25 Mar Whiskey, Tango, FoxTrot – The Purpose of Internal Conflict
Hello, seekers of purpose, adventure, and beauty.
I’m writing to you from one of the most exotic locations in the world.
If I know one thing to be true, it’s that we have the amazing capability to be anywhere and create an alternate place of being for the greater purpose of saving us.
That fight-or-flight response really does have another goal. You know the feeling, when your life is in danger and adrenaline pumps through your veins in an effort to keep your mortal body alive.
While the first goal of this survival response is to save you from imminent danger, it’s effect often has a hidden outcome: to leave you in a different mental state than before the drug entered your system. In many cases, after a real jolt of adrenaline, your mind is forever changed by the experience. The response is one of our superpowers, and it’s not always easy.
I just spent two hours in a dark theater watching one of my fave screen women, Tina Fey, act in a more dramatic role.
Based on the book taken from real world encounters, The Taliban Shuffle by Kim Barker, a U.S. journalist recounting her wartime experience in Afghanistan. Tina plays Kim, depicting the life of Kim Baker, a U.S. reporter navigating her life forever changed by the experience of taking on a foreign assignment during the war.
The assignment proved a complete and total 360 from Kim’s journalist life back in the states, sitting at a desk, writing about things less adventurous.
There is a scene I can’t get out of my head. In the tiniest room, with pieces of war “stuff” in the air, bombs in the background, and a boyfriend that broke up with her over a sporadic Internet connection – she found a new piece of herself .
It’s about her discovery of work that matters. She would never again go back to the same job of sitting in a desk writing the same way she did before Afghanistan.
This my friends, is something that happens when there is just enough of something more in your work. Something that says you were born to do more, you are here on the earth to do something that makes a difference to you and others.
Some people might know what that is right away, straight out. For some of us, it may take years or a lifetime to find it. Those magic pieces that make everyday extraordinary — that allows you to create work that matters.
If you know what I’m talking about and you haven’t found it yet, don’t give up. It’s there. It can be quiet whisper, a fleeting thought that you are made to do something greater. It can wait in a cloak of camouflage, for just the right time to reveal a shy version of itself.
It can smack you in the face when you least expect it.
No matter how you experience it, don’t give up on it.
If it’s about incorporating freedom, adventure, and more purpose into your life, it wants your attention, and you need to listen. The choice is always yours. You can stare it straight-on or disregard it as something to deal with later or not at all.
My own experience with paying attention to this voice about my true purpose met me at a point where my body crashed from severe adrenal fatigue. I was eight stories up in a Berlin flat with a newborn and a toddler. I wasn’t reporting from Afghanistan, but my body was having it’s own internal conflict based on what was going on with me. I assure you, a good part of my breakdown was from avoiding looking that need straight in the eye – from years not working from my purpose.
To all of the troops who fight for freedom each day, thank you. There is a piece of you in everything we recount about Afghanistan and Pakistan.
For all of us fighting our own internal blocks, making our own realizations about the greatness of purpose in our work and how to impact the world in a better way — KEEP MOVING FORWARD. Our world is better because you are mulling over these things, and I guarantee you this, once you have been bitten by the bug of finding your way to help others –based on using your talents, to do the work that is important to you, will change the world.
Continue to be curious, courageous, and keep moving forward.
All Photos: Tina Fey plays Kim Baker and Margot Robbie plays Tanya Vanderpoel in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot from Paramount Pictures and Broadway Video/Little Stranger Productions in theatres March 4, 2016.
Photo credit: Frank Masi
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