Back in 1949, Joseph Campbell published his book “The Hero with a thousand faces”. He found that there was a structure to the journey of the archetypal hero found in world myths. He called it The Hero’s Journey (1).
Many of Hollywood blockbusters follow this journey, from Luke Skywalker in Star Wars to Harry Potter to Shrek. They all followed 12 stages (2):
The hero is in the 1. Ordinary World and receives a 2. Call to Adventure. At first there is a 3. Refusal of the call followed by 4. Meeting the Mentor. The hero 5. Crosses the Threshold into the special world and faces 6. Trials with Allies and Enemies.
As the hero 7. Approaches the Inmost Cave, they face an 8. Ordeal and receive the 9. Reward. They take the 10. Road back to the Ordinary World with 11. The Resurrection and 12. Return with the Elixir. They see the world with new eyes.
If you have your own company, you will be familiar with these stages. Were you called to start something of your own? Along the way, you faced trials and tribulations, confronting your biggest fears. You may have felt like you have died and been reborn in the process, many times.
Whatever stage you are at on your hero’s journey, know that is it is unique to you. It’s a call to follow your intuition to be who you are meant to be. This path is yours and yours alone. Enjoy the journey.