Blog #16 – The Hero’s Journey | Why I am Quitting Freelancing
July 2, 2017.A Sunday.
So there is this thing called The Hero’s Journey. It is usually used to describe the path of the unlikely hero, being thrown into an adventure filled with challenges & obstacles, and with a big reward waiting at the end of the journey – usually behind a big scary dragon. This is the final challenge that our unlikely hero must face, and it will demand everything of him or her. Because in slaying this dragon, it becomes clear that the battle in the dragon’s den is not about the dragon at all.
But about you, facing yourself.
Battling who you are, deep down, accepting your shortcomings and embracing your strengths.
And in terms of personal development or business, the dragon is that one big win that stands between you and what you want out of life.
And this is where it gets interesting I think, because the classical narration of the Hero’s Journey is very similar to the journey of the entrepreneur. In fact, when I first heard about it I literally got goose bumps because of the uncanny resemblance:
First, we have the unlikely hero.
I say unlikely, because most people would actually turn down the big adventure filled with traps and dragons. For obvious reasons. But then something happens that sets the person on the Hero’s Journey anyways.
Like Luke Skywalker finding his foster parents burnt to a crisp, like Frodo Baggins finding himself in harms way because of that one ring, or like Harry Potter accidentally being an actual part of the greatest villain that ever lived.
These things get you moving.
But of course, if you find everyday life unbearable, that also leaves you without a choice.
(For me it was a mix between the two, how did you get started? Or have you yet to get on your journey?)
Anyways, so the unlikely hero gets going with the adventure. And then the first challenge appears when something doesn’t go as planned. Maybe there are some people looking for your droids or your business plan is crap. This is the Threshold Guardian, whose purpose it is to test your resolve. Do you really want to go on the adventure? Do you feel like you have what it takes to continue?
The hero answers “YES!” with vigor. (It’s a very optimistic unlikely hero).
And then, after some spontaneous and uncoordinated fighting, our victorious hero finds a mentor. A person who has taken the Hero’s Journey already. Like Obi-Wan to Luke, Gandalf to Frodo and Dumbledore to Harry. Or like all the entrepreneurs quoted on The Business Quotes.
Freshly equipped with some wisdom, a light saber, a tiny sword or a wand or two, the hero now continues the journey.
It’s very adventurous.
And after some more fighting and running around (that would be “hustling” in business-terms), the hero now finds him- or herself in the proximity of the dragon.
And the big reward; the very reason for all the efforts.
But the dragon is not easy to kill.
And most heroes, if they manage to escape the encounter, need to go back and lick their wounds. To reevaluate. To learn from their near brush with death and to rekindle their fire. And if they choose to continue their journey; to look deep within themselves in order to come up with a way to slay the dragon.
So here I am.
Standing in front of my dragon.
And I have come to realize that in order to slay it, I really must embrace my strengths and stop wasting my creativity on things that doesn’t come as easy, or doesn’t yield the reward I seek.
Therefore I’m quitting freelancing, which in the grand scheme of things doesn’t get me where I want to go. This experience has grown me tremendously and it isn’t without this growth that I am now able to see, and to appreciate where the journey will take me next:
Because I love it.
The Sword is sharp.
Thank you for reading!/Filip
Picture credit: Unknown – sorry!