One of the dominant stories in the self development blogosphere is the Hero(ine)’s Journey. It is an approach with many strengths. This post is to give an alternative to it.

The Strengths of the Hero(ine)’s Journey

  • It gives permission for people to strike out on their own.
  • To find what is true for them.
  • To find what really works – rather than what people say works.
  • To look for answers to their culture’s problems and dilemmas.
  • To implement new ways of doing things.
  • To embrace all parts of who they are, not just the socially approved ones.


The Wise One

We need wisdom – information intelligently applied to improve our situation. That is, wisdom is both pragmatic (finding the way to do something) and idealistic (making the situation better – creating a worse world isn’t wisdom).

We desperately need this pragmatic idealism. Many of us want a world where everyone can thrive. And there are many (usually the beneficiaries of the current system – or those who want to be its beneficiaries) who are only too happy to explain why this isn’t possible.

And there are many already making real differences:

  • to how protest is done
  • power being generated from renewables
  • food being grown sustainably
  • the internet expanding the availability of physical and mental health services
  • new systems of trade
  • changes to lifestyles reducing deaths from heart attacks

There are many, many small examples of wisdom. All demonstrating how something can be done, all building a better world in their own small way.

I want to draw attention to this, and do what I can to encourage it. And I want to do what I can to show how we can have more wise people, and more wisdom in our world.


A Virtue of Wisdom is Reliability

Creativity isn’t always successful. It is essential and we require places where we can fail. Without the room to fail we will get more rigid and ultimately die.

And we need reliability too. To know that most of the time we can get the outcome we want. This includes processes for generating creative solutions.

In our extremely rigid world, where we are expected to organise ourselves around clocks and corporations, we tend to idolise creativity. This testifies to a very deep need we have I think.

And reliability is also a very important part of our lives. We want stuff that works. And we want to be able to get on with others. To get predictable answers to questions, to know how to care and love, to be able to achieve things together.

We need pragmatism and idealism, we need creativity and reliability: we need wisdom.

Stay tuned for future posts giving the details on how to make this real.


Self-Development Without Narcissism

November 14, 2014

    One of the sins that self-development is accused of is narcissism. I don’t go along with this entirely, I do go along with it partly.  In this post I want to explain my approach to narcissism and our thriving.   Narcissism and How it Comes About When a need of yours is not […]

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Living With Phonieness and Fakery

November 7, 2014

  In reply to the question, “What is your greatest difficulty with living an authentic life?” I got this response: being around those who don’t. I guess this was a light-hearted response, at least partly. So here is a response to the part that may not be light-hearted.   It Is OK To Look After […]

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Energy, Motivation and Interest

November 3, 2014

This post is in response to this comment I got in the “What is your greatest difficulty living an authentic life?” box in the sidebar.   This is the comment: Finding something to do in a world where little interests me – so end up doing nothing and not moving on from circumstances I should […]

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Shall Respond Soon

November 1, 2014

I just got this comment in the “What is your greatest difficulty in living an authentic life?” box in the sidebar:   Finding something to do in a world where little interests me – so end up doing nothing and not moving on from circumstances I should leave behind (and want to)!   I shall […]

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How A Label Made Me Happy

October 31, 2014

  Labels Save Us Time and Effort For instance: In conversation I can refer to my friend “Christine” rather than; that person of a particular height, with a certain hair colour and style of dress. I can talk about a political philosophy (say “Anarchism”) without listing its features and distinguishing it from other political philosophies. […]

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A Challenge: Tell Your Story of How You Have Been Shaped by Others

October 15, 2014

This post is stimulated by a post that a friend on Facebook alerted me to: about the West not needing more of the Hero(ine)’s Story.   Which I think is true.   I do think that the adaptability and creativity of individuals is vital and important.  The problem is ignoring our social context.  We Western […]

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Being Hurt and Isolating Ourselves

October 5, 2014

So much for my optimistic idea about being able to respond to this comment in 24 hours. I hope it has been worth the wait.   I received this comment in the ‘What is your greatest difficulty in living an authentic life?” box – to the right of this post.  If you have a difficulty […]

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Shall Respond Soon

October 3, 2014

I got a comment in the ‘What is your greatest problem with living an authentic life?’ box.  It was lengthy and I’m thinking over how to respond. Shall respond soon – probably in the next 24hrs.  Evan

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Thriving #4 what to do in new or complicated situations

September 26, 2014

  The last post was about learning to get better at something: movine from not knowing to the business of being aware of what to do, to getting better at doing it, to being able to do it routinely. This is very useful in well defined areas – sports, the fine arts, business and so […]

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Thriving #3 from unconscious to conscious and back to unconscious

September 12, 2014

  Thriving means learning and getting better at things. Moving from being clueless and/or confused to having a sense of what’s going on and a good chance of getting what you want. A simple and popular description of this process has four phases unconscious incompetence conscious incompetence conscious competence unconscious competence Thriving in an important […]

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