Could I Be Living My Legend And Not Know It?


DWYL or Do What You Love movement is everywhere around us.  I feel inspired by the message that all of us have untapped potential, dreams worth gifting to the world, and that self-actualized people with both feet on the ground and eyes in the stars are simply more fun to be around.

This is why during a particularly depressing moment in my workday routine, I pounced upon the work of Scott Dinsmore at Live Your Legend.   Never mind I am a decade or two older than most of his legend-building audience, and that I never started from being stifled by the emptiness of outward monetary, academic, or career success to break free and create my own path.  

LYL offers gifts of bringing people together to form support teams and generously provides free tools to folks to help turn their visions into realities.  As I sat with my worksheets on goal-setting, little questions kept popping into my mind:

  • What if I am already living my legend?
  • What if my goals are so microscopic you need a telescope to see them?
  • How do I find motivation to build a better life for myself when all the things that motivate me seem to oppose success?

Aha, me thinks.  These questions could be gargantuan resistance in disguise.  Well then, do I feel undeserving of living a fabulous life?  No.  Do I have dreams I have yet to fulfill?  Yes.  Do I have untapped gifts to bring to the world?  Yes.

But here’s the rub.  What motivates me?

  • Not wealth, fame, publicity.   Do you know how many wealthy, famous people feel incredibly empty once they get there?
  • Not fear of being alone.  I have a master’s degree in alone with a smattering of enough relationships to not place false hopes of sustained happiness/contentment on them.
  • Not relocation.  I live in one of the most scenic environments I could ever hope to live in.
  • Not the hope of raising a child. I actively cherish watching my child bloom and learning about myself through her.
  • Not excelling at something.  I was fortunate to learn what the drive, focused work, and accolades felt like early in life.
  • Not setting goals. Isn’t life what happens while you make plans? Maybe I’ve had too many disappointments and traumas, as many of us have by the time we arrive at mid life to put 100% stake in believing I can bend life to my will by setting goals.  Can I change my mindset?  Yes!  Can I work toward something but not count on it?  Yes.

What motivates me must be service to others and connection to the Earth.   Could I earn a living that incorporates both of these things?  Possibly.  But they are also part of my life regardless.  Many people right now are hearing the cry of the Earth and wanting to make change, but outside sustainable organic agriculture, paid jobs in this arena are few and far between and the mass of like-minded people have not organized yet across skill sets.

Maybe a thread of a hero’s quest can be found through the way I have lived my life, including all my errors in judgment during times my naïve internal compass did not know any better, my rather invisible mundane job that has hovered me just above poverty line for most of my adult life yet possibly contributed to accurate medical care for hundreds of thousands of people in hospitals, my unorthodox determination to walk solo distances, and my belief through experience that we have a lot less control over our lives than we think.

My microscopic goal for today is to be at peace where I am and be compassionate with myself.  That might be worthy of a legend.


[For an excellent critique on the DWYL movement – with which I only partially agree – consider this article, In the Name of Love]


About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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3 Responses to Could I Be Living My Legend And Not Know It?

  1. Lik says:

    OMG, I wrote quite a lengthy comment but it just said “Sorry, this comment cannot be posted” – probably because I included several links – and did not give me any chance to edit it…

    So, I’ll make it shorter and no-links. 1) Think what SUCCESS means to you. How does it feel like, look like, sound like? Your words that things that motivate you oppose success is a sign that you are working towards someone else’s vision or definition of success, not your own. 2) Take a look at The Desire Map. It says that, ultimately, we set goals because we hope that their achievement will make us feel the certain way. And offers to first get clear on how you want to feel, and then set your intentions that create these feelings in the process. 3) Take a look at Zen Habits, where Leo Babauta writes about goal-free but habit-based living. Also, he wrote a totally free and open ebook called “The Little Book of Contentment”, which I think could assist you to regain peace about where you are and who you are.

    • Erin W says:

      Thank you for the resources, Lik! I am familiar with all but the Desire Map, which I have read about on your blog. Is it part of LYL? I feel a bit like a flounder (though a peaceful one) because I actually went through 2 years of visioning processes, workshops, and meditations on exactly what you are referring to, and felt the outcomes never were equal to the visions. . . so I got disillusioned with the whole process. I was given much advice about how to vision and manifest reality and that I must not be doing it right if it wasn’t working. Sometimes the gap between your visions/how you want to feel and your reality can be so wide, it becomes more painful to live with the visions, and that is why I came around to resolve in this blog entry that if I can practice self-compassion and inner peace each day, THAT might be enough of a legend. I suppose one should never give up, eh?

      • Lik says:

        No, Desire Map is a philosophy on its own and has a separate community… though it does not mean there are no intersections 🙂 I am very much for doing what we love (LYL value) but going for it in a “SOULful” way (Desire Map value) and not with fixed audacious goals.

        Visioning and meditations are the first stage. They are followed by action. And when you get on the path of living your legend, then these things are what you “can’t not do”, as Scott Dinsmore says. Many resources focus on the first stage because that’s where all the mess is – in our heads, in our beliefs and the ways of thinking. But people begin to assume that that’s all there is: visualize, meditate, and you will get everything you want. Well, yes… but not so literally 🙂

        Never give up on yourself 😉 And for anything new that you start – give it a GOOD try before deciding whether to give up on this on not. At least of 30 days of persistent attention and acting on it, even if in tiny steps. Persistence is the key! Accountability partnership (again, LYL way) helps with it very much!

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