Live A Better Life Newsletter
(Tools and Tips for Intentional Living)
Volume 2 Issue 7, August 31, 2010
The Hero’s Journey
In This Issue:
The Hero’s Journey
Last newsletter I wrote about how to Tell Yourself A Story – to reframe how you look at your life, your own story, your journey toward your goals and dreams. In that article I mentioned the Hero’s Journey – the classic format for all tales of adventure. When I was a little girl I used to love to read Trixie Belden mystery stories, a Nancy Drew like heroine who also solved crime. Only unlike Nancy, she was average, insecure, awkward, in other words, just like me. And I loved to pretend I was Trixie, with her home, and her family and friends, and solving crimes.
Today I am going to give you a quick overview of the Hero’s Journey. Then over the next few months I’ll break it down, stage by stage. My hope is that you too will find yourself in this journey, and be encouraged by the map, and knowing where you go from here.
The journey begins with life as is. The moment before your journey begins, before change is initiated, you feel unfulfilled, unsatisfied, unhappy. Then you get “The Call” – this is your dream, the call to something more, better, bigger than where you are. The dream that satisfies and fulfills, the one that fills you with excitement. You have a Vision for how things could be, for you, and maybe even for others. Then – “Initiation” – you take off. Or, in this diagram, you roll down the hill. It’s fast and furious and exciting. It feels easy, and unavoidable. You have to go this way! You have to do this!
Then – you come to a screeching halt, your first break, and also the place that’s filled with traps to get you stuck and keep you there. This is “The Pit”. Doubts and fears kick in here. We have monsters to fight and dragons to slay. And we often, at some point, feel completely alone. And we question, why did we do this? What were we thinking? Hope falters here.
But the journey is not over. If we hold fast, we find others who come along and help us. We find allies and opportunities. The journey isn’t over, but we are no longer alone. Hope arrives. And we press on. In the map, we go up. It feels like an uphill battle here, exhausting. Yet we are close now.
Then, if we keep at it, keep taking steps, we have our “Breakthrough,” our “ah ha!” moment of clarity and focus. We are re-energized. The end, the achievement, is not far now. We continue until…
The goal is achieved, the dream is realized, we arrive at last at the place we have dreamed of. Then we celebrate, we reminisce, we mine our experience for learnings, and we revel in our accomplishment.
The Hero’s Journey is also a simplified but applicable view of the process of any change you may experience. And as humans, the one thing that is constant is that things are always changing. You may currently have some dreams where you are in “The Pit” with the dragons. At the same time, you may have others where you’re nearing “Breakthrough.” Some dreams take days, others years, but this is the basic journey for each of them.
When I learned about the Hero’s Journey, I began to see that I am really the hero in my own life story. (And how cool is that, I ask you?) And when I began to redesign my life, to pursue my long time goals and dreams, I really saw myself on the hero’s path. In fact, in times of significant transition or change, I carry a picture of the journey with me, and I often pull it out like a map, to see where I am, and to encourage and guide me along my way.
In the months ahead, we’ll explore each stage of the journey more deeply. The goal is for you to understand more fully the process, the journey of pursuing your goals and dreams. And through that understanding, you’ll be able to hold fast and stay the course until you your dreams are realized and celebrated.
As you look at the Hero’s Journey, think about the transitions in your life today. Consider your dreams. Where are you on your own hero’s path? And where are you going next?
p.s. Post your thoughts below!
To learn more about the Hero’s Journey and the process of change or transition, especially when it comes to life dreams, you might want to pick up a copy of these favorites.
The Way of Transition: Embracing Life’s Most Difficult Moments by William Bridges
The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin
Check out my new web site: www.unearthyourworth.com. And follow me now on Twitter @lori_howard.
I welcome your feedback, comments and questions. Also, if you’re interested in contributing to this Newsletter, email me your submissions.
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About this Newsletter
Copyright 2010 Lori Howard. All rights reserved.