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You Were Born to Be a Hero

Modern philosopher Joseph Campbell - the man who said "Follow your bliss" - is also known for capturing the idea of "the hero's journey."

It's a concept found in great writing throughout time - from the ancient Greek story of Odysseus to the screenplay of "Star Wars" and many others. The stories we love most are usually hero's journeys.

This is the template of the hero's journey:

  • A person is inspired to leave home and set out on a quest.

  • Along the way, that person meets an antagonist (could be another person or a circumstance) through which they discover their true gift(s).

  • They use their gift(s) to triumph over the antagonist, becoming recognized as the hero they always had the potential to be.

  • They return home with their newfound sense of self.

You are the hero of your own journey. If we apply this template to our own lives, then there are a few key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • The hero doesn't turn back. Despite meeting the antagonist, the hero proceeds forward as if victory were assured. When we do the same in our lives, that's when we discover our gifts.

  • When the journey is over, the hero ends up back at home, where things often look the same on the outside; it's the hero's insides that have changed. As Zen Buddhists say, "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood, carry water." Certain responsibilities will not change, but how you go about them will change because you can use the gifts you have discovered on your journey.

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