You may already be familiar with the steps of Joseph Campbell’s A Hero’s Journey. But just in case you’re not, here is the basic philosophy:
In order for the hero to become a hero, they must go through a period of struggle.
In fiction, we put our protagonists through some sort of danger or dilemma.
In a romance, they are lonely or heartbroken.
In a mystery, there’s been a murder our protagonist must help solve.
In an action/adventure or thriller, they get caught up in something that puts either their life or the life of someone they care about in peril.
In a fantasy or sci-fi story, supernatural elements come into play to either help or harm our hero.
In life, something similar happens.
It’s interesting just how similar truth and fiction tend to be.
We are born, grow, mature and die. But along the way you’ll usually find a great deal of drama.
That drama might include anything from an abusive childhood to a car accident to a life-threatening illness or injury.
It could include heartache and bitterness, broken relationships, loss of faith, and poverty.
The thing about life, though, is that which doesn’t kill us really does tend to make us stronger.
How many of us know someone who’s fought cancer and won – sometimes over and over?
How many of us have heard of horrific stories of physical and mental abuse, only for that person to go out and help thousands of people later in their lives?
Struggle is a part of life. It is what helps us learn and grow. It is what makes us who we are.
If our lives were always smooth and carefree, would we ever appreciate it enough to stop and stare at a beautiful flower or a glowing winter sunset?
Would we remember to hug those we love daily if we knew for a fact that no harm could ever befall either one of us?
No one in their right mind would ever ask for trouble or obstacles in their lives, but it’s those very obstacles that show us what we are capable of.
Though many have lost their lives trying to climb Mount Everest, people still go there on a regular basis to try it themselves.
Though people used to say traveling in space was impossible, we went anyway, and now with Elon Musk’s SpaceX program, we’re on our way to going further than ever before.
People tell visionaries like Elon Musk that they are crazy and that their plans will never work. But now I regularly see his fully electric long range Teslas on the highway.
People used to say women and minorities could never run their own successful businesses for a whole multitude of reasons, but the number of successful woman and minority led businesses grows every single day.
The news is full of devastation and loss and suffering, of economic failures and scandals.
Do yourself a favor and turn all that off. So many people cause themselves to suffer more by listening to these continual negative events.
There is so much good and beauty and success that rarely receives any media coverage.
What about the woman working out of her basement who wrote around her job and kids to become a bestselling writer?
What about the guy who went from working weekends in his garage to multi millionaire?
What about all of those people who leave their corporate positions to build something much more meaningful and heart-centered as an entrepreneur?
What about those who volunteer their time to help others?
What about those who rally and stand outside in horrible weather to stand against injustice, who demand to be heard despite a corrupt political machine that is more harmful to its citizens than helpful?
What about those who continue to do their best at work each day, even though they fear that their company could go bankrupt at any time?
What about that person who pulls over to offer help to someone with a flat tire?
A Hero’s Journey for Real
Heroism comes in many different shapes and sizes. And obstacles will show themselves along the way.
What makes a difference is how you handle those obstacles.
What makes a difference is whether or not you choose to be the hero of your own life.
So whether you write about fictional heroes or have defeated your own personal adversity in life, the Hero’s Journey is your journey.
Pain and loss and difficulty will come, but we can overcome it.
By remembering who we are.
We are spiritual beings of light and love. Period. Full stop.
We have unlimited potential, unlimited resources, and unlimited wisdom.
The answers all of us seek are available to us anytime, if we’re willing to seek them.
You just need to seek them from within yourself.
My supposition is that we are all heroes on this journey together.
There is no “us” and “them.” There is only an “us.”
We are all equal, all divine, all part of a greater and completely benevolent whole.
The more of us who remember that, the more of us who share that, the more of us who write about that, the better this planet will be.
So in whatever way you can, be a hero.
What you do doesn’t have to be big, it just needs to be.
Show the world who you really are in as large or small a way as you’d like.
But show them, show yourself who you really are.
Overcome that fear and that adversity. Follow you dreams and support the dreams of others.
Love with all your heart.
That is the Hero’s journey.
That is your journey.
That is my journey.
That is our journey together.
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