Atlas Shrugged, and Said “Anyone Know a Good Joke?”

atlas holding the world

Ryan is a busy, successful guy who just turned 50. He’s had a long career that allows him to travel, drive sports cars, and have a beautiful home in a posh suburb of Atlanta.

When Ryan and I spoke, he was stressed about his job.  He said he felt like a “road warrior” and that he was expected to make his boss look like a “hero.” He was tired of “soldiering on.” He spoke of his need to achieve like it was a quest, and said that he didn’t want to be “the bad guy” by failing.

Ryan’s troubles had taken on mythic proportions; he wasn’t just carrying the weight of his own world, his word choices showed that he was taking on epic roles — we’re talking the stuff of legends.

When I pointed out to Ryan that he was describing his life as if he were a character in a blockbuster movie, he was surprised. Had he really used those words?

Yep. By attaching such super-charged labels to himself and others, Ryan was unconsciously setting up a win/lose, good/evil dynamic for himself. No wonder he was buckling under the pressure.  So, while I like a good adventure as much as anyone, I asked Ryan how it would feel to push pause on the saga and spend a little time living a romance, or a comedy. We agreed that he could go back to saving the world anytime.

After all, even Atlas had time for a joke. Didn’t he?