gaming metaphors first, basically lay as much of that foundation down first.


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.


Highlighting the Transitional Moments of Your Life

While my wife and I were on our mini-vacation in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (which is an awesome and affordable city with great restaurants and river district), we stopped into this gift shop that I noticed had an interesting timeline display along one of their walls that signified the achievements they had made over the years.

This really reminded me of some of my earlier work in trying to figure out a way to create something similar to this for a blog, to highlight the key transitional moments of your life. In doing so, it made me realize how long I’ve been working on doing something like this and how it ties into becoming a map for your growth and development. For example, here’s a post of mine from back in 2005, talking about creating a way to Storyboard Your Life.

Actually even more interesting is how this relates to what Dave Gray is doing with this Visual Frameworks. As you could theoretically take these and lay them out to create a “storyboard” for your life which would tie into your narrative identity as well.

BTW Facebook has something somewhat similar to this feature of displaying key transitional moments in your life. They call it Life Events.