Are You a Winner or a Victim? Are You a Victim or a Hero? Are You On Your Hero’s Journey? “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” -Christopher Reeve
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” -Joseph Campbell-
Ever notice that many stories seem to have a similar pattern? There’s always a protagonist who goes on an adventure, makes new friends, encounters roadblocks, fights a bad guy, and returns home a changed person.
We can sum it up for you in two words: Hero’s Journey. For instance consider Janine Sheprrd’s Hero Journey: Cross-country skier Janine Shepherd hoped for an Olympic medal — until she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride.
She shares a powerful story about the human potential for recovery. Her message: you are not your body, and giving up old dreams can allow new ones to soar. (3) Janine Shepherd: A broken body isn’t a broken person – YouTube
The Hero’s Journey Story structure is as old as time. From Theseus and the Minotaur to The Lion King, so many narratives follow this pattern that it’s ingrained in our cultural DNA today. Consider Aimee Mullins Story: The opportunity of adversity | Aimee Mullins
[A]: What is the Hero’s journey? The Hero’s Journey is a common story structure shared by cultures worldwide, in which a character ventures into unknown territory to retrieve something they need. Facing conflict and adversity, the hero ultimately triumphs before returning home, transformed. (3) The Highest Hero’s Journey – What It Means To Be Real Hero – YouTube
[B]: What Is A Hero? Obviously, there are many different definitions to the word hero. For some it might mean a political or religious figure. For others, a beloved relative or friend. It might even mean comic books and spandex to few.
Some heroes don’t have supernatural powers. Some heroes haven’t changed the world. Some heroes aren’t even famous. What’s the tried and true qualifier for a hero then? At some point a hero has impacted another person’s life. Heroes are personal. Affecting the lives of thousands is great, but one is enough.
Heroes are trailblazers. Heroes overcome great challenges. Heroes have all the
weaknesses the rest of us have—greed, fear, hate—but they have mastered and defeated them. Heroes make their heroic deeds look easy, even though they’re not
Heroes inspire more heroes. It’s a side effect of their actions. Seeing them do their best, inspires us to do our best. The heroic spirit is kept alive and reborn for a new generation. The Highest Hero’s Journey (3) The Highest Hero’s Journey – What It Means To Be Real Hero – YouTube
Someday you might want to be a hero yourself. You’ll need to know how this whole hero thing works. Along the way, you might also discover that heroes aren’t confined to the lofty heights of Mount Olympus or even the Bat-Cave. They might be everyday people right here on earth, a lot closer than you thought. (3) What makes a hero? – Matthew Winkler – YouTube
[C]: 12 Steps to a Better Life. Rocky’s Hero’s Journey Example. : The Ordinary World: Rocky Balboa is introduced as a mediocre boxer and loan collector — just doing his best to live day-to-day in a poor part of Philadelphia.
: Call to Adventure: Apollo Creed, the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion, decides to make a big fight interesting by giving a no-name a chance to challenge him. Intrigued by the nickname, “The Italian Stallion,” he rings Rocky up.
: Refusal of the Call: Rocky says, “Thanks, but no thanks,” to Creed’s invitation. He’s reluctant, given that he has no trainer and is incredibly out of shape.
: Meeting the Mentor: In steps former boxer Mickey “Mighty Mick” Goldmill, who sees potential in Rocky and starts training him physically and mentally for the fight.
: Crossing the First Threshold: Rocky fully accepts the gauntlet to square up when he crosses the threshold into his love interest Adrian’s house and asks her out on a date.
: Tests, Allies, Enemies: Rocky continues to try and win over Adrian while making a dubious friend in her brother, Paulie.
: Approach to the Inmost Cave: The Inmost Cave in Rocky is Rocky’s own mind. He fears that he’ll never amount to anything — something that he reveals when he butts heads with his trainer, Mickey, in his apartment.
: Ordeal: The start of the training montage marks the beginning of Rocky’s Ordeal. He pushes through it until he glimpses hope ahead while running up the museum steps.
: Reward (Seizing the Sword): Rocky’s reward is the return of his faith in himself. He regains the self-esteem to realize that he has the stuff to take on Apollo Creed — win or lose.
: The Road Back: On New Year’s Day, the fight between Rocky and Creed is held. Rocky realizes the challenge that lies before him in the first few rounds, in which both men are more or less equally matched.
: Resurrection: Rocky’s knocked down more than a few times as the fight continues. The entire fight winds up lasting 15 rounds and takes both men to the brink of exhaustion.
