The Hero’s Journey is more than a little magic. You think you’re just working toward a goal, but along the way you find out more about yourself than you do about your goal. In fact, your Journey requires that you grow in order to finish.
I heard an interesting quote on a recent podcast from author and athlete, Apolo Ohno,
“I always say the work is the shortcut, the lowest hanging fruit—the lowest common denominator for advantage today is to actually just be doing the work and doing it to the best of your ability because the last mile is not crowded.
It’s the least crowded. The reason why is because people don’t want to stick to those goals, they want the results today, but I’m not speaking like I am not one of those people—being fully transparent here. I too suffer from those things, and I too have to correct myself and accept myself who I am in that present moment . . .”
His quote made me think about how many people give up while on the Journey, which is what makes that last mile (and the last stage of the Journey) the “least crowded.”
How can you be one of those that makes it to the last mile?
Easy (sorta). By leveraging you–your true self and character.
Every stage of your Hero’s Journey requires you develop a way to get through it, or past it.
There are Guardians at the Threshold. What qualities are unique to you that will help you get past them? What skills are your best? Those are the ones to pull out and use when the Guardians step out to block your path.
There will be Tests and Trials. Your true self, unadulterated, is what will allow you to get through them. You need all of your energy. You can’t waste energy with pretense, costumes, and illusions. (OK, unless costumes and illusions truly are your special skills. . .)
The Journey has The Approach to the Cave and the Ordeal stages, too. These can be very scary on both levels. Your goal is in jeopardy as is your self. No matter how many wonderful allies you have, here–in this stage–you are alone. When you know you have grown to be more authentic, that confidence is your most powerful tool.
Throughout your Journey, if you pay close attention, you will begin to notice “You” are becoming more solid and true. You should take notes. Make a list of “Qualities and Strengths I Didn’t Know I Already Had.”