Have you ever got to a point and thought ‘enough is enough, something has to change’? If you have then you have arrived at the castle gates; what you then need to decide is whether you are going to Storm the Castle, issue the challenge and be the change you want to see, or whether you’re going to pass by, unnoticed in the crowd.
Everything in the world that we know from the table you might be sitting at or the web you are surfing has been created originally from the mind of one man or woman. Every revolution, from the big to the small, stems from just one person’s willingness to Storm a Castle.
They all do this because they have an idea, a passion, or a need to challenge the accepted norms. Revolutions and change happen because other people hear their idea, love their passion or share the need; they tell their friends, who tell their friends and so it gathers momentum.
Of course, revolutions also create enormous challenges because they literally flip everything upside down and back again, they challenge the status quo and encourage people to see things slightly differently.
The metaphor of ‘storming the castle’ applies wherever someone wants to see change, whether it’s in their personal life or whether it is in the wider world. Whatever your motivations though, it all begins with that first decision and until you make that decision, nothing can change because change like this comes from within, even if it is being driven by external forces.
There are all sorts of ways to storm your personal castle and for some the change is internal. Viktor Frankl embodied this in his book Man’s Search for Meaning in which he explored the way inmates in the concentration camps coped; his own learning from the experience was that “the ultimate freedom we have, that can never be taken away from us the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances“. It is often this attitude that causes people to take that first step up to the castle walls and, rather than feel intimidated by them, issue the challenge and meet the dragon that emerges.
For others it might be about some sort of external change; perhaps you’ve a hankering for starting your own business, become a best-selling author or perhaps you want to create a social revolution for a group of people who are, as yet, unheard and unacknowledged. Whichever is the initial driver though, both will create unexpected life changes for you along the way simply because of the law of cause and effect.
Let me give you a couple of examples.
Chris hates his job and has always wanted to become a baker, he’s attended courses over the years and is always helping out friends who need a birthday cake for their son, daughter, mother, father, partner or friend. It just so happens that his company decides they no longer need his services. Chris now has two choices; he can simply look for another job and continue to be paid for the time he puts in at the office or factory and carry on baking cakes for friends; or he can choose to make the leap and start a business.
Either way he has to make a decision; whether to storm the castle and create change in the world or whether he passes by unnoticed in the crowd. Whatever he chooses to do, it will determine the course of his life, and that of others until he gets to another point where he once again can choose to Storm the Castle.
Joanna has seen the way that people look at her in the street; she knows that they are judging her by her appearance. One day she meets someone else that looks just as she does and she tells them how much she hates it when people judge her and that she wants to start a group that helps other people like herself. Her new friend likes the idea and encouraged Joanna now has to make a decision about whether she carries on feeling the way she does, hiding behind corners and hating being judged; or she stands up and says ‘enough is enough’ I’m going to do something that challenges these perceptions and judgements.
Over the next few weeks I’d like to share how I stormed one particular castle, why I did it, what I learnt along the way and the challenges and change it has created in my life and in my world. I’m not saying you have to do it this way, just that this is one way to bring about massive and lasting change in your own world.