Be Your Own Hero pays tribute to your innate power to place your best self in charge of your life.
Throughout the ages, remarkable people have sacrificed their lives asking nothing in return. These brave souls were selflessly devoted to what is true, noble and pure. They didn’t let anyone or anything diffuse the light from their best selves.
Come rain or shine everyday heroes confront extreme danger, protect others in harm’s way and rise above unimaginable, overwhelming obstacles. They inspire the discouraged, mobilize the handicapped and show us that the impossible is possible.
Today and every day, unheralded heroes contribute their legacy to humankind. They smile when they have reason to complain and put food on the table for their families. All over the globe, regular people choose peace instead of conflict and support others through their darkest hours. They encourage us to take on new challenges and triumph against the odds.
In his 1949 work The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell, revered American Professor of Literature at Sarah Lawrence College specializing in comparative mythology and comparative religion, described the plight of the hero as follows:
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
In the departure portion of this narrative, the hero lives in the ordinary world and receives a call to partake in an adventure. The hero is reluctant to follow the call, but is aided by a mentor.
The initiation begins with the hero crossing the threshold to the unknown where he faces trials, either alone or with the help of others.
The hero eventually reaches the central crisis of his adventure, where he experiences an ordeal and overcomes the primary obstacle or enemy, undergoing apotheosis (elevation to divine status) and obtaining his reward.
The hero then returns to the ordinary world with his reward which he can now use to benefit others. The hero himself is transformed by the adventure, receiving wisdom and spiritual power.
Frank Herbert, author of the Dune trilogy is cautious of heroes and the idea of the infallible leader. In his view, mistakes made by a leader or in a leader’s name are amplified by the numbers who follow without question. He wrote:
Much better [to] rely on your own judgment, and your own mistakes.
Your best self offers you the best chance to champion limitations. So as you venture forth in the ever-present moment, choose to be your best, regardless of circumstances or outcome. In good and bad times, give every moment your all. You have what it takes to be the hero of your life. And it’s your turn, right now.