“Where will you be five years from today?”

The question is posed by author and creativity consultant, Dan ZadraHis book has the look and feel of a child’s book, which leaves us open, available and curious.

This book celebrates the “want to’s”, the “choose to’s” and the “I can’t wait to’s” in your life”. Whether you’re just finishing school, starting a new venture, celebrating a milestone or envisioning your retirement, you are the hero of this story.

It’s less a work-book than a play-book.

Random list-making exercises invite us to explore what we value.

“Live your life on purpose” is a call to action – and we’re encouraged to write a personal mission statement.

It’s a book of motivation and inspiration. This isn’t a to-do list – it’s a road map.  And a training manual.

“You are the hero of this story”

…and you’re thinking – “Who me? There’s not a heroic bone in my body!”

So, let’s make “hero” a bit less intimidating.

First, throw off the superhero images. Just showing up and being available is Job #1.

Accepting the challenge to live life more purposefully, to imagine a new future and to lay the foundation for a new life stage – is what we in the storytelling business call – “The Hero’s Journey”.

It was described by Joseph Campbell, author of The Power of Myth.

Myths give external explanations and stories for internal strifes. Slaying monsters is slaying the dark things inside of you. If you’re telling yourself “oh no! I couldn’t do that! I couldn’t be a writer!” that’s the dragon inside of you, and you have to slay it.

Simply stated – our heroic journey begins with saving ourselves.

And then:

“Strong people stand up for themselves. Stronger people stand up for others”  Chris Gardner

And #DontGoItAlone – get in touch if you think I can help.

Not familiar with Joseph Campbell’s work?

Hollywood film development director, Christopher Vogler summarises it brilliantly.


Here’s what we know about heroes, they-

  • are usually reluctant
  • are often resistant
  • will have to face down fear
  • will survive, wiser for the experience



For more on the power of storytelling – join me here.

On Community…becoming Empowered Citizens

Originally published 20. April 2011, the message applies more than ever!

I believe the citizens of Ireland in the Republic and in Northern Ireland will finally elect worthy representatives– if empowered to witness a mature belief that we deserve governments and institutional authorities that are competent, responsive and respectful of the citizenry.

When my adolescent children were rebelling, I would assert my authority by saying “this is not a democracy”, well my fellow Irish, Northern Irish or British men and women – this is a democracy – on both sides of the border. We get the representation we deserve.

I believe that culturally and anthropologically, Ireland is in that same adolescent place. Seen in this light, we can collectively rebel against the parents, the government and the authorities to whom we had relinquished our power. We were dependent on institutions charged with our care and security and they have failed us. We believed and behaved as told. We didn’t question, we believed the financial institutions would hold, the church would educate and protect our children, our pensions would be secure. In failing us, they have abused that trust.

Would I expect a child I had bankrupted, lied to and left homeless to respect and obey me? No.

What I am asking you to do is join me in becoming empowered citizens. Seizing this moment for Ireland would be to require institutions to serve and protect us. Representatives would be forced to answer to the citizenry. Citizens would have to let go of “I am powerless to change it” and go to the polls to choose competent, respectful and responsive leadership.

“Myth lets you know where you are across the ages of life ” *

There is an heroic journey we are all called upon to make at some point in our lives when we live authentically and leave behind our dependencies on an old way of being that may not be working for us anymore.

Personally, I thought I had to live the way my parents had prescribed, where they had chosen and to please their vision of who I should be. When I came into being as my own person, an authority for my own life, responsible for my own happiness I grew up. In my forties.

Civically, I know we can have the leadership we deserve. A collective “adolescence” seems about right for this ancient land with millennia ahead…

Join me, at the polls and in the public spaces, on our collective heroic journey to require competent, responsive and respectful leadership.

* Joseph Campbell illustrates this developmental truth in his own words:

Five minutes, too dear? Start at 3:20!

The universality of the “heroic journey” is discussed here:

…not surprising that in the journey as described – the outcome is to “bring life back into the culture”.