Spiderman in the street

Incredibles 2, Black Panther… The movie theatres are jam-packed with stories of heroism these days. All of the heroes in these films have powers or gadgets, and they all go through a heroic journey to find greater meaning in their lives. However, these powers might be difficult for the average person to get. We also often think that it’s not possible to go on a ‘heroic journey’ on our own because of the fantasies associated with it, but that isn’t entirely true.

Martina Lehane Sheehan’s book, Surprised by Fire, talks about the idea of ‘the hero’s journey’ and how it can be applied to our lives. She says that heroic stories often help us with identifying who we are and who we want to be. She explains this in the excerpt below:

Surprised by Fire Book Cover

“The Hero with a Thousand Faces introduced the now-famous concept of the ‘hero’s journey’. Campbell describes the search for meaning and wisdom in which we are all invited to engage at some point in our lives. Myths are potentially useful guides in the search for metaphysical meaning. They give us some hints around interpreting our place in the universe. Myths, like fairy tales, give us a synthesis of values, which give us life and meaning. The word ‘hero’ provides an archetypal image; it describes one who takes a journey to find some treasure, which is subsequently brought back to be used as a gift for the common good.”

Sheehan says that opportunities for a heroic journey might present themselves in situations like job loss, relationship problems, or even struggles with illness. She says that these are examples of the heroic call but that we are often afraid of it because the journey presents itself as a ‘threshold of change’. She says to take on this change. Find a new mentor, learn a new skill or learn new philosophies, for these are the greatest treasures worth seeking. Most importantly, find a role model whose traits you desire for yourself, and aim to cultivate those traits.  

To learn how to ignite your heroic journey, be sure to purchase Surprised by Fire from our website.