: Return with the Elixir: Rocky doesn’t win the fight — but he doesn’t care. He’s won back his confidence and beaten his mental demons. And he’s got Adrian, who tells him that she loves him.
[D]: Make Your Better Life Using 12 Steps of the Hero’s Journey. Ask yourself and analyze where you are in regard to the 12 steps of the Hero’s Journey.
Which step are you on? : The Ordinary World: : Call to Adventure: : Refusal of the Call: : Meeting the Mentor: : Crossing the First Threshold: : Tests, Allies, Enemies: : Approach to the Inmost Cave: : Ordeal: : Reward: : Reward (Seizing the Sword): : The Road Back: : Resurrection: : Return with the Elixir:
The best way to examine your life on your Hero’s Journey is to apply three Guidelines for Self-Examination  Be intentional. Set aside a specific time to examine your own life. Find a place where you can be alone.  Be specific. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see what is going on in your life. Read the Ten Commandments…  Be a believer.
The best way to analyze yourself on your Hero’s Journey is building self-awareness of your “Wheel of Life.” Analyze yourself in each area including your beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and reactions.
Notice your thoughts. Your thoughts are an integral part of who you are. In our opinion the best way is to learn and apply the “Master Key System.”
When do we need to stop and analyze ourselves on our Hero’s Journey? Basically never! When we need or want a different life or situation. At that time it is time to stop what we are doing and the time to analyze ourselves and our lives. It is when we need to look at where we are in life, where we want to go, and how we intend to get there.
- [E]: To Create a Better Life Using the Hero’s Journey Stretegic Plan. Have you ever asked yourself, “What can I do to improve myself and my life?” Many people have asked themselves this question at some point in their lives as part of their personal development and to help them achieve their goals.
In writing a strategic plan, you begin by assessing your current situation or where you are in life right now. Various tools can be used to do this. One of the best tools that can be used to assess your current situation is a SWOC, an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges.
Strengths and weaknesses are considered internal factors, most of which are within your control. Opportunities and challenges are considered external factors, most of which are outside your control. Your strengths and opportunities are things you can use to help you improve yourself and your life. Your weaknesses and challenges are things you need to improve and manage.
A SWOC helps you see what is happening in your life and how you can make changes to have a better life. Doing a SWOC is very easy. Get a sheet of paper and create a 2X2 grid. This will give you four cells, which are to be labeled as Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Challenges.
Think about yourself and your life, and then under Strengths, list everything you are good at and the significant resources that you have. As you do so, remember that being a part of God and one with God is a phenomenal strength. Your knowledge, talents, and network of family and friends are also strengths.
Under Weaknesses, list your areas for improvement. We all have areas for improvement in ourselves and our lives. If you are not sure what areas you need to improve, you can ask someone who you believe will tell you the truth. Sometimes it is easier to identify areas for improvement in others than it is to identify them for ourselves. You can ask the person to help you identify your strengths as well as your areas for improvement. As you do your SWOC, focus on the major areas for improvement and those that will help you live a better life.
Under Opportunities, list the things you think you can do to improve yourself and your life, your options in life, and things you believe are possible for you. Think about new things you can do, things that can be done differently and better, and keep an open mind.
Under Challenges, list some of the major difficulties you are experiencing, the obstacles you face, and any major threat in your life. As you list your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges, also include political issues, economic factors, social issues, technology, legal issues, and environmental issues that affect you. Think also about your spirituality, health, finances, family, friends, relationships, job, career, business, personal development, love, peace, joy, how much you are truly enjoying your life, and other important aspects.
After identifying your strengths, weakness, opportunities and challenges, ask yourself the following questions:
1. How can I use my strengths to help myself, serve others, and live a better life?
2. Which of my weaknesses do I need to improve, and how can I improve them?
3. What opportunities can I explore to improve myself and my life?
4. What can I do about the challenges I face?
Doing this SWOC analysis will enable you to see various aspects of yourself and your life better. It will also help you as you work on the other parts of your strategic plan for your life.
- [F]: Three Essential Stages for a Better Life: The departure. The hero leaves the familiar world behind. The initiation. The hero learns to navigate the unfamiliar world. The return. The hero returns to the familiar world. (3) Hero’s Journey – Step by Step – YouTube
[G]: THE 12 STEPS OF HERO’s JOURNEY FOR YOUR BETTER LIFE EXPLAINED
Years of research lead Campbell to discover several basic stages that almost every hero-quest goes through (no matter what culture the myth is a part of).
