For the Right Reasons

As part of the work with the Right Livelihood Quest, I regularly interview people who have gone through such journey themselves, and share their storiesĀ here. It is an opportunity to witness and share the experience of others and our common humanity, with the struggles, challenges, passions, and inspiration that all too often seem to be a part of the package. It helps us understand that we are not alone on this path, that there are others who have gone through it, or still are, and that such path is not always easy or linear. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going, and the challenges along the way make the journey richer, juicier, and more memorable. We all grow and learn and live through stories, and this has been an opportunity to share some of them, of a particular kind, with others on the quest of their lives.

“Stories are the ‘imaginal’ base of the world, a living literature that underlies and secretly unifies everything. People feel more whole when listening to a story and feel most lost when out of touch with their own story. Genuine stories don’t prove anything. Rather, they reveal things about the world that are already there, but where not being seen.” – Michael Meade

Meet David (not the real name). I have known David for many years, though not explicitly personally. Kept an eye on the work that David has been doing, and the many transitions he has been going through. His journey has been rich and inspiring, and included a start-up that took off, and then crashed badly when his partners turned on him and kicked him out. Then a new venture that is now growing leaps and bounds, and includes books, talking gigs, collaborating with others, and inspiring writings and blogs and newsletters. I adore his writings, where he shares of himself with passion, authenticity, vulnerability, and a very unique style that combines it all into engaging and impactful way of delivering a message.

And he has a huge following. HUGE.

I thought that it would be great to interview him and share his story. Given what little I know of it, I thought it would be an incredible interview, where he will share and reveal and make it a very appealing one, if it is anything ever remotely close to his writing. Though probably a lot more. And then, I thought, ALL his followers will also flock to my website, bringing the extra exposure to the work of Right Livelihood. Which would be very cool, I thought, and will really catapult the Quest into the stratosphere. And beyond.

So I connected with David and he agreed and we booked a time and had the interview, sometime in mid June.

“Life has meaning only if one barters it day by day for something other than itself.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Something happened during the interview. As it progressed, something was missing. While we were talking, I found myself facing a barrier in his words and presence. Yes, he was sharing of his journey, yet from a very impersonal and detached place. There were stories, laughter, insights – yet, there was no sense of the person behind the words, no matter what I tried to do. It was the first interview I ended up way ahead of time, because there was nowhere to go with it. When it was over, I was left wondering as to what to do with it. I promised David I will process it and post it online and send him the link.

I was disappointed. It just didn’t feel right. After reflecting and sleeping on it and talking it through with Alison, I realized that I can’t post this interview. The work of Right Livelihood Quest and what it stands for come from a place of deep authenticity, integrity, and open heart. It became clear that if I post his interview, I will be doing it for the wrong reasons. There will be no huge following, fame, and glory here. At least, not in this case. I took a deep breath and composed a long and detailed email to David, wanting to share it with him and ask for his perspective. A brief answer came back, telling me to do what feels right to me.

And so I did.

Simon Goland