An excerpt from The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz:
The philosopher and mythologist Joseph Campbell described the search for meaning and purpose as “The Hero’s Journey.” The basic elements of the path, he argued, recur across cultures and throughout history. Self-transformation, Campbell said, is our greatest challenge as human beings. The hero’s journey begins when something awakens us to the need for change–illumination, discomfort, pain. Campbell described this as the “Call to Adventure.” Once we accept the call, he said, we push forward into the unknown. Along the way we face doubt, uncertainty, fear and hardship. At some point, we realize that we cannot make the journey alone, and we seek help from a “mentor.”
A series of tests push us to the brink of giving up, but in the “Supreme Ordeal” we finally slay the dragon– facing down the darkness within ourselves, calling on previously untapped potentials and creating meaning where it did not preciously exist. We celebrate and acknowledge this accomplishment, but the process does not end there. Living out our purpose is a lifelong challenge. The journey continues and the true hero is always awaiting the next call to the unknown.