You know there was some research done by some author who wrote some book.
He studied the most enduring myths, parables, legends, films, and tales of human history to see what made such stories last through the centuries.
He found that these stories all had a common thread he called “The Heroes Journey”. It’s a template that every one of our favorite stories follow.
It goes something like this:
Joe lives his normal everyday existence.
Joe encounters a problem or enemy.
Joe tolerates problem, hesitant to do anything about it.
Joe’s inciting event. Something happens that forces him to act (The Sand Kicked in the face moment)
A Mentor/Teacher/Sage (usually Morgan Freeman) shows up.
Joe embarks on a journey to solve problem or fight an enemy. (this is where Ralph Maccio begins training in Karate kid)
Joe encounters trials and tribulation. Wrought with Progress and Setbacks.
Shit hits the fan. The stakes are raised.
Joe nearly gives in to the dark forces.
Montage plays, Joe dies a symbolic death and emerges his Truer Heroic Self.
Joe Defeats Enemy once and For all.
Joe Comes back home and lives happily ever after.
Take any one of your favorite books or movies and tell me it doesn’t follow that thread and I will be shocked. The events can be literal occurrences as they are in Braveheart or Rocky. Or symbolic like Will Ferrel’s character in Everything Must Go or a season of the Biggest Loser where the contestants are battling internal demons.
This is why elections become a spectacle where each party tries to portray the other candidate as the tyrannical anti-christ
And people feed into it none the wiser. Their vote becomes a salvo against the evil politician.
It’s the story of good Vs. evil. The underdog or dark horse. We love it.
Because it reflects our own humanity. Life is much more of a battle between good and evil than we realize. At least it should be. Your desire to lose weight. Your quest to land the career you want. To get the girl. To find Prince Charming. It won’t often involve a sword fight or a living breathing enemy, but it almost always follows the path of the “Hero’s Journey”
Anyone who is actively involved in making things happen in their life undoubtedly encountered a problem.
One day, things reached a boiling point and they had had enough. They had a friend, teacher, mentor, coach or book that gave them the encouragement to embark on the “quest”
They encountered progress and failure. The uphill battle towards vanquishing the enemy.
At one point they plateaued or experienced a huge setback and nearly gave up. Luckily they kept on.
Then a breakthrough.
The light at the end of the tunnel. They picked themselves up to follow the glimmers of luminosity. Chasing the glow they moved faster than ever before finding untapped reserves of strength and energy. And they emerged. Different. Evolved. Victorious.
Think of your personal victories and I’m betting the sequence followed something like this. If you didn’t emerge victorious you’re still living the story man. Get up and keep moving.