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Our mastermind group presented a concept from author Jordan B. Peterson, known best for his book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote For Chaos. He breaks down a children’s story book about a fictitious kid and a dragon that fills up his house, growing rapidly. Peterson compares the dragon to common challenges we all face in life and how storytelling can be identified by consciousness.

I’ve been having a challenging week myself after returning from a family vacation and straight to a daunting gig that I admittedly did not want to take in training for in the hospital- but it was time for me to slay a dragon. And guess what? You can too.

Here are 7 ways to slay a dragon:

1. Perspective

Understand that consciousness can be defined in two ways:

1) The standard materialist view of the world where we see things at face value – that is a chair, this is a table, etc. The world is seen as objects.

2) Consciousness. The standard materialist view doesn’t have a place for human beings, meaning, or a real existence of an emotion, dream or motivation.

2. What’s the Story?

Stories have so much more depth that we can consciously understand. It is something that each and everyone of you know deeply.

Even children’s stories like Peter Pan can have deeper meaning than what is seen on a surface level. Think of the boy that never wants to grow up. The bitter tyrant and consistent antagonist. An animal representing death and time. How about the fairy playing out many fantasies? Whether it was planned or not, their is profound meaning in each story told.

Understanding that this huge “dragon” was just a story I was telling myself, I found that their was actually a purpose I was avoiding these tasks. It gave me an opportunity to have a conscious understanding. It gave me an opportunity to learn more about hospital case management and the facets that come along with it.

3. Investigate

How do you find out how to map meaning, how do you find out what the world is actually like? What you have to do is investigate. You have to take risks and stumble forward.

Sometimes it just starts with a conversation. I had an honest conversation with my director. I even mentioned how initially I was being more reactive rather than proactive about the decision for me to train in a new department. We both have an understanding now and moved forward. Most of us avoid obstacles, but the obstacle is truly the way. I faced my problems directly in the face, it wasn’t my director, it was my fear of something new.

4. Confront it

There is a term Agoraphobia – fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult or that help wouldn’t be available if things go wrong, this particularly applies to open spaces. The person learns that facing the unknown, confronting things that frighten them, don’t ultimately destroy them.

My “dragon” added fear that was unnecessary. Whether it was change, fear of the unknown, or not feeling I was capable – none of it will ever be bigger than me as a person. We all have fears, but fear itself is never larger than you actually are.

5. Take Responsibility

You may think some days, if I choose to ignore something, then it might not really matter now because I’ll be the one dealing with these consequences later. But JP teaches us that the next thing that you do when you encounter something you don’t expect is to take responsibility.

At the end of the day, I chose my career in healthcare. I choose to continue to learn and expand my knowledge to fuse the healthcare industry and digital media. I take full responsibility for what the universe lines up for me because this is actually what I am attracting.

6. Alice in Wonderland

“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.” This is a quote from Alice in Wonderland.

And that’s how life feels. You may feel like you’re constantly moving towards something, and at one point you feel like you’re in the same place you started. Not only that, you don’t exactly know which direction you’re going in, and on top of that, you don’t know which direction is the right one.

Run from what you’re afraid of, run from exactly what you need to find.

But if you take these simple steps, you are close to slaying a dragon and reaping it’s rewards. I actually found satisfaction in the new training I participated in. I’ve learned so much and added new tools to my belt. I even made the most of it by exploring the foreign cities and finding great restaurants in the area.

7. Gold

Finally, I am completing my training tomorrow and I’m actually excited to add these skills to my arsenal and grow my network in ways I wouldn’t have had without this opportunity. You can say I struck gold.

By having a change of perspective, understanding the story I was telling myself, investigating the situation, confronting my fears, taking responsibility, and running through, instead of away from a challenge – I slayed a big “dragon” this week and looking forward to the next.

“Dragons hoard gold because the thing you most need is always to be found where you least want to look.” -Jordan B. Peterson

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