People wake up to being the hero of their own life when they’re tired of being the victim of their own life.

Finding Joe. A 2011 documentary on the studies of Joseph Campbell.

follow your bliss

Have you ever had a profound influence on your life and totally forgotten about it? 

I literally just had that experience. As in – just now. 

Last month, Forrest and I were taping our wildly popular and mostly famous podcast that you haven’t heard of…yet: ✅ it’s done. 

Our equally popular and mostly famous guest who goes by a singular name, Johnny, was espousing one wisdomatic insight after another. The 55-minute conversation spans from the engineering process of design, to chocolate milk, to global problem solving, to….Joseph Campbell.

That’s right. The Hero’s Journey. Follow your bliss.

The Hero’s Journey was fundamental to my personal shift. Except that I forgot. Until Johnny brought up Joseph Campbell as his ‘person’, living or dead, who has been most influential to his thinking.

I knew I had used Joseph Campbell in my lessons to high school students. I found notes I had taken from a documentary, Finding Joe. I forgot the documentary existed. I notice it is available on Amazon Prime.

In my experience, Joseph Campbell and his teachings, like everything, are left to one’s interpretation. Public school teachers use the Hero’s Journey in various projects (okay, two elementary school teachers I can honestly cite). And in the conversation with Johnny, he mentioned his influence stemmed from an interview between an archbishop and Joseph Campbell. Campbell claimed that faith is the cornerstone, not proof. As with religion, faith negates the need to prove. 

Reflecting on the influence of Joseph Campbell through my own interpretation (of other’s interpretation – Finding Joe), it was the Hero’s Journey that captivated me. That throughout history, throughout various civilizations – there is a common storyline, a thread: separation, initiation, return.

The documentary referenced popular literature and film, mythology and fables. Same pattern. An event, circumstance, or situation occurs that gets your attention. It changes your experience of what is real and expected. You choose, or are forced, to move toward it and in so doing, you enter the initiation phase. The fire. The lessons you learn during the initiation you are compelled to teach to others. Return.

The ‘Journey’, or pattern, may be a lifetime. It may be one life event, it may be multiple life events, it may be daily circumstances. 

Discomfort. Separated from what is familiar or expected.

Do I move toward the discomfort and see what it has for me, or do I stay stagnant. Do I stay in the suffering that comes when I deprive myself of new growth and possibility. Do I allow for the evolution of my story, or do I resist it.

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”

Finding Joe documentary film 2011