I find it so common for successful people, like yourself, to come to a point where you have ‘made it’ – whatever that means to the outside world – only to feel a bit lost. You have accomplished what you once set out to acquire. Maybe that is a position, a relationship or material things, yet, you still feel empty. So what is that all about? Over the next few weeks we will explore this together.
The hero’s journey has been told and retold in many different ways in every culture throughout the world. Your story might go something like this:
You have done the ‘right’ things, become successful, settled down, and you’re comfortably progressing on your life path. Then, “bam!” – you hit a wall. You’re stuck. You wake up one day knowing something’s missing but you don’t know what it is.
This is relatively common. It may be a mid-life thing, but it can also happen early on, or strike toward the end of one’s career. In that moment of stuckness, we are faced with three choices: go back, stand still and stagnate, or jump ahead into uncertainty.
Welcome to the hero’s journey, a story that has been told and retold in many different ways in every culture throughout the world. Joseph Campbell wrote about this phenomenon in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, in which he examines mythic figures such as Jonah, Odysseus, and King Arthur.
The hero’s journey begins with a call or a problem that we can’t ignore, but which requires we discard outmoded ways of being. To learn what we need to answer the call, we risk facing unknown challenges.
To refuse the hero’s call is to stagnate and die. To move forward we must change – but we don’t know exactly how. The hero engages in the serious work of self-assessment, reflection, and painful exploration of his insufficiencies and failings.
To undertake the hero’s journey is to question everything, but particularly one’s self. How can we accept ourselves in spite of our doubts and insecurities? How do we gain confidence to lead others knowing our weaknesses? The hero faces self-discovery with brutal honesty to become more authentic and real.