Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hero's Journey - The Call to Adventure

The CALL TO ADVENTURE is the second stage in the Hero’s Journey in which the hero, in his Ordinary World, is presented with a problem, challenge or adventure.

What is it that’s calling you to step out into the Special World now? Is it because there are things you are no longer willing to accept? Is it that grand vision that you set for yourself?

The Call to Adventure could be something negative like being passed over for promotion or being retrenched. The Call could also be something positive like an opportunity to be a partner in an established business.

The Call to Adventure is often delivered by a herald such as an angel or it can come in the form of a message, letter, phone call, conversation, dream, or an insight.

The Call to Adventure comes to those who are open to it.

Mahmud was a cheerful young man who ran a thriving vegetable stall in the bazaar. His friendly disposition won him many regular customers.

Mahmud was feeling comfortable when one night, the angel Kahbir appeared and told Mahmud to jump in the river. Without a moment’s hesitation, Mahmud did as the angel had told him.

Mahmud was carried down the river by the rushing waters. An old man on the bank seeing Mahmud struggling in the water threw him a rope. Mahmud grabbed the rope and pulled himself ashore.

The old man, a fish monger, brought Mahmud home and gave him a room to stay. The grateful Mahmud worked at the fish monger’s stall, and with his business acumen it was soon doing a thriving business.

Mahmud was feeling comfortable when one night, the angel Kahbir appeared and told Mahmud that it is time to move to another village. Again, Mahmud obeyed without a moment’s pause.

Mahmud walked for days before arriving at the next village. There a cloth merchant offered Mahmud a place to stay and a job in his cloth shop.

Mahmud knew nothing about cloth but he gratefully took the offer anyway. Soon the cloth merchant prospered as never before as his cloth was selling briskly with Mahmud’s help.

Mahmud was feeling comfortable when again, the angel Kahbir appeared and told Mahmud to move to another place and to a new job. Again Mahmud took up the call unquestioningly.

This cycle was repeated several more times.

When Mahmud became an old man, he was a well respected wise man and a much sought after teacher. People from far and wide came to seek his advice on all kinds of matters.

When people asked Mahmud how he became so wise, Mahmud only replied that: “It is hard to say.”

It is difficult to say because Mahmud’s talent lie in being obedient and receptive to the Call.

More often than not the Call we hear does not sound logical. It is a feeling that comes from deep inside us. The Call is beautiful and yet makes us uncomfortable.

We have been conditioned not to trust our feelings and intuition, but give more credence to what seems logical, practical, and predictable.

But, think about it, which truly great achievement started as something logical, practical, and predictable?

Learn from Mahmud to be obedient and open our hearts to the Call to Adventure.

Believe in your destiny, that you will get there triumphantly.


  1. Alright..I must PAUSE.

    Overall, it is a good piece in a storytelling manner. There are some minor details to consider:

    1. 1st para - is it really a problem? Cant it not be a quest for something fun?

    2. Is there really an herald who delivers the message? What else can deliver the same kinda thing?

    3. You say the trigger could be positve or negative, yet in your eg, you list only angel,where is the devil? Is that deliberate to connotate positive energy?

    4. Being open in what sense? For all you can, you may be daydreaming without working on it. If you are in regressive state,how to see? What are the ways to be open? Are you going to say something like KIV?

    5. You dove straight into story,doesnt it sound a awakward to you?

    6. What made Mahmud jump without hesitation? Is there any presuppostions to hold?

    7. Why is it hard for Mahmud to say? Are all these actions illustrating what he really wants?

  2. Hmm, kudos to spontaneity but to the logical person with a life plan, it might be hard to abandon ingrained behaviour and do as Mahmud did.