How do you overcome obstacles in order to help the world with your talents? This is your hero’s journey.
From Joseph Campbell to this summary by Steven Pressfield, writers, theologians, historians have analyzed the hero’s journey. From Star Wars, to The Matrix, to The Wizard of Oz and Mr Smith Goes to Washington, heroes takes these steps on their journey.
Find inspiration by tracking your own journey. Here are the steps summarized below.
Step 1: Here you are minding your own business (ordinary world) when all of a sudden you get a feeling, a nudge, a desire to do something different—write a blog, learn a language, start a business, find the love of your life. (step 2)
But you think, nah, it’s too much trouble, money, time, I’m too old, blah blah blah. (you reject call, step 3)
Then you run into someone—an old friend who knows someone looking to hire, or teacher who offers the exact course in Mandarin that you need to get to China, or you decide to go on a blind date to meet someone. (step 4)
You begin taking action in this new world. Perhaps this new job, this new relationship, this new diet. You take initiative and this trial by fire of difficult tasks, overcoming obstacles, like your writer’s block or money worries. No problem it’s step 6! Stay the course. You are the hero in this journey. Because even though everything might look awful—you could be filled with doubts, worry, and the outside world could look so crazy–some deep deep whisper reminds you, “stay the course.” You stay for one more day, and then one more day.
You make it through this rough patch. You’ve got a first draft of your book, hurray! Perhaps you made it through nine months of a start up, you are on your sixth week of a diet and the pounds are dropping. You see progress.
Champagne is popped! (Step 7!)
Your adventure isn’t through yet. You know you need a final draft to submit to the world; You know you haven’t yet made the profit to keep you going long term;
You know you haven’t yet married the love of your life and are only in the romantic possibilities stage; You have to keep the weight off. (Step 8)
You need to take it home—finish the project or book, get a profit from the business, release the film into the world so viewers can see it.
All of a sudden you are really blasted with obstacles. You didn’t see this coming!
You have a mother in law who doesn’t want you to marry her son.
You have hit a wall of writer’s block, no amount of coffee or coaxing can revive you from this slump.
Someone tries to hijack your attention or your business before it gets big.
More doubts and fear. You face the tough questions and problems. You overcome obstacles:
Why does this mother in law threaten your commitment with the love of your life?
What is really underneath that writer’s block making it difficult to get a final draft out?
What are you really afraid of if you succeed in business? Will you lose all your old loser friends who wanted to sit around and drink to commiserate? (step 9!)
That’s it! Another wave of determination, faith. You hang in there for one more moment asking the Universe for truth, going within, dodging the danger of the enemy or procrastination or doubt. Despite all odds, you arrive home. (Think of final scene in Martian or when Dorothy has to say goodbye and click her heals to go the final leg of the journey back home alone.)
Your new true home is the contentment of overcoming obstacles and finding resources—usually the ones buried inside you. You may also leave behind others or perhaps make peace with the enemy within you.
You are back in your true home. Stronger. Changed. (step 10)
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*Steven Pressfield. Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t (Kindle Locations 703-708). Black Irish Entertainment, LLC.