“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: The hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” - Joseph Campbell
The Hero’s Journey is a mythic image for anything that leads us out from the familiar into the unknown, that brings us face-to-face with our doubts and awakens our courage, that reveals a treasure in exactly the place where we once feared to look.
From ancient myths to Marvel to Star Wars, we love stories of heroes fighting evil, defending the innocent, and saving the galaxy. They are powerful symbols of our own capacity to act courageously.
Yet heroic journeys do not always need to be so large in scale. Yes, launching a new business from scratch or embarking on a year-long backpacking trip are courageous deeds.
But so is waking up early to meditate for 20 minutes before work. So is going on a first date. So is talking with a therapist for the first time. So is confronting an injustice with courageous compassion. So is telling someone “I love you” one year after getting your heart broken. So is creating a beautiful work of art. So is reaching out to a friend who is struggling. So is choosing to finally love yourself.
On our worst days, just getting out of bed in the morning is a heroic deed of epic proportions.
The good news is: when we start taking courageous steps, I believe a kind of “heroic momentum” starts to take effect. We begin to grow in our capacity to act courageously, even in the face of setbacks and heartbreaks. The world doesn’t necessarily become easier, but we become stronger.
Every day is an invitation to embark on a hero’s journey.
When we wake up in the morning, we have a choice to make. We can either seek the familiar and the comfortable… or courageously explore the new and the unknown. We can hide from our fears and sulk in our pain… or we can walk boldly into the world, grab our sword or lightsaber, and fight the good fight.
Who knows, we may just end up saving the entire galaxy.
What hero’s journey is awaiting you today?