The hero’s journey begins with hearing a call to action… and then refusing it.
We often see new learners in September struggling with their newfound independence. They haven’t yet grasped the magnitude of their freedom and responsibility, but slowly yet surely, things begin to change. Learners find focus and flow. Badges are earned and hope is renewed as a learner accepts the call.
Then January happens. A moment of crisis. Doubt creeps in. With many challenges overcome and yet many challenges still to come, a hero naturally questions the journey. Am I the right person to answer this call? Is it worth it?
I don’t think that we appreciate this moment enough.
A hero isn’t someone who blindly accepts the given path. A hero has real evidence that this journey is hard, and progress sometimes seems non-existent. Who better than a hero to doubt the road ahead?
In “Mastery: The Keys to Success”, George Leonard explains that on the path to mastery, there is a time period of incubation (the plateau). The plateau is a stage of development where intense growth is happening but no measurable progress is made. Anyone who has a practice, whether an athlete or an artist, can relate to this stage- the frustrating period of practice where nothing seems to be changing until all of a sudden, there is a huge leap in growth. A period of great change where progress is exponential. It seems like, overnight, what was once a challenge has become a strength. Reading this book, I realized that the same thing happens in a hero’s journey.
Obstacles, failure, challenges- every hero will encounter them on this journey. These experiences aren’t avoidable. They are the essential ingredient to growth.
We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t doubt the journey. Isn’t it so very human to long for an easier way? Even when we know the truth deep down – the greater the challenge, the greater the growth.