Epic Therapists do their dailies. And if you’re not a therapist, but a gamer or someone else who wants to have a better life, this post may be useful to you also.
At a recent workshop, I began by showing a slide with our “Epic Agenda.” And the first question I got from a therapist was a great one, one that staggered me:
“What does Epic mean?”
Gamers among you may be chuckling now, but try to answer that question, and try to remember back to a time when you didn’t know the difference between green and purple gear. Back then you didn’t know what Epic meant either. So let me offer us a working definition of Epic:
Epic means “the most super amazing over the top of all time.” An Epic Win would be the most super amazing over the top win of all time. An Epic Fail would be the most super amazing over the top fail of all time. Epic is big, Epic is superlative, the most super dooper in history.
We don’t talk about ourselves in epic language much. We tend to think of it as arrogant, unrealistic, and asking to be taken down a peg. The idea of being Epic anything makes us self-conscious, with a lower-case s. And yet, I think it is time we change that.
All over the world you people are being Epic. Right now in Japan, every one of those people is Epic. The people surviving a disaster of multiple phases and historic proportions are Epic. I doubt that any of my readers would argue that. Every person helping those survivors is Epic. Even as we speak the people of Japan are pulling off what will be seen in years to come as one of the biggest Epic Wins in their history. (By the way, if you want to support their Epic Win, go to the Red Cross and take 5 mins to donate. There’s also a great definition of psychosocial support there for you therapist types.)
But you don’t have to be at the epicenter of a disaster to be Epic. Gamers know that there are several ways to get that Epic gear. Sure, one of the ways to do that is to down that boss on heroic mode. But there is another way to get that gear and become Epic: Do your dailies.
Dailies, in WoW, are daily quests that you do to gain XP, gold, or points towards buying Epic gear. And it takes a long time to earn those points. But each day, the game server resets, and you get to run these daily quests again. One of the first things an experienced gamer will tell a “noob” who wants to get better gear is, “Do your dailies.”
Back to you therapists: Epic therapists do their dailies. The most successful therapists I know show up for those mundane tasks every day. They return phone calls every day, respond to emails every day, step back to consider the state of their practice every day. Epic therapists read about their craft regularly. Epic therapists learn about what their patients are talking about regularly. Epic therapists reach out and connect with their colleagues regularly, and Epic therapists take risks to make their business visible regularly.
Last Friday I met a dozen Epic therapists who came to my workshop. They spent time and money to learn about online gaming and gamers. I can’t tell you how moved I was to see these colleagues spend 3.5 hours with me learning how to better understand gamers. They were willing to step beyond the model of addiction and see gaming as a culture they needed to become more competent with. They decided not to dismiss video games as trivial or uninteresting and as a result will be able to meet their patients “where they’re at” more than ever. Less than 50 therapists across the world have ever spent 3.5 hours on a workshop to understand gaming, so these folks are truly Epic!
Am I suggesting you all enroll in my workshop to become Epic? Hardly. But I am suggesting that you do your dailies and when you’re feeling down about your practice, keep doing them. I have noticed that the people who tend to be naysayers in our profession tend to be people who don’t want to take risks or invest extra time on a daily basis. They are hoping for a quick fix or solution, one book or secret that will tell them how to succeed. I think there are a lot of books out there that may help, but I think the secret to becoming an Epic Therapist may just be to do your dailies.
And if you’re one of my gamer readers, this applies to you too. You can be Epic out of the game as well as in it. That same stamina it takes to do your Baradin Hold dailies can be applied to your life outside of Azeroth. Getting up a half hour earlier so that you can get to work without feeling anxious is doing your dailies. Doing every bit of your homework is doing your dailies. Listening to your parents and doing your chores are doing your dailies. Telling your partner that you love them is doing your dailies. Spending an hour in meditation, in therapy or at an AA meeting are examples of doing your dailies. Sometimes these dailies will seem easy and quick. Sometimes they will seem a grind. No matter.
Do your dailies.