Over the weekend, I got the opportunity to go see Top Gun: Maverick. There are no true spoilers below other than the path is similar. That shouldn’t be a huge surprise to anyone who has seen a movie, read a book or heard an epic story. We’ve been telling the same story for centuries but just changed the names of the characters. Joseph Campbell’s works on the subject are the blueprint. We seem to love going down the “same path” with familiar friends.
The “Hero’s Journey” is one that we identify with worldwide because we’d like to put ourselves into the story. We exist from one perspective and we cannot escape that. However, hearing or seeing tales of idealized figures for us to emulate in some basic way allows us to become a bigger version of ourselves. We can see the possibility in the space between where we are and where we’d like to be. The hero’s journey is enticing because it is both predictable and exciting at once. We know that in the end everything is going to work out fine. However, the path is fraught with danger and losing people along the way is possible. It’s not a clear path, just a recognizable one.
So tomorrow, you’ll be called to action in some way. That’s how the hero’s journey always begins. Perhaps it is something small but we all get to choose whether we’ll answer the calls that come our way. We’re probably not saving the world or even a cat but we are still the protagonist in the only story that matters: our story. So no matter how identifiable your path is, find a way to get excited about the possibility that lies within it. Only you get to make that choice. We’ve been telling the same stories for generations. Now it’s your turn to write yours with your actions!
Turn and burn!