Are you a Hero? If you believe Joseph Campbell (author of ‘The Hero With A Thousand Faces’), we are all the heroes of our own personal story. But what does it mean to be a hero? This is perhaps the most important question for each of us to ask ourselves, and there are as many correct answers as there are individuals. Your personal definition of “Hero” is also the key to understanding your purpose in life!
As individuals, we are limited. We are born either male or female. At any point in our lives, we are either a child, a teen, an adult, or elderly. We might be American, Chinese, or Egyptian. Our life-role might be a tradesman, artist, priest, or politician. Perhaps you are limited to only speaking and thinking in one language – so as you can see, all individuals are necessarily limited just by being an individual.
We are only complete in the context of our personal mythology: how do we fit into our culture, our family, our industry, or our social circle? Separate from our personal society, our life doesn’t have much meaning. Therefore, every day we are writing another page in our personal mythology; our personal Hero’s Journey!
The Hero’s Journey, according to Campbell, consists of:
Leaving our familiar world (our comfort zone)
Overcoming obstacles to achieve enlightenment
Returning to our personal world to share our new enlightenment with others
In mythological terms, this is Luke Skywalker leaving his home on Tatooine, rescuing Princess Leia, learning of The Force, and ultimately destroying the Death Star with the help of The Force.
In everyday terms, this is leaving our home to venture off to college or university, overcoming tests and passing exams to earn a degree, and ultimately returning to the “normal world” with our new knowledge to get a well paying job.
A Hero’s Journey can be measured over a lifetime, such as the case of Jesus, Buddha, or Steve Jobs.
A Hero’s Journey can also be measured in smaller increments, such as embracing a Vegan lifestyle and then sharing that knowledge with your social circle (I never said the Hero’s Journey always results in a happy ending).
Today we are in desperate need of Heroes in every walk of life! It’s painfully apparent that modern society is failing. We need people who aren’t afraid to leave the familiarity of modern society to explore alternative lifestyles.
The myth we are sold is to go to school, get a job, raise a family, repeat. But the lifestyle of the average Western family is unsustainable! If every human lives like the average American, we would need the resources of 5 planet Earths!
We need heroes who are not afraid to try a new approach to life. Don’t do what is expected of you, take the road less traveled. What would life be like if you ride a bike more and drove a car less? What would life be like if you ate less meat and more plant based foods? Explore new ways of living, and share your experiences with the global tribe!
We need less warriors and more clowns. Teach us how to laugh again instead of fighting.
We need less athletes and more poets. Teach us how to express our emotions with words instead of competition.
We need less celebrities and more entrepreneurs. Teach us how to create businesses that benefit society and our planet instead of competing for scarce resources.
So are you a Hero? The choice is yours. All it takes is the desire to try something new and the willingness to fail. Don’t do what everyone else is doing – we’ve already tried that, and it’s not working so well.
Be a Hero by being willing to be laughed at, mocked, judged, and most of all be willing to fail. You don’t have to be an Elon Musk or a Deepak Chopra – you just have to try something new and bold. Who knows, you might be the one who fires those torpedoes that destroy our societies “Death Star!”
I’m looking forward to reading your story or watching a movie about your life!
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Here are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)