Team effectiveness

The hero's adventure

“It is only when a man tames his own demons that he becomes the king of himself if not of the world." Joseph Campbell «The Hero With a Thousand Faces»

"The Hero with a Thousand Faces" is a book by American scholar Joseph Campbell, published in 1949. Exploring myths from cultures around the world, Campbell concluded that most myths share a common narrative structure: the journey of the archetypal hero, or monomyth.

The hero's journey in psychology is a concept that describes a universal template for personal growth and self-discovery. The hero embarks on a journey through several stages, which every individual goes through in their own life journey, regardless of culture, religion, or era:

1. Ordinary World: The beginning of the adventure, where the hero leads an ordinary life but feels that something is wrong or missing.

2. Call to adventure: The hero receives a call to adventure, initiating their journey. Often, the call to action arises from a problem, crisis, or someone in need of help. It could be something lost that needs to be restored...

3. Refusal of the Call: Initially, the hero refuses the call due to fear, uncertainty, or other reasons.

“No, thank you, but I'd rather pass it on to someone else. This task is too challenging for me. I don't have time for it right now. I'm not ready.”

4. Meeting the Mentor: The hero meets a wise mentor, who helps him overcome his fears and begin the journey. The crucial point is that without a catalyst, without support, we may reject the call and revert to our regular lives.

5. Crossing the Threshold: The hero leaves behind his ordinary world and steps into the unknown. He takes the first steps toward significant changes: leaving a disliked job, meeting new people. He also realizes that it's not as terrifying as he thought, especially with mentors providing continuous support.

6. Tests, Allies, and Enemies: The hero confronts a range of trials, obstacles, and adversaries that he must overcome. These are his initial "dragons": doubts, fears, lack of knowledge, and so forth.

7. The Ordeal: The hero gains experience and reaches the "death point": the most challenging trial on their journey. At this stage, it's decided whether the hero an learn a valuable lesson from their journey or remain unchanged.

8. The Reward: The hero receives new knowledge, skills, and understanding to continue their journey.

9. The Road Back: The hero returns to his world with newfound knowledge, wisdom, and power, which he can use for his own benefit and that of others.

Following this path, we develop just like the heroes in Greek mythology, Campbell simply identified the underlying principles of this quest. As a hero begins his journey, mentors appear at the right moment - it's crucial to recognize and learn from them. The hero's journey teaches us that every trial presents an opportunity to grow in strength and wisdom. Even if one momentarily deviates from the path, they can always come back and resume their inner journey.