029 Dragon Slayer
Updated: Mar 22
One Man’s Heroic Tale of Life Renovation
Scaly, fire-breathing dragons don’t roam the earth anymore. (Wait, did they ever? I, for one, like to think that maybe, just maybe, they did.) But dragons tromp around in our lives nevertheless. These dragons are harder to see but arguably just as deadly.
In this episode, Scott Larson shares how he slayed a dragon he discovered lurking in his own life, stealthily and with life-suppressing intent.
The whole tale looks commonplace enough from the outside, but Scott knows what it really took to deal the death blow to his personal dragon.
Few things instruct and inspire us as well as another person’s Story. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then one person’s Story might be worth a million. So I was thrilled when Scott agreed to share an excerpt from his Story for our benefit.
From Scott’s story, we learn how to slay our own dragons.
How This Episode Came to Be
Scott and I recently concluded a six-month coaching partnership. As our partnership progressed, it began to dawn on me that Scott’s Story exemplifies literally all of the concepts that I’ve shared in the short-form topical episodes of this podcast: especially becoming the boss of your fear, harnessing discomfort to get where you want to go, daring to dream again, moving from the cabin to the cockpit, hearing and heeding your Inner Voice, the contentment conundrum, and breaking the stuckness slatemate.
And it also dawned on me that in addition to hearing me talk about those concepts and how they’ve worked in my life, it might be good to hear how they’ve played out in someone else’s life--and in Scott’s case, over a really short period of time, with transformational effect. Which is less of a testament to my effectiveness as a coach and more of a testament to the power of the concepts themselves when applied with the kind of honest self-examination and Courage that Scott has consistently employed.
Meet Scott Larson
Scott is a devoted husband and father, gifted marketing professional, and avid outdoorsman. He, his wife, and their two kids live here in Steamboat Springs--we’re neighbors, in fact--and it’s a pleasure to present a chapter from Scott’s Story to help you “see” even more clearly what I’ve been attempting to say all along.
A Dream Realized...A Dream Jeopardized
Scott and his family arrived in Steamboat in February 2020--chasing a dream of life in a small mountain town with the great outdoors at their doorstep. A dream that put quality of life above climbing the corporate ladder in a city they had no interest of living in. Dream realized! Sweet!
Then, just a few months after arriving, Scott lost his job. Oh, and a pandemic was beginning to wreak havoc around the globe. Crap.
Suddenly, the Steamboat Dream was jeopardized.
Now Scott began to consider that maybe he was incapable as a man, husband, father, and professional. This was their fourth move in 5 years for work, yet another in a pattern of jobs gained and jobs lost or left. Was there something more deeply wrong with him as a person? What a tough thing to begin wondering about yourself. What a heavy accusation to level at yourself!
Insight + Action = Transformation
It was about that time that Scott and I began our coaching partnership to help him navigate this new and unwelcome transition.
In the full episode, Scott recounts how new insights led to new actions that ultimately led to transformation.
Two assessments, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) “put a vocabulary to the things that I already knew, but it helped to solidify and synthesize it for me so it was something I could speak to and relate to more readily. It brought it more to the forefront of my thinking as well.” A values exercise also helped him evaluate how well his actual life aligned with his most deeply-held values. And reconsideration of how he defines success led to a major overhaul of his definition of success. Tune into the full episode to hear more.
Creating an Owner’s Manual
As the coaching partnership progressed, Scott began assembling a personal owner’s manual. A guide to the kind of human he is, his ideal operating conditions, and his adverse operating conditions.
Three basic categories of content were populated: nature, nurture, and now.
“Nature” were Scott’s default settings, and MBTI and HAB were the two primary tools used to populate that category. “Nurture” were those things Scott acquired along the way in life, intentionally or otherwise--like after-market modifications. The most important of those were acquired beliefs, like the definition of success that he decided to upgrade upon realizing that it wasn’t actually his definition of success. And finally the “Now” category: values, interests, opportunities, obligations, etc. that became key determinants in how he applies Nature and Nurture.
Inner Voice + Courage = Action
Then, new and improved owner’s manual in hand, Scott was faced with a moment of truth: a job offer...in a situation similar to his past gigs. But the owner’s manual wasn’t enough on its own. On the one hand, it still felt like maybe the only responsible thing to do was take the job.
But he paused to tune into his inner voice with new focus and resolve to heed what he heard. And the message he heard was clear.
