VC | Creative Artist.
As above, so below.. Whose side are you on, anyways?
Today we're talking about an amazing topic, which is angels and demons, good and evil, heroes and villains particularly. Fascinating topic. Very cool.
Good and bad, the dark and the light, the Jedi and the Sith. Pick your analogy, pick your metaphor for these things. Firstly as I jump into this, I'm going to say that when I talk about these things, I could be writing about this or sharing these insights as they come to me from wherever I may be, which sometimes can carry a great deal of ambient noise or some interesting experiences that pop up in the play of my podcast and what have you, so bear with me as these things might incur. Life happens as we're living life, right?
All good, but what I did want to talk about this concept of hero versus the living, the gray area and the balance we can find in between. Now, the hero and villain are present for me in a lot of different ways in my life as I imagine you'll see if you haven't already or ever really considered it for yourself as well.
Who do we consider suitors and who do we consider villains? That's what it is from a story telling perspective, acting and film and writing and this sort of thing. We have the great conflicts often in these pieces that are about hero and the villain, and the villain we don't like and the hero we do like and so on and so forth in the most literal sense. But I find it interesting that in the finest of storytelling, we have challenges with villains and disliking the villains in the best stories because there are elements of their stories that we empathize with and we can connect to. The best villains are the villains that we're like, "Man, these are not good people, but boy, they sure feel trapped, don't they?" I empathize with their struggle and their pain and their fighting through themselves. There's a way that you almost rationalize with the villain on some level. It flirts with that morality of how I could possibly like this person despite the fact that we're doing this thing. In my opinion those are some of the best, most interesting stories.
Even the darkest person becomes a hero in the circumstance of the story that we're witnessing or experiencing or hearing. I'm talking about that as it relates to film and television and fiction and things like this, but the reality is that mirrors our own life as well. In the moment, we hear stories of somebody who you never thought would be able to do this, this, and this show up, and they just have this moment of magic, of heroism that saves lives or changes circumstances or morphs into something that is exponentially larger than themselves or the existence that they were living or enjoying prior to that achievement. Same with the villain. The villain has the same tendencies or perhaps they were living in a certain way that is heroic. Maybe something terrible happens to them, which sends them down this dark path. Our champion and journey for them is to find their way back to the light, to transform themselves from the pain. Through the pain they are experiencing their world and their lives into what is possible.
We root for them in that regard. We empathize with the pain they feel, but that pain consumes them, and they project that over other people and so on and so forth. This hero and this villain dynamic, good and evil, the angel and the demon, interesting how we look at this and how it plays itself out at these poles in our lives on a daily basis.
I consider the philosophy that we are both. It depends who you ask. There's some people we would ask today about me would say I'm a villain for whatever experiences or behaviors we'd had in the past along my journey or who I stand to be in this moment in life or in business or in film or similar or more even, right? This picked scenario.
There's others that will see me as a hero, as their source of inspiration and as their source of insight and comfort and confidence. For my part, certainly I seek to hold myself in the regard and with the degree of morality and nobility of the latter. I feel that we all do. That is where we come from in our strengths, but sometimes the process of doing that makes us out to look like a villain. When is the villain actually a hero? When is the hero actually a villain?
Is the contrast of perspective to consider in awareness and in holistic observation of our lives and our circumstances, to be that personal in our lives and in business, and our ventures in management? It's really, really interesting to look at the world this way and to explore, at least for me it is, to explore these perspectives.
Case and point, I do consider myself a light worker. I'd be considered someone who consciously makes an attempt to bring a positive energy to the world on a regular basis. Sometimes that takes work to consciously remind ourselves that that is our intention, and really ritualize the process through meditation and otherwise to clear energy and stay in this positive state of vibration. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes it's easier and lighter, and we just flow because that is our natural high vibrating state when we make these contributions, and the same as we seek in this regard. Interestingly though, coming from this place myself, in how I feel and think and see myself to be, and hope to be for people in the world, because it is a choice. Do I choose to be a villain to the world, or do I choose to be a supporter of others and an empowering force for others in the world? Surely the latter is something that makes me feel good, and I sleep well with the spirit of knowing and feeling I'm participating in such a way in my life.
