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Week 3 – Refusal of the Call

Hero Moments

Neo is arrested after fear keeps him from reaching the top of his office building in The Matrix. The master swordsman Kyuzo turns the leader Kambei down after his practice duel turns deadly in The Seven Samurai. Peter Parker refuses to stop a thief who later murders his Uncle Ben in Spiderman.[1]

When adventure calls, it can be tempting to just say no. You may be too busy, stressed out, not in a good place in your life, or simply tired. Often, however, Refusal of the Call means that you’ll be asked again more forcefully until you’re compelled to answer yes to the Hero’s Journey.

Obstacles: Addictions & Energy Drains

There are a number of things that may slow down the progress of your Hero’s Journey, but they boil down to two things: your use of your time, and your use of your energy (physical, mental, financial, etc.) You use your time for things that are not priorities, and you use your energy for things that are not renewing. It comes down to lifestyle choices. I’ve spent lots of time surfing the web and playing simulations (auto racing, aircraft, adventure, espionage – let’s face it, video games); time that could have been spent more productively moving towards my goals. I’ve also neglected my health with poor food, little exercise, and late nights. This type of addictive behaviour is difficult to stop through force of will (which I’ve attempted numerous times) and requires a different approach. Learning as much as you can about the true nature and cost of your addictions can help but a further step is usually necessary.

In order to overcome these sorts of obstacles, it helps to replace instead of eliminate. If you find a course of action that has a more beneficial outcome that provides the same psychological benefits as the more destructive activity, you’ll find the less helpful activity will begin to fall away. This process does require an application of will, but less so than a cold turkey approach. For example, an alcoholic drink or two at the end of a day may relax and reduce stress, but meditation may provide the same results without the downside of alcohol’s detrimental effects. Another example: eating poorly was affecting both my energy level and my relationships (due to irritability). By learning more about eating and diet (see Week 4) and replacing old nutritional habits, I’ve been able to regulate my energy level and mood, improving both my outlook and personal relationships.

You may also find that some of your personal relationships do not help your growth. Honest communication about your concerns is a good start, but it may be necessary to divest destructive relationships and develop better ones with people who are more interested in your well-being. Week 6 provides more information about fostering relationships.

If poor health or low energy levels are an obstacle, stick with this program. The meditation practice (Week 1) and the sections on diet (Week 4), exercise (Week 4), and sleep (Week 7) should provide you with tools that will improve both of these areas. If financial matters are a concern, simplify, automate, and stop waste. Spend your money in a way that is congruent with your goals and values. Week 11 covers wealth in more detail.

One of the most powerful obstacles is fear itself. If you’re finding that fear and worry are preventing you from taking the Journey, you need to come to terms with your anxiety. Flooding, from Week 8, can help you face your fears.


Procrastination can be the ultimate obstacle. Putting things off until later often means the task is never accomplished. The cure to procrastination is straightforward. As mentioned in the productivity and time management section (Week 1), Do It Now. You need to have a plan, you need to start with a small step, and you need to keep going. You must also be able to tell when you’ve completed a step. Make sure you reward yourself for progress, no matter how small.


The James Bond movies have been described as tributes to epic self-esteem, and confidence is the outward manifestation of inner self-esteem. It is the secret weapon and superpower of the Hero. Indiana Jones, Doctor Who, Ripley, Sherlock Holmes and the rest had it in abundance. It is the source of leadership, persuasion, and attraction. The question is how do you get it?

As you progress through this program, you’ll find that your confidence level will naturally increase. Meditation, exercise, eating and sleeping well, and living with integrity (where what you think, say, and do are in congruence) will all contribute to self-esteem which will manifest outwardly as self-confidence. In the meantime, here are some concepts to keep in mind that will provide an immediate confidence boost:

  • Fake it ‘til you make it. Remember that most other people are just as nervous. You may think the people around you are full of confidence, but many are simply following this tip. Even if you don’t feel confident, acting like you do will fool most everyone. The real thing will follow.
  • Learn to read body language to realize the preceding point is true. Week 6 provides you with what you need to know.
  • Notice tics and nervous gestures in yourself. Things like fiddling with objects, chewing your lip, finger tugging, weird mouth movements, and so on. Then get a grip on them. Just noticing them and deciding to stop will eventually shut them down.
  • Visualize your ideal self. If you have a clear picture of who you really are, you can begin to become that person. See the Difference in Week 2.
  • Stand tall. Good posture will make you feel and appear more confident. If you’re worried about attracting negative attention this way, remember you’re more likely to get hassled with poor, slouched posture.
  • Be well-dressed and well-groomed. Shower and shave (if appropriate). Iron and shine. Go through your clothes, sort them into items that are great to wear and items that are old or lower your self-esteem, and eliminate the latter. Keep in mind that when you do this you’re creating a vacuum that nature abhors and you’ll find the clothes quickly replaced by items that suit your new path. This holds true for other possessions as well. Check Week 2 and How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle by Paul Kyriazi for more on this.
  • Again, stick with the program. As mentioned before, this course will increase your confidence as well as improve your life. You just have to put these concepts into practice.

Keep in mind that it’s all internal. The real battle is not with the confident people who intimidate you. It is with yourself, and the tools in this program are the weapons you need to defeat your inner demons that keep you from true confidence. Keep meditating, keep improving, and keep growing. Your true power will begin to form and you’ll find that your practice will evolve into helping others instead of defending yourself. In essence, you’ll move from self-help to other-help.

Week 3 Exercises and Resources

  1. Continue your weekly meditations. Once a day this week, listen to Week 3 - Refusal of the Call. Continue meditating for the rest of this course and beyond.
  2. List your addictions, time wasters, and energy drains. They may be activities, habits, or people. Now think of ways to replace these obstacles with more constructive activities. Then schedule these positive habits into your time management tool.
  3. Start to notice body language, both in others and yourself. This will help prepare you for the concepts in Week 6.
  4. Create a vision of the types of clothes that reflect who you want to be. Then sort through your clothes, keep the items that fit this vision, and get rid of the rest. If finances allow, go buy an item that supports your Journey.
  5. Take one of your actions from Exercise 5, Week 1 that you’ve been putting off and complete it. If the action is too big, break it into smaller, achievable steps and complete one of these steps.


The Matrix
The Seven Samurai

Audio Books

How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle by Paul Kyriazi

[1] In this movie Uncle Ben also said the famous line "With great power comes great responsibility.” Remember this quote as you proceed with the course.

Week 4


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