Exercises

1 So now it’s your turn
1 So now it’s your turn

Its time to try and do something you’re afraid of. Look at that big dream again, the dream that seems out of reach, the dream that you feel would fulfill part of your life’s purpose if only you could achieve it. Is there something in there you think you could never do? What’s your big cliff? How could you jump off it? Pick one thing and decide what you can do to over come these fears.

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2 You don’t need a passport
2 You don’t need a passport

As you will see, The Way of the Traveller isn’t about getting stamps in a passport; it’s about beginning to see your life as the greatest adventure of all. And you don’t need an airline ticket to do that. You just have to start taking risks. So it’s time. Look back at some key moments in your life. The birth of a child? The loss of a cherished job? Look back at that big dream. Create a list of dangerous choices. And do one thing today. Join that class. Jump off that cliff. Because the adventure is just getting started. Go for it!

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3 Don’t become a member of the lonely asshole club
3 Don’t become a member of the lonely asshole club

Before I could truly change my life and embark on my journey, I had to look at all the behaviors and patterns that had turned me from a passionate adventurer into a lonely asshole! It wasn’t an easy thing to face myself, but it changed my perspective of who I was and introduced me to where I was profoundly stuck. It may be tough to come face to face with yourself, but if you can, I believe you will find it liberating. I suggest writing a list of the things that have kept you stuck over the years…be truthful. Be bold. Be you.

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4 Hi! It’s me…
4 Hi! It’s me…

Look at the choices you’re making in your life, and write down:

  • What are the things you love most in life? Why?
  • What are the things you would like to see happen in your life?
  • What stops you from trying them?
  • Who can help you find your way towards your big dream? List them and why they can be your ‘trusted guides’
  • Do you believe in yourself? If not, maybe its time to give one of your trusted guides a call…
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5 It’s time to meet the world
5 It’s time to meet the world

As I flew over our great big globe covered in water, and laughter, and gunfire, and dreams, I wrote about my own loves and fears. And suddenly I saw that what I really wanted in life was joy. I didn’t want a new girlfriend, I wanted love. I didn’t want to be happy, even. I wanted to go out there and live. Gandhi once said, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” Though my trip to India was by no means gentle, it showed me that all it takes sometimes is one yes to shake up your entire world. Where can you say yes today? And how can you share that experience with others? Sometimes, we have to jump out of that tub and into the chaos, changing our habits and routines without really understanding the consequences of those changes. We have to confront the great big terrible reality that our comfort zone is a lie, and we have to take on discomfort, unbalance, boredom, in order to shed those fears that keep us from who we were meant to be. We must all be willing to shake the world. Otherwise, how else will we know we’re alive?

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6 Reconnecting to those we love
6 Reconnecting to those we love

We all have a first step we can take to reconnect to the people around us. Is it listening to your parent or spouse more? Opening yourself up to others’ suggestions? If you have a relationship with a higher power, whatever that might look like, how can you start relying on that force more than your own force of will? Or do you need start checking in with your friends or choosing friends who can give you true, sound direction about your life? Sometimes we create a community of yes-men around us. People will cosign our bullshit, and fail to tell us, when we were acting in rather insane ways…Write a list of at least ten ways that you can reconnect to someone whose love you cherish. It’s time to give your gifts and your love to the people in your life.

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7 Let Go…
7 Let Go…

Who can you turn to in order to let go more? And how can you start practicing that relationship today? Is there a phone call you can make right now? Is it an email you can send?  A prayer you can say? We cannot plan for the madness, we just have to jump in. Jump in right now, ask someone to help guide your way. Ask them for their direction on whatever is going on right now in your life – career problems, matters of the heart, fears, insecurities, that quiet pain that bubbles in us all until we’re willing to let go and let it out.

Go ahead. Make that call, send that email, say that prayer.

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8 The fears that lie within us all
8 The fears that lie within us all

Too many of us fear taking action because we’re too busy thinking about what could go wrong. What things hold you back in life? What trouble are you afraid of causing? What disaster are you trying to divert from your life? Write down three obstacles to connection in your own life today? And then recognize how they are also obstacles to your own happiness.

