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The Most Important Choice


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Stories and myths from all cultures are very similar.

Joseph Campbell pointed this out in his many books.

One of the most famous is, "The Hero With A Thousand Faces."

The archetypical story is the hero's journey.

Now, the money question.

Why did every culture come up with a story about a hero?

A hero that invariably goes through several trials, failures, and eventually steps up his game enough to defeat the bad guy?

Why are fantasy stories like "Game of Thrones" and "Lord of the Rings" so wildly popular today in our ultra-modern culture?

Why are we humans so drawn to such metaphysical tales of good vs. evil?

Because we see these everywhere.

But we tend to look outside ourselves for good.

And we tend to look outside ourselves for evil.

For stories, this makes it easier.

A story of a guy sitting there and only pondering good vs. evil would be pretty boring.

But one of the most critical elements of any hero's journey story is what Campbell calls the "Belly of the Whale" experience.

It means that the hero can't ever face the bad guy in life, unless he faces the demons inside.

Demons that we all have.

One way to look at the ever present "good guy vs. bad guy" story in pretty much every society is so we all can have a role model.

Why would we need mythical role models?

Maybe because real life role models always let us down.

And since hero stories have been around since the dawn of time, perhaps the same problem has existed since the dawn of time.

People, in general, suck.

If humans had always role models in real life, there might have been less need for these made up hero's to serve as role models.

Or perhaps they only augment our real life role models.

Or maybe they were built "just in case" we happen to be living in a time of crappy role models.

That's one of the things about us humans.

Flexibility is one of our strong points.

Our brains are kind of like a Swiss Army Knife.

A lot of functions for a lot of purposes.

But the main point remains.

We need heroes because we will face problems.

If we expect other people to solve our problems, it won't do us much good.

If we learn to solve our own problems, regardless of how lame our role models are, we can do anything.

Which do you prefer?

To wait for the hero, or to BE the hero?

Your choice.

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