How the Hero’s Journey Relates to Life Purpose

How the Hero’s Journey Relates to Life Purpose


Life Purpose Concept

The Hero’s Journey

How the Hero’s Journey Relates to Life Purpose

16 Dec, 2022

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Everyone has a life purpose, but have you wondered what yours is? Some believe that life has none, while others understand their life is the hero’s journey. As the main character in your journey, you could resist the call or refuse to rise to the occasion. But better still, strive to live up to expectations and your full potential.

The hero’s journey is nothing short of embarking on a mission involving some challenges or transformation. Along the path, one must overcome obstacles before ultimately achieving success. You, too, can be the hero in your story. And as we delve deeper, you learn how the hero’s journey relates to life’s purpose and where you stand.

The 12 Stages of the Hero’s Journey

This framework outlines twelve distinct stages of the heroic adventure. They are essential for understanding and interpreting human experiences on a larger scale.

Throughout each step of the journey, there are obstacles and lessons to be learned for growth and transformation to take place.

The Ordinary World

The journey begins with an introduction to the hero before embarking on an adventure. It is a place of comfort and simplicity, and a world where nothing extraordinary happens. Often in stark contrast with what will follow in the later stages of the journey, it reflects some aspect of society that needs challenging.

Whether it’s poverty, tyranny, or injustice, the ordinary world serves as a backdrop against which the protagonist can grow and develop. The setting also allows others to connect with the character on a personal level to better understand and sympathize with their situation. The main character's goal may be unclear, but others can identify with them as they struggle against whatever forces are trying to keep them in this mundane reality.

The Call to Adventure

The call to adventure is an irresistible summons that propels its hero into unknown territories and challenges them to face their fear. As a crucial first step in the heroic journey, it can be a physical invitation from someone else or just a feeling deep inside oneself, showing it is time to go forth on an exploration of self-discovery.


Regardless of how it manifests itself, this initial call sets off a chain reaction leading to new places and experiences that open up doors of opportunity and knowledge. It's no new thing. For centuries, many cultures throughout the world have told stories of heroes embarking on an odyssey. From ancient Greece to modern Hollywood blockbusters, these heroic tales share a common thread known as "The Hero's Journey."

The Refusal of the Call

Refusing to accept one's destiny is sometimes seen as an act of cowardice or foolishness, but it can often show strength and courage. This refusal occurs when a hero is invited to embark on an extraordinary journey but initially declines due to fear or doubt. Other times, this refusal is necessary for heroes to comprehend the gravity of their task and fully commit themselves with courage and determination.

It can take many forms for different characters, from moments of outright denial to subtle hesitance. Sometimes, heroes may need an external nudge from another character before they dare to accept their destiny. It is also possible that they may never overcome this fear without a powerful incentive or inspirational boost from within themselves.

Meeting the Mentor

A mentor is often a wise individual who helps guide and instruct the hero on their journey, providing them with invaluable insight and support along the way. This wise figurehead offers sage advice about what lies ahead—but also helps the protagonist understand their strengths and weaknesses.

These teachers teach valuable lessons that may not be instinctive for young heroes. They teach how to face danger without fear; how to think critically before deciding; or even how to recognize patterns in one's environment to anticipate events. Meeting the mentor is often thought of as one of the more pivotal steps along the journey. Additionally, they provide guidance and wisdom to help the hero reach their goal.

Crossing the Threshold

This marks the point where the hero commits to a dangerous path and embarks on a quest for truth and knowledge. This rite of passage can take many forms, such as entering an unknown world or undergoing physical and spiritual tests. It is where the hero must make their final commitment to pursue their goal and leave behind their ordinary world.

The journey involves facing fears and obstacles that challenge one’s sense of identity and beliefs. Heroes rely upon strength, courage, and resilience to overcome challenges and move toward transformation. With each step forward, they gain insight into themselves while conquering external threats along their path. Ultimately, it's a test of endurance from which heroes emerge with newfound wisdom and purpose in life.

Trials, Allies, and Enemies

Essential components of any hero’s journey include trials, allies, and enemies. They must face challenges and accept help from others to reach their goals. Through trials, a hero learns valuable lessons about themselves, as well as the world around them. These then help shape their future actions and decisions, leading up to their ultimate success or failure.


Faced with obstacles, heroes may need help from allies, including mentors and friends who offer guidance and support along the way. These allies play an important role in pushing forward the narrative arc of any story involving a hero's journey by offering support during their trying times; they help give heroes strength when they need it most. Finally, heroes must also confront enemies who seek to impede progress or cause harm. These villains can take many forms, but all represent forces of opposition that must be confronted to move forward.