But Courage was needed to act on what he heard, so Scott chose Courage in that moment, bet on himself, and didn’t take the job.
As Scott discovered, Courage isn’t something that you have to go out and find. It’s something you choose. It’s simple on one level. But it definitely isn’t easy. And Courage is the secret sauce in Scott’s whole story.
“I bet on myself, and I didn’t take the job.”
This is the pivotal moment in this whole story--the moment of crisis, the moment of resolute action in a new direction.
If this was a fairy tale, this would be the moment when the hero slays the dragon. It’s that big a deal.
It’s THE moment when Scott moved from drafting an outline for a new chapter in his story and actually began to write it. This is THE moment when Scott went from considering taking a new path and actually began to walk down that new path. This is THE moment when Scott placed one of the best bets that any of us can ever make by betting on himself. It’s the moment when Scott quit just cutting bait and actually started fishing.
What’s maybe even more significant about this moment, though, is that it was not just one big step down a new path for Scott; it was an evolutionary leap in life overall.
Scott created within himself an exponentially greater capacity for change and growth and learning in this moment. Many moments and much toil and trepidation led up to this moment. Then Scott converted all of many difficult moments into powerful, positive forward momentum.
This is the way, folks--not just for Scott, but for all of us. Insight + Action = Transformation, and Courage is the activating agent.
Having slayed a personal dragon and begun to travel down a new path, Scott’s next challenge was to figure out what to do professionally if he wasn’t going to return to the path he’d been on before. The answers weren’t automatic, but Scott was now free to pursue them with new clarity about the kind of human he is, his ideal operating conditions, his adverse operating conditions, his true definition of success, and his most deeply-held values. Eventually, Scott decided to hang his shingle as an independent marketing consultant. And it wasn’t long after that that he secured his first client--a client that he still partners with today.
Other, Less-Obvious But Incredibly Powerful Forces at Work
Scott and I paused to acknowledge several other things that helped Scott successfully slay a personal dragon to access the path marked “Scott Larson’s Way.”
Scott achieved a new degree of self-permission--that privilege of adulthood that many of us have a hard time grasping. When he began to give himself more permission to look at things his own way and do what he wanted to do, he started becoming even more of the man he’s made to be and living the life that he’s uniquely made to live more fully. I think more of us doing that is a very good thing--not only for our own personal enjoyment, fulfillment, and productivity, but also because a more fulfilled Scott, for example, leads to a happier husband, an even more engaged and thoughtful Dad, a more active member of the community
Scott also risked a new level of self-trust--a new willingness to tune into his inner voice, hear and heed what it whispered to him about the truth of his existence, and bet on himself.
And Scott assumed even more self-responsibility--putting himself more firmly in the driver’s seat of his life than ever before and accepting all of the consequences.
Tune in for the Full Effect
These shownotes can’t do justice to the whole conversation and the value of Scott’s story to all of us. I hope you’ll tune in to the full episode for the full effect.
Also, as I mentioned at the beginning, Scott’s story exemplifies literally all of the concepts I’ve shared in the short-form topical episodes of this podcast.
Tune in to those episodes for a deeper dive:
Bringing It Home
What part of Scott’s story could you identify with most? What part of Scott’s story inspired you the most or provoked a bit of envy? Maybe Scott’s story has stirred within you fresh resolve to take action to improve your situation in some way or pursue a dream that you’ve pushed aside for too long. Courage is the secret sauce. Courage is the catalyst that moves you from Insight to Action so you can achieve Transformation.
And Courage isn’t “out there” waiting for you to find it. It’s right here, right now--waiting for you to CHOOSE it.
And if you need a little extra nudge, fill your sails with the pressure of your Mortality. You really ARE going to die, and there’s no way of knowing when that day will come. But if you’re waiting for tomorrow to get moving, ladies and gents, it’s time to get honest and acknowledge that the elusive “tomorrow” never comes. There is only “today.” Take one NEW step TODAY and become even more of the person you were made to be and live even more of the life you were made to live--with guts, gusto, and abandon.
Remember, you ARE going to die. But you’re not dead yet. So get after it!
I hope today’s episode has been helpful and enlightening! It’d be a pleasure to connect with you. Find me on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, visit my website, or email me. Go here to learn about Graveyard Group masterminds----where we make time each week to invest in your life's most important work.
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