Welcome to the Sunday Email for February 19th.  I'd like to introduce a series I've wanted to write about for a long time. It's called Home and it's about The Hero's Journey. If this series resonates with you, shoot me a note and let me know! If you are just joining us, click here to start at the beginning or reread past emails

The Call: Leaving the Land of Maslow


This is the cycle where most of us spend our lives prior to the Call. We work hard, striving and fighting for security and recognition. By pursuing education and the right careers, we earn a roof, a meal, and a bed. And through our personas, we win friends and influence people by assimilating into tribes and taking our places within their hierarchies. Some of us even expend great amounts of energy trying to move up that tribal hierarchy. 

For what purpose? Is it ever enough?

Welcome to the Land of Maslow!

In 1943, Abraham Maslow published a paper on his theory of human motivation. He believed that humans desire a roof, a meal, the feeling of security and belonging, self-esteem and a little spirituality. At first he thought it was a hierarchy: once we get food, then we seek security, and so on. But, as he grew older, he realized that most humans desire to have multiple needs met at once.


We get the promotion, but we then start fighting for the next one. We purchase a house in the nice neighborhood, but then we see an even nicer house in that nicer neighborhood over there. And those self-help books? If only we could read one more, we’d finally figure out how to be a better {insert title here}. 

The real problem is that in the Land of Maslow, we chase symbols instead of the fulfillment they represent. As Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi documented in his book Flow, “Wealth, status, and power have become in our culture all too powerful symbols of happiness…symbols can be deceptive; they have a tendency to distract from the reality they are supposed to represent.”

Carl Jung believed that we possess a psychic nucleus: the Self. He wrote that its goal was wholeness and integration. It wants us to connect with the parts we pushed deep into the psyche to make a living in the Land of Maslow. The Self is where the Call originates. Just like our bodies need water, the Self needs integration.   

The Call beckons us to shift our focus from these symbols and the external world to our internal one. It calls us from the Land of Maslow and pulls us into the World of Odysseus; to explore the uncharted seas within ourselves, to slay the dragon (whatever your dragon might be), and to return outward with the gift that we discover only by taking the Hero’s Journey.

Separation. Initiation. Return. 

The Hero’s Journey begins only when we’re truly ready. We have to make the conscious decision to quit running on Maslow’s treadmill; to quit putting our happiness off for some future event. We have to embrace the fear, discomfort, and potentials that await us by exploring the unknown regions of our psyche. 

It can be maddening.  

But, that’s okay. 

“Mythology begins,” wrote Joseph Campbell, “where madness starts. A person who is truly gripped by a calling, by a dedication, by a belief, by a zeal, will sacrifice his security, will sacrifice even his life, will sacrifice personal relationships, will sacrifice prestige…he will give himself entirely to his myth.” 

Separation. Initiation. Return. 

This is the path where we uncover our myth. It’s already inside of us. It’s always been there. The famous music producer Rick Rubin captured this idea beautifully when he wrote in The Creative Act: A Way of Being:

We begin with everything
everything seen
everything done
everything thought,
everything felt,
everything imagined, 
everything forgotten, 
And everything that rests unspoken and 
unthought within us.

Thanks again for signing up for this email! 

One more thing! Copies of My Green Notebook: "Know Thyself" Before Changing Jobs are currently on sale for a limited time on Amazon! If you are looking for a way to get into journaling, check it out! 

Over at the Blog we have the following new posts:

New Episodes of the Podcasts!

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