The Hero’s Journey is a great technique for analyzing your life, your friends life, myths, legends, films, novels, short stories, plays, or even comic books.
Step : THE ORDINARY WORLD
Heroes exist in a world is considered ordinary or uneventful by those who live there. Often the heroes are considered odd by those in the ordinary world and possess some ability or characteristic that makes them feel out-of-place.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: Dorothy in Kansas
- The Hobbit: Bilbo Baggins in Hobbiton
- Star Wars: Luke Skywalker on Tatooine
- The Lion King: Simba at Pride Rock
Step : THE CALL TO ADVENTURE
For heroes to begin their journeys, they must be called away from the ordinary world. Fantastic quests don’t happen in everyday life. Heroes must be removed from their typical environment. Most heroes show a reluctance to leave their home, their friends, and their life to journey on a quest. But in the end they accept their destiny.
Usually there is a discovery, some event, or some danger that starts them on the heroic path. Heroes find a mystic object or discover their world is in danger. In some cases, heroes happen upon their quest by accident. Campbell puts it like this, “A blunder—the merest chance—reveals an unsuspected world.”
The new world the hero is forced into is much different than the old one. Campbell describes this new world as a “fateful region of both treasure and danger…a distant land, a forest, a kingdom underground, beneath the waves, or above the sky, a secret island, lofty mountaintop, or profound dream state…a place of strangely fluid and polymorphous beings, unimaginable torments, superhuman deeds, and impossible delight”.
This description may seem pretty vague, but think of all the various fantasy realms characters have entered throughout the years: Middle-Earth, Oz, Narnia, Wonderland. It could even be outer space, a haunted house, or the Matrix. Regardless of the details, the new world is sure to be filled with adventure.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The tornado
- The Hobbit: Gandalf the wizard arrives
- Star Wars: R2D2’s cryptic message
Step : REFUSAL OF THE QUEST
During the Call to Adventure heroes are given a task or quest which only they can complete. They are faced with a choice: accept the quest or deny it. Their choice might seem like a no-brainer. If they don’t accept the quest, there won’t be much of a story—or will there? Actually there are stories where heroes don’t accept their destinies. When this happens, the stage is set for disaster. There’s a reason why the powers-that-be have chosen a particular hero. A refusal of the quest only brings trouble.
King Minos, the monarch of Crete who antagonizes the Greek hero Theseus, does not do what the gods ask of him. Poseidon, Lord of the Seas, sends him a beautiful white bull. The god’s only order is that Minos must sacrifice the creature back to him. After seeing the magnificent beast, Minos decides he just can’t bring himself to do what the god asks and keeps the bull as a personal trophy.
Enraged, Poseidon vows revenge and causes Minos’ wife to burn with lust for her husband’s prized beast. The rest of this story is strictly NC-17. It results in the birth of the Minotaur, a creature half-bull, half-human, a curse to his father King Minos.
Campbell notes that heroes who refuse their quest often become characters in need of rescuing or in Minos’ case, the villain of another hero’s journey
- Star Wars: Luke refuses the quest until he learns his aunt and uncle are dead
- The Lion King: Simba refuses to return to Pride Rock and accept his destiny
- Groundhog Day: Example of the negative cycle caused by refusing the call
Step : ACCEPTING THE CALL: Once the adventure is accepted, the heroes advance into the next stage of their journey.
Step : ENTERING THE UNKNOWN
As they embark on their journey, the heroes enter a world they have never experienced before. Very often it is filled with supernatural creatures, breathtaking sights, and the constant threat of death. Unlike the heroes’ home, this outside world has its own rules, and they quickly learns to respect these rules as their endurance, strength, and mettle are tested time and time again. After all, it is not the end of the journey which teaches, but the journey itself.
- The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy must learn the rules of Oz
- The Matrix: Neo must come to grips with the realities and unrealities of the Matrix
Step : SUPERNATURAL AID
Supernatural doesn’t have to mean magical. There are plenty of hero stories that don’t have wizards or witches per say. Supernatural simply means “above the laws of nature.” Heroes are almost always started on their journey by a character who has mastered the laws of the outside world and come back to bestow this wisdom upon them. This supernatural character often gives them the means to complete the quest. Some of the time the gift is simply wisdom. Other times it is an object with magical powers. In every instance it is something the hero needs to succeed.
As Campbell says, “One has only to know and trust, and the ageless guardians will appear.” The job of the supernatural assistor is to give the heroes what they need to finish the quest—not finish it for them.
