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Freelancing, Failure, Follow-up, Risk, Reframing and the Passionate Life: Gregg Levoy Intvw Transcript Part 2

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GL: Yes.

Rob: And workshops and lectures I've given on the Hero's Journey, very often those threshold guardians are your family members who say you can't do that.

GL: Well what about me? You know? Or I know you, you don't have those kind of skills, or who do you think you are? I once heard a woman say that her mother once said to her don't you dare do anything that takes attention away from me.

Rob: Well I've done a lot of interviews about psychopaths and narcissists and that's the kind of thing that a narcissist says.

GL: Right, and when you're raised by somebody like that and then you attempt to create a vital life of your own, you're going to be up against that stuff, which is one of the reasons why yesterdays workshop I was addressing life coaches and they only mostly tend to be forward-looking, goal-setting, but they don't tend to look back and I think that may be a blind spot for many of them, you know, I think the combination of the two is essential. But you know, you have to look back and look at how was I formed? What are the forces that created me? What are the beliefs that I haul through time? I think that's important to look at.

Rob: So a couple times in this interview and just before you mentioned death and dying. And you rap up the book talking a lot about death and dying.

GL: Yeah, that's why I say save the hard stuff for later down the road.

Rob: Yeah, but it's a very powerful section of the book.

GL: Well, thank you. I was hoping it would speak to people and not just put them off, but this to me - and this may be just a function of getting older myself, you know, is the benediction of a mortality meditation, just to understand that we have a use by date and to really take that in and use it to grow. I think is not morbid, I think a lot of people unfortunately think that it's morbid, but I think it's life giving. You know? You know Stephen Covey's work?

Rob: Seven habits of -

GL: - highly effective people.

Rob: Yeah.

GL: The first habit is be proactive, alright so this is take responsibility for your life, make it happen. The second habit is start with the end in mind, alright and I think partly what he means is have a sense of where you're headed and that's where the mortality meditation fits into the picture for me is continually, gently, and firmly remind you that you have an expiration date. You know what I'm saying? To remember that this is your knick of time, this is your precious time in the game and this is the time to make it happen, alright? You're not going to be here all the time; life is short and death is long. And just to keep that in mind to remind you what matters? Because I think death is similar to passion in the sense of the question that it asks: what really matters to you? What's important? You know? And to keep that in mind as you're considering your path and your decisions can tune out a lot of static. You know? Thomas Merton, the theologian Thomas Merton said in considering any important decision in your life, and certainly your priorities. He said consult your death.

Rob: Nice.

GL: Consult your death. And I think it's just critical.

Rob: You talk about a woman who does these workshops a year to live, yeah.

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