I mentioned that I recently read, The Dip– Seth Godin’s book on mastery and learning to push through the difficult in order to become truly extraordinary at a particular endeavor. There’s a related concept that has been helpful for me for a number of years now. It comes from mythological writing. In myths, there is always a "threshold guardian."

The threshold guardian is the person or set of circumstances that the hero or heroine must face and "get through" if he or she is to accomplish the dream, win the prize or actualize potential. Have you ever noticed that, as you walk into your dreams, there are always thresholds that challenge you? These thresholds are frustrating because they seem counterproductive to the pursuit of the dream. However, on the other side of the guardian, we often see the immense value the guardian brought to the moment and to our lives.

I’ve had so many threshold guardians: an editor who kept sending my drafts back again and again; a Dean that challenged the need "anyone would have to study the topic of your dissertation" (which was  about the perceptions employees have with regards to workplace spirituality);  the many requirements I’ve had to meet to  enter some new realm of study or work or life.  On I could go.

How about you?


What threshold guardians are you facing today? What guardians  are making your life hard, but just might be exactly what you need to make it through the difficulty (The Dip) and into a new place of life and effectiveness?