“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”
- Joseph Campbell
What is “Your Heroes and Heroines
The hero/heroine is a powerful archetype in the understanding of human development. Who is worthy of your admiration and imitation? True heroes/heroines inspire us to reach beyond our normal day-to-day lives, beyond the ordinary, to make a difference in the world, and to embrace something larger than ourselves. The hero/heroine interweaves the individual journey with the evolutionary trajectory of life itself. Personal heroes can be public figures or members of your own family or circle of acquaintances. What kinds of heroes might you want to imitate? Whose lives display the values that matter most to you?
How do I practice this?
Examine how individuals (whether known personally or public figures) used a particular attribute to define or discover their life purpose. Explore the role of each in your life by doing the following practice.
1. Make a list of five such individuals.
2. Highlight the trait you admire most in each person.
3. Rate how well the person manifests that trait on a scale from 1 (very poorly developed) to 10 (perfectly developed).
4. Now rate yourself on that same scale for that attribute.
5. Decide on some action to bridge the gap between your score and your hero’s/heroine’s score.
What are some challenges and commitments of practice?
Whose images align you with your core rather than merely arouse a self-serving agenda?
What are some tips and reminders?
It is of paramount importance that we each discover our life purpose and align with it. This exercise is one of many for uncovering this life purpose. It is easy to become complacent and to lose focus. So, it is very useful to periodically engage in some kind of formal exploration, perhaps on your birthday, at New Year’s, or at the start of a new phase of life (such as starting college, a new job, a marriage, or the birth of a child). Give yourself a time and place where you will be undisturbed for a couple of hours.