The Approach to the Inmost Cave

Each stage brings new challenges and opportunities, as well as emotional growth along the way. From leaving home and entering unknown territories to facing multiple tests and trials which culminate in eventual triumph, this journey encompasses all aspects of life. Whether physical or psychological, it's applicable across cultures, ages, religions, and sexes alike.

The approach requires a great deal of bravery for a person to go through alone. It involves entering an unknown area or situation where one must confront their darkest fears and doubts head-on, ultimately coming face-to-face with something even darker than themselves.


The Ordeal

The Ordeal is a crucial step in the hero's journey toward enlightenment. It comprises three major components: entering danger; facing fear, and overcoming it. As difficult as it can be, enduring it involves confronting danger head-on and testing personal limits. However, if one perseveres through the ordeal, one will gain insight into their true self, which can lead to breakthroughs in personal development and growth.

From the young hero who faces his greatest fears to the elderly sage who discovers his true purpose, The Hero's Journey is full of trials and tribulations that must be endured before success can be achieved. As each character embarks on their quest, they must grapple with their mortality to gain insight into what lies beyond this life. Through facing their inner demons, confronting death, and ultimately triumphing over it, these heroes teach us all valuable lessons about perseverance in times of adversity.

The Reward

The reward follows the story of a hero who embarks on a journey with no guarantee of success, but the potential for great rewards at the end. To attain this stage, heroes must overcome different obstacles along the way while facing their deepest fears to reach the end goal. It's often a tale of courage, resilience, and reward.

The reward for this courageous pursuit is often enlightenment, knowledge, or peace of mind that comes from within. By understanding the Hero's Journey, one can gain insight into their inner strength and remind themselves that there are greater rewards to be found if they don't give up, even when faced with difficult circumstances. It teaches that perseverance and courage can lead to unimaginable heights and provide new insights into life.

The Road Back

How do heroes move forward and return to their everyday life? The road back is a critical part of this narrative arc that allows for more understanding of how these moments of heroism can shape and form characters into something greater than themselves. It's an important part of the journey where the hero returns to their original world with newfound wisdom or power that they gained during their quest.

The road back is just as essential a part of the Hero's Journey as any other stage. This crucial step involves coming back home with newfound knowledge and abilities that transform not only the protagonist but also those around them. Whether it be through healing or defeating an enemy, this return marks a triumphant moment for both the hero and the community alike. It can also serve as motivation for future adventures, proving once again that although change can be difficult, it can bring about tremendous growth.

The resurrection

The resurrection is a powerful idea within the framework of the hero’s journey. This concept of rebirth and transformation is essential in understanding the hero's inner struggle and ultimate triumph over adversity. It helps to explain the human experience of life.

The resurrection symbolizes hope in overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Whether it be physical death or spiritual renewal, this mission of rebirth often involves facing one’s own darkest fears and emerging on the other side with a pearl of newfound wisdom and strength. It is this transformation from despair to enlightenment that makes this archetype so compelling to follow along with. Ultimately, it serves as a reminder that no matter how difficult it may seem, liberation will come if only you're brave enough to face your challenges head-on. It is through this process of death and rebirth that individuals can access the ultimate power within themselves and reach their true potential.

Return With the Elixir


The hero must resolve their inner conflicts to return with the Elixir - a gift or knowledge gained from having gone on their journey. As one of the most important elements, it represents both physical and spiritual growth, signifying that even after great struggle and sacrifice, there can be something earned from facing adversity head-on. It could be new insight, wisdom, strength, and courage to help guide one through future challenges. This newfound power can then benefit others who are still struggling on their journeys.

For centuries, stories that follow this structure as it taps into universal themes of heroism and self-discovery have captivated people. While each story may be different in its details, they all share common elements such as fearlessness in facing danger; humility when accepting help from others; resilience when confronting challenges; and courage to take risks for a greater cause.


The most important aspect of the hero’s journey is that it allows one to explore their inner struggles safely and constructively. By understanding their heroic potential and embracing the journey, anyone can ultimately achieve self-realization on both physical and spiritual levels.

Finally, we’ve seen how the hero’s journey relates to life's purpose and its insight into facing challenges. So if you consider yourself a hero in your journey and are ready to pursue your life’s purpose, you must learn to rise to the occasion and develop courage and resilience. These new-found attributes will empower you to make positive changes within yourself and the world at large.

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“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” - Helen Keller


Isak Vidinghoff is a Strategic Life Coach and Content Creator. He communicates personal development strategies to help people find purpose and meaning to live their fullest potential in life.

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