- The Hobbit: Gandalf
- Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi
- Cinderella: Fairy Godmother
Step : TALISMAN: A Special (and often magical) items that assist the heroes on their quest.
- The Wizard of Oz: Ruby Slippers
- The Hobbit: The Ring
- Star Wars: Lightsaber
Step : ALLIES/HELPERS
Every hero needs a helper, much like every superhero needs a sidekick. Without the assistance of their companions and helpers along the way, most heroes would fail miserably. For example, in the Greek hero story of Theseus, Minos’ daughter Ariadne, after falling hopelessly in love, helps Theseus navigate the Labyrinth. She does this by holding one end of a golden thread while Theseus works his way inward to slay the Minotaur. Without her help, Theseus would never have fulfilled his quest or found his way out of the maze once he did so.
- Lord of the Rings: Samwise Gamgee
- The Wizard of Oz: The Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion
Step : TESTS & THE SUPREME ORDEAL
The heroes progress through a series of tests, a set of obstacles that make them stronger, preparing them for their final showdown. At long last they reach the Supreme Ordeal, the obstacle they have journeyed so far to overcome.
All the heroes’ training and toil comes into play now. The journey has hardened them, and it’s time for them to show their prowess. Once this obstacle is overcome, the tension will be relieved. The worst is passed, and the quest, while not officially over, has succeeded.
- Star Wars: Blowing up the Death Star
- Lord of the Rings: Mount Doom
- The Wizard of Oz: Defeating the Wicked Witch
Step : REWARD AND THE JOURNEY HOME
Typically, there is a reward given to heroes for passing the Supreme Ordeal. It could be a kingdom. It could be the hand of a beautiful princess. It could be the Holy Grail. Whatever it is, it is a reward for the heroes’ endurance and strength.
After the heroes complete the Supreme Ordeal and have the reward firmly in hand, all that is left is for them to return home. Just because the majority of the adventure has passed doesn’t mean that the return journey will be smooth sailing. There are still lesser homebound obstacles to overcome.
- The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
- The Lord of the Rings: Return to Hobbiton
Step : MASTER OF TWO WORLDS/ RESTORING THE WORLD
Success on the heroes’ quest is life-changing, for them and often for many others. By achieving victory, they have changed or preserved their original world. Often they return with “the exilir,” an object or personal ability that allows them to save their world.
The heroes have also grown in spirit and strength. They have proved themselves worthy for marriage, kingship, or queenship. Their mastery of the outside world qualifies them to be giants in their own.
- Lord of the Rings: Frodo saves the Shire
- The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy rids Oz of the Wicked Witch
Step 12. CONCLUSION: While Joseph Campbell’s monomyth works best with the traditional form of the quest—folk and fairy tales, myths, legends, and other fantasies—it can be applied to many different genres or types of stories. A quest does not have to include swords and monsters. It can just as easily occur in the real world and in your life. The Hero’s Journey exists anywhere and everywhere.
Christopher Reeves: This article recounts the accomplishments of actor Christopher Reeve, including his heroic struggle with paralysis. Using this article as a springboard, students can compare Superman, the character embodied by Reeve, and the actor’s real-life heroic struggle. ChristopherReeveArticle.pdf (shopify.com)
You are invited to “The Hero’s Journey”.
Many people want to change some aspect of their lives. Others want to transform their lives by making significant, lasting changes. Transforming your life involves going beyond the way you live, co-creating a better life for yourself, and changing the way you live. The Hero’s journey can help all people make changes or transform their lives.
This is a 5-week in-depth coaching, mentoring and study that will afford you the opportunity to join forces and mastermind with a unique group of like-minded individuals who are focused on taking results in every area of their lives to a new level.
Having the support and ideas from other focused and driven people allows us to see things differently.
Whatever your vocation, you can increase your impact on your life and on others by learning the ideas in the Hero’s Journey.
Understanding and applying the Hero’s Journey will not only be a catalyst to your success, it will become the legacy you will leave behind.
This coaching will lead you successfully through your life journey: “Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.”
What happens when you transform your life? “When you transform, you do something that you could never have imagined yourself doing, become something you could never have imagined yourself becoming, and, ultimately, live a life greater than you could have ever imagined yourself living.” (3) As a Man Thinketh – James Allen [read by Earl Nightingale] A Classic Must Hear Book! – YouTube Are you ready to transform a small area of your life or your entire life with the Hero’s Journey?
Ready to discuss your successful Hero’s Journey? Contact us. Michael Kissinger and Sydney Reitenbach