This site has been focused on the hero’s journey and the lessons we can learn from it over the last couple of months. I’ve used my story as an example numerous times and pointed to movie men and women in other posts. I have also taught the journey to a thousand kids in the last month. I truly believe it’s an important model and one that, if understood, can provide a lot of support for us in our lives. Rather than muddle through our adventures, these fives steps give us perspective and an element of comfort.
The most important part of the journey is the change experienced by the hero. It is with this change, and the gained knowledge that comes with it, that allows the hero to change the world. We only change if we change our surroundings – if we leave the Mundane World. I’ve got it all worked out. After all, I teach this to kids all the time. And I mean it.
But I haven’t been going on any journeys lately.
Coming to America and then deciding to live here were big adventures for me and the change is evident. Ask my family in Australia if I’ve changed – they’ll back me up. Except those journeys ended at least ten years ago. I lived in the same small American town for 14 years! Now I’m in another one.
My kick in the pants came today when I watched a TEDx video by Colin Wright from Exile Lifestyle. His posts have become my most-anticipated lately and this one was a doozy. Colin realized that we only change when we go on adventures. We need to challenge ourselves to really make change. This is what I preach, but where’s the practice?
Colin’s suggestion was to imagine where you want to be and then plan backwards, taking one step back from the goal until you get to where you’re standing now – kind of the reverse hero’s journey. Chris Guillebeau said in a post on the Art of Non-Comformity, “My view is that the odds of life passing you by are much higher if you have no plan for life itself”. He’s talking about goals, just like Colin.
Chris and Colin challenge themselves. Chris is on his way to visiting every country in the world, Colin moves to a new country every four months. They’re not “going up North” every summer, or heading to Florida in the winter. They’re not playing it safe. They’re removing themselves from the Mundane World and traversing the Path of Trials. And they’re changing themselves and the world.
So guess what my family did today – we discussed goals. Karen and I talked about where we want to be and how we’re going to get there. Vienna mainly said, “doggie” and “baby”, which essentially meant she agreed with us. We need to go on adventures to create the change we want in our lives and ourselves.
I haven’t done anything scary for ten years. It’s time to get scared again.
Quest Work: (what is this?) Write down three things you’d like to do in your life. Now, write down what you will need to do to reach those goals. Share in the comments, as usual.