Recently, I’ve been taking a social innovations class at BYU-I where we are encouraged to keep a journal of what we learn each week. Welcome to entry three of said journal. I’ll be using Joseph Campbell’s theory of The Hero’s Journey as a framework for my posts, each week will be a different stage.

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The refusal of the call
Often times, even when the Hero is eager to accept the call to adventure, the hero has fears that need to be resolved before he can embark. He has deep rooted doubts as to whether he can truly rise to the challenge, and of his own abilities. These fears, lead the hero to reject the call to adventure at first.  When you look at the story of Tim Ballard of Operation Underground Railroad (as mentioned in my previous post) you see this very clearly. Tim particularly rejected the request to work on the special ops team dealing with crimes against children in the CIA that started his journey towards founding Operation Underground Railroad. You can also see this clearly in our own lives and in the lives of those around us. Why this refusal of the call is one of the major qualities that endears the hero in stories/movies to us so much, is because we identify so powerfully with it. Our Heavenly Father will call us to do something, and at first we resist. As human beings we have an extraordinary penchant for fear and self doubt.  Unfortunately, when we doubt our own abilities the first thing we do is run.

human behavior

In this week’s class we were talking about Design thinking and the fear we often have of being the “village idiot” by asking the dumb questions. We discovered that in reality, the “dumb” questions are often what lead to major breakthroughs. We can’t succeed without them. In our textbook, we read a chapter entitled The Role of a Social Entrepreneur (chapter 8), where on page 94 you could find the following quote.

“Frequently, when I traced the change back to its source, I found an obsessive individual working behind the scenes-a person with vision, drive, integrity of purpose, great persuasive powers, and remarkable stamina.” – How to Change the World by David Bornstein

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When you look at this list of qualities you can see that at some point our heroes displayed those characteristics. However, when they first received the call they couldn’t see that within themselves. Often times, we don’t see that either. It usually takes someone else to see those qualities in us. However, we can’t wait until that happens to make our move.

Something else that was talked about in class is that “the worst thing you could do is become a one hit wonder.” In this journey we are in it for the long hall. We can’t just fight one battle, we have to continue to show up in the arena-at times bloodied and raw-and keep fighting- keep moving. We are our Heavenly Father’s warriors and there is much for us to do.

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Design Thinking, Social Innovation, and the Refusal of the Call
When it comes to creativity, so many times it is easy to believe we just can’t hack it and should leave that stuff to someone else. We view creativity to be so separate from us. There is such a fear of being judged that arises when we contemplate a creative mindset, pursuit, or solution. When asked to do something “creative” our first reaction is to run and say “no I can’t do that, I’m not cut out for that” yet when we come right down to the wire we are, in fact, very creative thinkers. How many times do we see our favorite heroes presented with a problem they just can’t face traditionally, something that challenges them and requires them to create a solution that goes against what they are used to? That’s why Social Innovation and Design Thinking are so connected. We can’t approach our world’s problems with the same thinking that got us to where we are, we have to think differently we have to think creatively-to solve the challenges our world faces.
dont get technical with me

As we choose how to answer to our calls to adventure, it’s so important that we have faith that we will be provided the strengths needed to succeed, and then think differently than what we would normally. If we do so, I believe that we will be given the help-and the direction-to proceed in creating the solutions our world needs.

Over and out,

 – Cheyenne
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