Your Life’s Epic Tale and Hero’s Journey

What is your Hero’s Journey Story?

The Hero's Journey DiagramThe Hero’s Journey or “monomyth” shows up in cultures throughout time and geographical location. It’s also known as the “hero with one thousand faces” or the monomyth, and it shares common elements that appear in myths stories everywhere. You may recognize this thematic journey in movies like Star Wars and Avatar. There are different stages that hero’s must pass on their journey of transformation, to save the day, or make a difference.

Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist who studied the monomyth across many societies, often summed up his philosophy with the phrase, “Follow your bliss.” Now I’d like you to follow your bliss, and apply the hero’s journey concept to create your life’s epic tale, to tell the story of your own most important journeys.

Joseph Cambell - Follow Your BlissPerhaps you’ve seen that many of your most meaningful life stories have a common thread. Maybe you weave those stories together into one big story. Pick the larger story you want to tell about yourself. Maybe you’ll cover several years. Maybe you’ll cover a single month. You are the hero here, and the journey is toward transformation. You have an epic story inside of you. For me, one of my hero’s journey story is one of transformation from small-town guy to global backpacker. Three other journeys include the transformation to a college student, a graduate student, and an entrepreneurial professional. You will probably have more than one epic story in you.

Use the framework or stages of the hero’s journey to help you understand and tell it. Identify those key stages in the hero’s journey diagram above for your story.
1. The Call to Adventure
2. Gathering the Allies
3. Crossing the Threshold
4. Belly of the Whale
5. Road of Trials and Adventures
6. At the Centre – The Transformation
7. Return
8. Master of Two Worlds
9. Life of Service (Stage with a social artistry & leadership focus)

You become an ally for those who go through similar journeys. What’s yours? Maybe it’s the journey from high school to college, or some other journey or transformation. How do you see these themes or stages in your own life? Jot them down, and create some other work of art with them. You could create a collage, a spiral, a path – however you’d like to represent your journey.

Want a greater understanding of the hero’s journey? This article is taken from the online video-based program which guides you step by step and activity by activity to “Create Your Path.” Sign up for a free sample workshop from the program here, see details on the full program at, and see other programs, speeches, and more at

2 thoughts on “Your Life’s Epic Tale and Hero’s Journey”

    1. Yes…I like the life of service stage addition from the field of Social Artistry. It is a good focus for folks who use the Hero’s Journey for social change and leadership purposes in their own life.

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