In a week’s time, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be a cultural phenomena throughout the United States and the world. Millions of people will wait in line to be thrilled by the adventures of old and new heroes from “a galaxy far, far away.” As we (yep, Luke and I have tickets) sit there in the seats watching the new chapter of this modern day myth, some people will let their imaginations soar for two hours. Unfortunately that is where it will stop for many. The reason why Star Wars resonates with so many people is that it follows the formula of many of the greatest myths in history.
In his book, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” Joseph Campbell deconstructs what he called the hero’s journey. For thousands of years, people have been retelling similar versions of the same basic story. The reason why it works is because the formula involves a regular person who is “called to adventure”. The fact that the hero’s journey is focused upon the development and ultimate triumph of the “every-man” makes it an almost irresistible hook for the general public. It is easy to see one’s self being called to a spectacular adventure and answering that call. Although we can picture ourselves answering the call to adventure, the call often does not come or is imperceptible.
In most of our lives, there are very few “calls to adventure”. The call needs to come from within. Expecting that the world is going to lift your butt off the couch and force you to do something great is foolish. Besides if a Sith Lord showed up at your door looking for a lightsaber duel, you’d probably sh– your pants. I would. You need to read the signs and choose your own adventure. Force yourself to do something outside of your comfort zone. Force yourself to be better than you’ve been in the past. Force yourself to engage with people and circumstances that would thrill you. GO FORCE YOURSELF because then you’ll have something to do until Episode 8 is released. Enjoy the movie and enjoy your life.
May the Force be with you.