Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Hero's Journey - Am I a Hero?

What does it mean to be a "hero”?

What must one do to be a “hero”?

Can only certain people be “heroes”?

Why would anyone want to be a “hero”?

Is every one a hero-in-the-making, including you and I?

How do we find the “hero” in us?

After studying the myths and stories of cultures across the world and through the ages, Joseph Campbell concluded that no matter which culture and what era, the human race shares similar ideas about what is a hero.

Joseph Campbell’s answer to the question: “What is a hero?” is:

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”

Many shared similar ideas about what is a hero:

Aristotle – “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, lies your calling.”

Rose Resnick - “I’ve learned that the happiest people are those who lose themselves in something bigger.”

Mahatma Ghandi - “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Oprah Winfrey - “The best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service.”

Anonymous - “The best use of our life is to so live our life that the use of our life outlives our own lives.”

Henry Ford – “Wealth, like happiness, is never attained when sought after directly. It comes as a by-product of providing a useful service.”

Jim Rohn – “Whoever renders service to many puts himself in line for greatness - great wealth, great return, great satisfaction, great reputation, and great joy.”

Rabindranath Tagore – “I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger – “Help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life.”

Anthony Robbins – “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life's deepest joy: true fulfilment.”

A non-hero is preoccupied with questions of identity, self esteem and self image.

Who am I? How do I feel?

How do I look to others? What must I do to look better to others?

To non-heroes the answers lay in the external visible trappings of success. They become self indulgent and are obsessed with the trendiest fashion, the swankiest homes, the flashiest cars, the most exquisite dining, the fanciest vacations, the most glamorous companions, and other indulgences.

A hero who has embarked on his Hero’s Journey to give his life to something bigger than himself, asks:

 How do others see themselves? What can I do to help them see their best self?

The hero identifies his special gifts, develops them to the genius level, and applies them as the Elixir in his community’s service.

The Hero’s Journey does not end with success at securing his rewards. A hero goes beyond success and seeks significance through service.

Are you a hero? The answer is a resounding YES! You are already one. You have always been one.

You just need to reconnect with your authentic core.

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