The Story Continues…
In the 20th century, a scholar named Joseph Campbell studied what seems to be a universal pattern within epic stories. In all cultures, there are elements found in epic stories that mirror each other. He called this, The Hero’s (Heroine’s) Journey. Take a look a the pic below.
There’s a lot going on in the picture. But we can decode some important elements for Thursday’s session. Let’s take a look at the right side of the circle for this week’s (Thursday team) session.
First, notice the line with the words known and unknown above a below it. Epic stories begin with the heroine in her “normal life.” At some point, she comes upon an opportunity. However, to get to the “good stuff” on the other side of the opportunity requires that she move through a series challenges.
Second, these challenges begin when the heroine comes upon a threshold guardian. The Threshold Guardian is a person or set of circumstances the heroine must face and overcome if he or she is to accomplish the dream, win the prize, or actualize potential. These early challenges reveal to the heroine things about herself and what she possesses (and yet needs) to make the journey and win the prize.
Third, to over come the challenges the heroine must do three things:
- Find helpers: Helpers are people or resources that can be used to overcome challenges. This requires the heroine to “look around” and see her available resources. If she tries to “gut it out” all by herself, she’ll fail.
- Find a mentor: Mentors are sages along the path who know things about the path the heroine does not yet know. She sometimes seeks out the mentor and sometimes serendipitously encounters a mentor. Either way, she is humble and open to the wisdom of the mentor BUT NEVER relies too heavily on the mentor. She must make her own way.
- Resist temptation: Along the path of challenges, there are a myriad of temptations: the temptation to quit, the temptation to become cynical, the temptation to become distracted by easier paths, the temptation, to go back to “normal.” These are a few, and there are often many others, that must be overcome.
As you think about your 2023 story, be ready on Thursday to:
- Describe the challenges and obstacles you are already facing. Try and be as specific as you can about them.
- Identify helpers and “things you need” that will help you overcome the challenges.
- Identify a mentor or two that you can engage to help you understand the path you’re on
- Identify temptations you will need to resist in order to stay on the path of your story
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