An explanation of Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth, which is more popularly known as ‘The Hero’s Journey’, using examples from scenes in Star Wars, Happy Potter & The Wizard of Oz
A talk by Hero Journeys creator John P Morgan on the three key ingredients to having passion in your life.
Recorded in London, UK on 16th June 2011. This video has 30,000+ YouTube views.
Audio version is a bit longer as it includes a Q&A at the end.
I’m going to hold the mic because I definitely cannot stand still. I have far too much passion. [Laughter]
Matt mentioned that I studied physics. It’s true. I’m really into solving problems. It’s my thing. It’s what I like to do. I like to figure stuff out. People often ask me why I don’t use my physics degree. Actually, I use it every day as I’m doing what I love to do. Because for me, physics is just about solving problems, and figuring things out, and creating systems. And what I want to share with you tonight is a way to systematize having a passionate life.
Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, or the hero’s journey, is a basic pattern that its proponents argue is found in many narratives from around the world.
This diagram outlines the fundamental structures and stages that Campbell held numerous myths from disparate times and regions share.
“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”
Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
An abbreviated version of Benjamin Bidlack’s talk “The Hero’s Journey in Modern Life”, given at the Mindshare LA conference in Los Angeles on 18 April 18 2010.
Benjamin talks about how all of the great stories throughout history have common stages, scenarios and characters, and how those apply to our lives, here and now, whether it’s a party we’re going to, or achieving our dreams.
Are you following someone else’s path in search of your own purpose?
In Richard Branson’s autobiography “Losing my Virginity” he frequently mentions calling someone of stature or fame…
My interest is on how he approaches such situations. What stood out for me here is not the overtly implied fact that he ‘just did it’, but the reoccurring inclusion of ‘picking up the phone’.
By including the words “picked up the phone” Branson is saying that calling people of stature or fame is as simple as picking up the phone.
However on a deeper level, embedded in these words, is evidence of a useful technique in overcoming otherwise challenging obstacles.
If calling someone is difficult, it’s certainly at least a bit easier once the phone is in your hand. (Like going for a run is easier once you have your running shoes on.)
This is not the big idea though. The big idea is where Branson’s (and your) attention goes. Branson’s primary attention is not on calling, but on picking up the phone.
Instead of focusing on making that phone call, focus on picking up the phone.
Instead of focusing on going for a run, focus on putting your shoes on each morning.
Change your focus and find yourself slipping past challenges like Richard Branson.
In Richard Branson’s autobiography “Losing my Virginity” I noticed a few times how he uses the word “decided” in places many people usually wouldn’t. Like in this passage…
This particular passage exemplifies the kind of worldview that leaders like Branson hold. At this meeting, he didn’t ‘realise’ they were right, nor did he ‘understand’ they were right…he ‘decided’ that they were right. This may seem like a subtle difference, but it’s not.
Think of the power contained in the ability to ‘decide’ for yourself and your business when something is right or wrong. A decision does not necessarily make something true, but it certainly makes something happen.
If you want to make things happen, then instead of waiting to ‘know’ what to do, simply decide.
When I meet someone new, I want them to trust me as fast as humanly possible. I’m talking within minutes…seconds even. I want them comfortable telling me their private stories, their emotional weaknesses…not because I necessarily want to know any of this stuff, but because I want to make a real human connect with them.
Trust is a foundation for making a real human connect.
Honesty and authenticity are two of my highest values, so it can be frustrating when people I meet don’t trust me right away. However, to blame them for this useless. Mistrust of a strangers is natural and expected.
The smart approach is to simply get better at building trust.
In this 30 minute podcast I explain my three main pillars for creating rapid trust when meeting new people. The ideas come mostly from my personal experience building relationships in cities around the world and building businesses in different industries, along with some thinking from NLP, neuroscience and psychology. It is a condensed version of the content that I teach on my RHC trainings.
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There is so much talk about the newest and slickest techniques in persuasion that some of the most basic, time-tested and powerful rules are often forgotten (or never even learned). I’m not talking about the kind of stuff you learn in a course on secret language patterns. I’m talking about the core principles that fathers tell their sons, the stuff an old Chinese man probably wrote down a few thousand years ago.
Recently I was reminded of the most crucial key to winning at persuasion.
Despite repeated attempts, I’ve yet to make it into a cinema without buying popcorn. Going to see the film Inception a few weeks ago was no exception.
“One small please?” I requested.
“We only have medium and large containers left,” replied the twenty-something guy behind the counter.
“That’s OK…” I say glancing up at the menu displaying “Small £3.75” and “Medium £4.25” “…I’ll have a small popcorn inside of a medium container.”
He stood there dazed for a few seconds.
In the persuasion context, we would call this an incongruence or pattern interrupt. By saying something unexpected while he was in his routine, I had knocked his cognition slightly off-line and opened a window of opportunity to give him further suggestions. But I missed it and the window shut again.
He started shaking his head.