Stage 1: Your Ordinary World
The Ordinary World refers to the familiar life of the Hero (that’s you!).
Ordinary World: It’s the daily routine, the usual stresses and strains of work, family, relationships, friendships and obligations. It’s a world you know well, may have spent years creating and may still enjoy (sometimes) but underneath the veneer of busyness, something is not quite right. You are not quite sure when it started but the enjoyment factor has been dwindling for a while. More effort is required for fewer rewards.
Typically heroes at Stage 1 experience a mismatch between the life they want and the life they’ve got.
Whatever the issue, heroes at this stage believe the problem is not them. It’s their partner or their children, their boss or colleague or family member. Whoever is the problem, heroes are certain it’s not them.
Heroes may be quite right in feeling hurt or angry about what others have done or by what has happened in life. But at this state heroes have little or no idea that despite whatever the problem is ‘out there’, an problem lies within. They are often full of good intentions, yet have no idea that this may be the road to hell. They are the ‘good guy’ and done nothing wrong (well not as wrong as other people!). Why won’t other people realise this and just change?
Stage 1 (the ordinary world) may be most challenging for heroes who have been on the receiving end of injustice, cruelty or some traumatic act of nature. Heroes may be quite right in saying they were an innocent bystander. Yet here too personal change will be required to address any problem.
Would-be heroes see only half the problem; the one ‘out there’. The other half they won’t, don’t or can’t acknowledge lies within.
- Is your life big on demand and few on rewards?
- Do you blame other people /events for the current state of affairs?
- Are you convinced that it is others who must change and certainly not you?
- Do you avoid people, topics, situations that you need to address?
- Do those near and dear to you actually know you? What is it that you don’t say?
For more information on the Hero’s Journey, including examples from real life, how to recognise each stage and progress to the next, buy the workbook here.
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