How To Kill Your Dragon

What have you been told that “you should do” recently? Turn a deaf ear, at once.

Joseph Campbell so beautifully describes the mythic dragon that the hero faces as having two words written upon every scale. Those two words are “Thou Shalt”. This means “You should”. Think of all of the kind and well-meaning people in our lives who have begun a sentence with us, with the following words: “Hey, You know what you should do…”?

What we are really killing when we slay our dragon is our own fear. That fear is usually fear of social judgement. In other words, we worry about what others will think. We may worry about failure, but that is typically in respect to how others will view our failing.

If we slay our fear and cease to give credence to all of the well-meaning voices in our lives of “You should…”, we then act out of our own accord. We act, not out of the whirlwind that can be our many sources of advice, but out of our own center.

When an arts entrepreneur does this, they are on a path towards finding their individual voice. Finding one’s voice is one of the greatest tools an artist can posses, as one’s voice is one’s optimal means of communication–of bringing what is “inside”, “out”.

“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life.
Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.

The very cave you are afraid to enter turns out to be the source of what you are looking for. The damned thing in the cave that was so dreaded has become the center.”

Joseph Campbell

Jim Hart


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