Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hero's Journey - Tests, Allies and Enemies

The Hero is now fully in the Special World – he is at the stage of “Tests, Allies, and Enemies”. The Hero now faces tests while he sorts out who are his allies and enemies for his Hero’s journey.

When the Hero embarks on his Hero’s Journey, there are three possible ways others may respond. Some will support the Hero, some are indifferent, while others will decide to be the Hero’s enemy because of what he stands for.

This is the stage where the Hero hones his people reading skills. Misreading people – whom he can trust and whom he cannot - can break the Journey.

It is natural for us to want to be loved by all but this is simply not possible. Enemies are something we cannot avoid completely - not even if we abandon our Hero’s Journey and try to please everyone. As Bill Crosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”

So do not be disheartened when toxic and evil people show up in your life. Dealing successfully with toxic people and evil people are crucial life skills, and part and parcel of the Hero's Journey.

The Hero’s Journey is not a solitary quest. Heroes have an extensive and diverse support network which they carefully and systemically nurture. The Hero’s allies consist of people who agree with the Hero’s aspirations and the initially indifferent people whom the hero rallies to support him. The Hero will leverage on people who sincerely support his Hero’s Journey. Heroes pro-actively seek help from their network of allies.

This is also the time the Hero faces tests that build up his character and capability to face the impending ultimate challenge in achieving his goal.

Every test awakens some latent force in the Hero. What doesn’t kill the Hero only makes him stronger.

Scientists in California found that adversity is good for amoebas. They put the amoebas in two tanks. In one, the temperature, PH level, everything is just perfect for amoebas. In the other tank, they deliberately changed drastically and randomly the temperature, PH level and so on to shock the amoebas.

To their surprise, the less coddled amoebas grew faster, healthier and stronger than their privileged cousins.

This suggests that adversity and stress which are invariably part of our Hero’s journey are the necessary ingredients for the Hero’s success.

This stage of “Tests, Allies and Enemies” will transform the Hero to a new and better person with the capabilities, allies and the mental resources to face the impending greatest challenge of his Hero’s Journey.


  1. Another one of those good post.

    May want to consider emphasising and reframe to audience that imperfection is perfection at work.

    Are you going to illustrate / elaborate what is the strategies of dealing with toxic people?

    nice analogy on amoeba.

    Are you going to say what kinda mental resources is required? Capabilities?

  2. How does one hone his/her people reading skills - key to identifying friends/allies/enemies?