But so intriguing because in my acting journey as an artist and as a performer, and I've talked with my agent about this a lot, it's so interesting. Many see me as this darker image, right? My look, they feel, is darker, so they are drawn to the look to play all these bad ass characters, like the assassin or the gangster or the drug dealer or the heavy or whatever, these types of characters in these roles. In conversations with my agent, she says, "I could send you out for these all day, and people will see these all day. It's this heavy, thug type almost among more, and it's so far really from who I am, I feel. I certainly hold my space in a way that honors it, stand my ground and protect myself and my environment energetically as appropriate. But I find it very interesting that I'm perceived that way in that community, despite even the work that we do here talking about these kinds of topics with the intention of raising awareness and improving lives and all these great things.
Then we can look at it as it relates to business, the hero or the villain business, and as it relates to business we wear both hats, right? Some days in business we're the hero because we come in and we make these great moves, and we make these great saves, and amazing things happen, right? Other days we're the villain. Why? Because we call a spade a spade and we speak our minds and our truth, and we contribute in such a way to a company or venture that ruffles other feathers because of these perspective and opinions. Now, let's frame this a little bit, right? As I said, villains can be heroes. Heroes can be villains, and we need to consider this in the whole 360-degree perspective, right? You can get management teams that are full of yes people, and everyone just agrees all the time, but never get anywhere, never get any results. One of the things that makes me especially effective in business and in my life is that I'm a results-minded guy. If I'm not there, I'm not there. Getting 75% of the way to a result doesn't mean that you get a prize, doesn't mean that you will get the medal, doesn't mean that you will receive the funds, doesn't mean that you will win the award. You can't go 75% of the way to your result.
You need to go 100% of the way to your result, and part of what makes me successful in my life and my journey is that I am someone who pushes circumstances through the finish line, which can also sometimes be through to the starting line, depending on how you look at it. The finish line can sometimes be just the beginning of a task or a journey, but I move through those lines, so these things do occur, otherwise they just never get done. So, if you're sitting in a team yourself and you've got all these amazing, heroic, holistic intentions and all this magic, we're going to do all these great things, but nothing is happening. Everybody goes, "okay, and break," after the discussion, and everybody looks around and goes, "What am I supposed to do? What are we doing? I don't really know where we're going. Well, nobody's done anything." That doesn't mean your succeeding, and that doesn't mean you're at a necessarily hero state of vibrating through your business, right? Somebody's got to say something, so here I am, and I don't have a problem saying what I think, feel, or otherwise, and I've learned that over time, it's a great value to the team because, somebody’s got to say something.
That's called leadership. If you don't have leadership that is speaking up as it relates to results or the lack thereof, then what do you have? You have nothing. Nothing is going on. Nothing is happening, and something needs to change. Either the team collectively moves on its journey and gets things done or changes need to happen in this certain respect, right? But you speak up in this realm and you're considered the villain. Personally, really, truly, honestly, I don't care. We're moving ourselves towards truth, and we're moving ourselves towards results, and everything that comes from that heroic place and good intention and the greatest good of all, to move things forward. The entity, the mission forward. The people are just the spokes of the wheel - the spokes can be changed. The wheel needs to keep turning, and this is in all circumstances related to business or life. You can look at your relationships this way. Are we getting anywhere? Is this working? Are we just talking about doing things that we never do? At some point somebody has to say, this isn't working. That can make you the villain.
The point is, I'm saying sometimes even villains are heroes or could be heroic in certain circumstances. Certainly not all but in a number of scenarios, particularly in business, this can be applied. Those we foresee to be our heroes and do heroic things because they're portrayed as such and they're presented as such, can actually very much be hurting us. What they're trying to achieve by their lack of consideration for other perspectives or environments that surround them or conditions that surround them that need to be taken into consideration for a company, venture or team to achieve what they're seeking to achieve, straight up.
This is the hero and the villain dynamic, the good and the evil, and in story telling particularly as artist and producer and writer, the most important thing and strength I think is to find the contradiction within those characters.
Let's go even deeper and have one of those meta moments for a second. Let's find those contradictions within ourselves. Where do our hero tendencies lie? Where do our villain tendencies lie? How do we level those out so we operate with a certain degree of harmony and efficiency in the way that we flow about our journey, so that no one side is overweight per se, and that we still remain effective and balanced and contribute and really realize the results we seek for ourselves in our lives? That's a big important thing.
