All successful stories follow a common pattern.
Despite cultural and linguistic differences, Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey template has stood the test of time. This universal pattern underlies the success of everything from the rise of Christianity to the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
1. Everyday hero
The group or individual to be inspired to do things differently. We need to be interested in what happens to them. How is the hero relatable? How is the hero like us?
2. Ordinary world
The everyday world which is increasingly frustrating for our heroes to live in. We need to feel their frustration. Why would we want to see this world changed too?
3. Compelling villain
An attention-grabbing manifestation of the selfish behavior that stands in the way of change. We want to see it defeated. Why is the villain compelling?
4. Call to adventure
The trigger for change, which could be the pull of inspiration or the push of necessity. We care about what sparks others to act. What’s holding the hero back? What compels the hero to leave the ordinary world?
5. Crossing the threshold
The start of doing something different. We want to see what commitment looks like. What is the first step on the journey of change? What portal is crossed?
6. Allies and gifts
The people and help that are needed for change to happen. We judge the likelihood
of success by the company the hero keeps. What friends does the hero need?
7. Mentor and gifts
The giver of wisdom and support from someone that has been on the journey. We believe their presence will help the hero fulfill their destiny. How does the mentor help? how does the mentor give guidance?
8. Three challenges
Three difficult but confidence-building (and escalating) hurdles to be overcome. We know change is hard and we learn from experiences. What challenges does the hero face?
9. Better world
The positive change to the hero and the difference the hero has made. We need to see inner growth as well as a better world. Why is the journey worthwhile? How has the hero changed?
Every story is a story of change.