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9 Our stories can be deadly
9 Our stories can be deadly

The Way of the Traveller showed me that in surrendering my relationship to my father, I could finally stop being that small sap trying to grow in his shade. I could stop pushing and pulling against his roots. And I could instead find my own sunny place in the world in which to grow. That didn’t mean I had to leave him behind in order to do that. I simply had to invite him along. I had to offer him shotgun on the adventure that had become my life. And as I saw that day, he would gladly accept my offer.

Now, look back on your own life. What relationships do you need to surrender to? Which stories do you need to stop telling yourself about how you were raised? Write down three of those stories – one about your parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers? What relationships are you using as the excuse for your own lack of hope? What stories do you need to surrender in order to allow yourself to grow?

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10 Your big dream and the obstacles that litter its path
10 Your big dream and the obstacles that litter its path

In Paolo Coehlos classic book The Alchemist, he masterfully shares: “Before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. . . . That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.” Think back to that big dream you have. What has stopped you from fulfilling it? What obstacles fell in your path?

Write down the top three reasons you haven’t fulfilled the dream.     Yet 🙂

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11 Freshen up your life by releasing old patterns of behavior
11 Freshen up your life by releasing old patterns of behavior

The sad part is, by getting trapped in old routines, we’re unable to evolve in our relationships. How can you shake up your relationships today? How can see your father as your friend? Your husband as your lover? Your best friend as your brother? Your dog as your soul mate? How can you learn to love the people in your life in whole new ways? And then how can you begin giving them what they need? And not just what you think they want?

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12 Go out and meet the world
12 Go out and meet the world

The Way of the Traveller is right in front of you. It is in your backyard as much as it is in mine. But we have to be the ones to seek that adventure. We have to be willing to go out on that quest in order to find our spiritual destiny. So where can you go today (or probably tomorrow or this weekend)? What part of your city calls to your spirit? Is it your local art museum? The arboretum? A barbeque restaurant? Maybe it’s a basketball game? Or a horse race? It can be a small trip to somewhere where you have never been, or perhaps haven’t been to in some time. Maybe it’s just a trip to the bookstore or the local library? Maybe the world you are seeking can be found in a book. But I am sure that it can be found somewhere where you live. You just have to go out and find it. So think of the three places you would like to visit, and then choose a friend to go with you. Together, decide which one you’ll do today, or tomorrow, or this weekend. But go in search of your destiny, even if the first stop on your way there is up the street.

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13 Follow the yellow brick road…
13 Follow the yellow brick road…

Look at your life as it is right now. What is blocking you from peace? Is it financial fear? Is it emotional fear? What kind of fear gets in your way?

And then what are you going to do about it?

Because we don’t need to go anywhere to find the solutions to our troubles. In the Classic book the Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell, the hero reaches transformation only through the aid of other mentors and helpers. He cannot do it alone. And neither can we. We have to find the ‘trusted guides’ in our lives, and the people who can share with us the truths we need to hear in order to finally reach our destiny.

Who can help you? Maybe it’s a friend, or a parent, or maybe it’s a professional. Maybe its time you found a financial advisor or a therapist. Maybe its time you confronted an addiction or reached out to a local community group for help. Maybe it’s as easy as joining a book club or starting a club based around your own hobby or interest. How can you create a tribe of people to help you reach your goals? To help guide you through the thickets and back to the deepest river of them all: home.

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14 Never Ever Give Up. Ever.
14 Never Ever Give Up. Ever.

You don’t have to get up and give up everything in your life, but you have to be willing question it. To ask whether you are living the life of your dreams or someone else’s. To see that the only thing standing between you and that ridiculous, impossible big dream is, well, you.

So take a look at that big dream. Have you started down the road towards it? Did you take that first action? What does the next action look like after that and the next? They say that life comes in three acts, but so do big dreams. The beginning, which always takes place at home, in the shower, in your own heart; the middle, which includes finding your tribe and partners to see that dream come true; and the end, where you cross the finish line, fulfill the destiny, drive into the heart of Mongolia.

What do those three parts look like for you? And what actions do you need to take in order to turn your three acts into a reality?
Act One: ____________________________________________________________
Act Two: ____________________________________________________________
Act Three: ____________________________________________________________

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