In alchemy and hermetic philosophy; I am an alchemist and I student of hermetic philosophy for life 100%, the philosophy and the theory states that we are both heroes and villains. Remember you don't have to accept it, but it's here for your consideration. Whether you adopt this philosophy or bring it into your world and your life as you go about your day is up to you, but I do. The philosophy states that things have an opposite. Up and down, in and out, left and right, black and white, good and bad, good and evil, angels and demons, Jedi and Siths, so on and so forth. Those exist both within us and without us, so in alchemy we say as within, as without - which means just that. There are these opposites, and as a man who has found great balance in the way I go about my journey, it's not fully passive. It could be completely passive, but I consciously choose what I seek to participate in and press forward and I enjoy my days. The work is to recognize and find sustained balance between those two poles and in all things, because in there lies the harmony. Otherwise, you're over strung in one direction or the other. For me, it's a constant effort of aligning and realigning and balancing between the poles. Effort may be the wrong word, but a constant awareness of it in all aspects of my life, how I find myself out of balance either in the hero role or the villain role.
They both deserve a voice at the table because they both bring perspective. Both behaviors, both characteristics, types of people remind us, and share messages with us about where we should be or where we want to be. Now in the deepest scopes of evil, we shut that down and we know that to be the case. I am talking about evil, and that is the far extreme of morality, and we who are likely listening to this in a part of this piece surely would suggest that we align ourselves into the noble intentions of good. If not, I welcome and invite you into the lean towards that side of the path because immoral and dark and harmful actions serve no one on the extremes of villainy, we'll say. That is why we have thresholds and barriers there so that our lives aren't just a massive free for all of chaos. But these layers still exist within our lives. Perhaps that's also just the story that we tell ourselves that there's a certain layer versus not. We can walk down the street today and see a complete pole of perspectives, from one side of the world to the other. What's going on in Canada versus what's going on in Syria at present is an example, right? Peace versus conflict, the micro versus the macro.
These opposites exist, so find them. Find balance and harmony within them so they communicate with each other to provide the insight that is required to move things forward in the best interests of all. This is the work that I do. This is the work that needs to be done, which is fully a function of rebalancing and alignment of turning things around so that they are in sync. It doesn't mean everybody agrees all day long, every day and just sings campfire songs and everything's hunky dory necessarily. It means there's a flowing energy of mutual respect and understanding but moving what is required forward to do the work that needs to be done to achieve the goals that have been set in motion. This is the stuff, and this happens in acting and performing, for me in telling the stories and participating and bringing characters to life just as much as it does in the board room of startups and emerging enterprises that I'm an intricate or deep part of, or even just a passerby or advisor potentially as well. In these dynamics are present both on the one side, which is the art, right? The arts of creativity. Think of it, of performing and television and storytelling, and this artistic world.
On the business side, startups and corporations – a toughly connotative world, right? Where it's suggested to be a certain guiding philosophy, capitalism versus socialism and things like this. There's these polarities, and bad connotations everywhere, but where capitalism itself is considered bad by a whole realm of people, socialism is considered bad by a whole realm of other people, but there's elements of both that are present in balanced society. That is part of what we're looking to achieve and what we should be looking to achieve. Balance and harmony between the hero and the villain, between the light and the dark, and in those areas, we find truth. In those areas we find achievement, because all perspectives are presented in a way that they are integrated in the best interest and greater good of all. The hero and the villain, sometimes you're the hero, sometimes you're the villain.
Do not, definitely do not cross the red line threshold of villainy in your life. Do not cross the threshold of villainy in business. In both areas, this will put you in jail, in prison, and they are a function of directly harming others, but to be contradictory as a villain at the board room table, to be someone who doesn't necessarily agree if you don't agree is okay. If you do business with me, I welcome that.
If we're acting together in a performance, and you are the villain, or you are the hero and I am the hero or the villain, we are contradicting our roles. It's okay for us to be in conflict and to explore the complexities of our conflict with each other and to perform them truly and completely with each other in this dance of these poles, and all the more magic if we fully embrace them. On that side, on my artistic side, I have no problem embodying these roles. I'll certainly be continuing to explore the suggestion that this community would like me to explore, I’ll embody these dark roles and dark characters and bad ass beings. You know what? I can either fight it or I can embrace it. Yeah, I love comedy. I love it. It's high vibrating and super fun and I'm available for comedy any time. Let's go. However, what an interesting dynamic to explore that element of the world where it's done in a safe space, the safest space that's held to capture these moments as I explore it, but where in truth, I know who I really am, which is a man of balance who's been through darkness, who lives in the light, who has a balanced perspective of both, and who shares those perspectives with the world for the betterment and greater good of all.
There you go. Angels and demons. Heroes and villains.
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VC | CREATIVE ARTIST
I have spent some 15 years building and financing startup companies, with a deep passion for positive social impacts and the creative arts. Now as I continue about my personal and professional journeys, I share everything I know and have learned with you here.