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Surgeon General’s Warning: This is a long and convoluted blog with many unexpected twists and turns. Readers are advised to get cozy under a soft, warm blanky (snuggy would be ideal, though not mandatory), with a hot cup of cider, tea or hot chocolate before commencing the journey.

I am going to start this blog with a very hard question – one that has baffled mankind through the ages and will continue to do so in the centuries to come…What is your most memorable Steve Martin moment? There are probably too many to choose from. Is it the scene from ‘L.A. Story where he is hugging the talking freeway billboard? Maybe a scene from ‘Father of the Bride where he is battling Martin Short? Clouseau trying to pronounce Hamburger in ‘Pink Panther? Watching Alec Baldwin on Meryl Streep’s laptop in ‘It’s Complicated? Or it could be something from ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels‘, which I am ashamed to admit I have not yet seen.

I have thought long and hard about this question and come to the inescapable conclusion that it has to be the last scene from Bowfinger! The Fedex truck rolls up to Bowfinger’s walkway. The delivery man walks up to Bowfinger in slow motion and hands him a Fedex envelope. Bowfinger rips the envelope open with a triumphant smirk! Yes, he has finally arrived in Hollywood!

  • What is your favorite Bowfinger Delivery moment? The moment that truly announces to you and the world that you have arrived.
  • What is the special message delivered directly to you, that confirms what you have always suspected – you are special, you matter and that your life has a special purpose, even though you may not fully comprehend it at the moment?
  • And who is the messenger that most often delivers this message to you?

I have been having quite a few of these moments of late. I receive messages that I need to hear, affirmations that are validating, and answers to the very questions I am grappling with. These messages are delivered typically within 48 hours of my issuing the question. Rain or shine, weekday or weekend, morning or night – the response time is pretty dependable and impressive. The messengers are most knowledgeable, diverse and timely. But they are surprising. I never know who or what they will be – a friend, a movie, a song or a book. All I know is that the message will be delivered. Freaky, but true.

I learned about this unique service offering in Carol Pearson’s book – Awakening the Heroes Within. The gist of the message is, and I am paraphrasing here, (I don’t think Carol will ever read or hear about this blog, so I am safe with whatever liberties I take…)

Whenever you are in need of an answer, a sign or a message, just ask the question and listen. Like Elmer Fudd, you must be vewy, vewy quiet, (as if you were hunting a wabbit!). In other words…

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

– Desiderata, Max Ehrmann

Silence the noise and distractions that surround you and be prepared to receive the message. The Fedex truck will roll up to your driveway, the delivery-man will walk up to your door in slow motion, and place the envelope in your triumphant hand!

I must admit though, that I began as a skeptic. It seemed quite implausible – this whole notion of the universal Bowfinger message delivery. But what the heck, I thought to myself, let’s give it a shot. For those who don’t know me, I am nothing if not a risk taker. Quite like the modern day, swashbuckling, Shia LaBeouf version of Indiana Jones. I live on the edge, thrive on adrenaline and dance with Danger. Danger, in fact,  is my middle name. As long as there is a zero probability of pain and a high probability of gain, I am all in! But I digress, like Joe Biden. Let me get back on message…

So, the first time I tried this technique was a few months into my brief (and very eventful) stay at one of the world’s most respected networking technology firms. I had joined with sky high expectations – I was in the Mecca of I.T. and would learn from the best and brightest minds in the industry. It was not long before my hopes were dashed unceremoniously! Within months, I was thoroughly frustrated with the culture and values of the organization, dismayed by the humongous gap between expectations and reality.

Pretty soon I was mixing it up with Management (big gasp!) and even the much feared and revered ‘Senior Management’ (even bigger gasp!). Yet again, my evil arch nemesis was rearing his ugly head to thwart my best laid plans – the Shadow form of the Warrior Archetype! My Life Coach – Joy Perkins refused to enable this behavior. She challenged me to acknowledge that this was a recurring pattern in my career and that maybe, just maybe, it was me, not them. (She is ruthless, that woman.) It was now time for me to find the answers to two questions-

  • Why did the shadow (negative) form of the Warrior Archetype pop up in my work life so frequently?
  • Was there a more constructive way to handle conflicts than to respond with the Warrior archetype?

We discussed the answer to the first question in my blog – Sunrise at Haleaakalā. It is now time to reveal the answer to the second question.

Note: ‘Why’, you may ask, ‘does it take two pages to come to the point of the blog?’ To which, I may answer, ‘Brevity is not my middle name. It is Danger!’

This looked like a mission for Seeker-Man! So, I ran into a vacant phone booth, shut-down my Warrior-Man Application, invoked the Seeker-Man Application and ran out, completely transformed as the Seeker-Man!

That’s the beauty and power of Archetypes. Once you identify the key archetypes, you can access them anytime you like. Just like you don’t have to be stuck with just one or two applications on your smart phone, you don’t have to be stuck with one or two archetypes for the rest of your life. You can install and use as many archetypes as you need. It’s like being a King and having a rich and diverse council of advisors at your disposal. You can call upon the one whose gift you most need at the given moment.

The Seeker’s Mission is to search for a better life. In my case, it was to find a better way to manage conflict when my core values were threatened. I needed a pointer, a sign to guide me on my journey. I did not know where it would come from, but ‘I went placidly amid the noise and haste, remembering what peace there was in silence’. And I listened. I received the answer, as promised in the instruction manual, from a most unlikely source…

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About Ravi Verma

Ravi Verma is a Public Speaker, Agile Coach, Professional Scrum Trainer, Evidence Based Management Consultant and Blogger with a passion for helping teams recapture the magic of making I.T.  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,

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