Why is it that we enjoy Heroes so much? Why do we watch films and read books and listen to tales of men and women who overcome difficult situations? Who step in the battlefield and struggle valiantly? Who confront their fears and display courage, even if the odds are against them?
Because that’s who we all aspire to be.
Joseph Campbell outlined a frequent story that’s followed closely by personalities from ancient mythological stories through modern day movies. He considered that, not only are humans drawn to this story, but that we all have the capability to live it.
Let me introduce you.
Joseph Campbell was a 20th Century mythologist, teacher, and philosopher. He had been a powerful thought leader and writer who wrote many novels.
There’s a movie, Finding Joe, that investigates Campbell’s ideas about the Hero’s Journey. I highly suggest it! It includes modern day philosophers, religious leaders and writers like Deepak Chopra and Ken Robinson as well as musicians, professional athletes, and even my old boss from the Foundation.
The Hero’s Journey
From the movie, author Alen Cohen says”We’re not separate from the characters we see in our stories and in our novels. They are us. It’s 1 journey.”
The hero’s journey is defined by a few key elements. First, there is a separation and a call to adventure. The protagonist embarks on a journey to an unknown or unknown place (physically or emotionally/spiritually). On the way, he encounters challenges and temptations, and eventually he should face death (either physically or metaphorically). It’s by beating that experience that they are reborn and changed. Then acting scripts plays skits heroes superheroes have earned the title of”Hero.”
There are entire books written about this, so I am summarizing here. However, the point is that the story line is exactly the same, even though the details can be radically different.
The Creative And Entrepreneurial Call
There are lots of different”calls to experience” that can jump start a hero’s journey. And we can experience it in a life. From the movie, a few of the instigators were physical challenges such as a loony skateboarding trick. Sometimes they’re thrust upon you, like a serious medical illness or tragic experience. There may be geographic separation, like moving to a different place, culture or country. Or a different kind of separation, like losing a job or a relationship.