The hero’s journey. You know the story. The main character is shaken by something external or internal—death, injury, financial crisis, disease, or maybe just struggling with the complexities of life—and has to find his or her way out of the turmoil. We follow along hoping for the best for our hero because we’ve all been there at various points in our own lives. We feel we share a cosmic tie and we’re invested in the outcome. We have to know our hero can do it because we know we may face another challenge along our path to bliss, happiness, contentment, peace.
The hero's journey has been epitomized countless times in literature, plays, and movies—Lancelot, James T. Kirk, The Hero’s Journey, Homer’s Odyssey, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. They all take us on that journey to find a new life or a way out of whatever the hero is facing, and we’re living vicariously through them.
Who doesn’t know the story of Dorothy and Toto? We want to know that she escapes the wicked witch and finds the Wizard who can help her return home. Instead, she finds that she had Oz with her the whole time—in Kansas—within herself. She didn’t need Oz. This is what we strive for in our own journey. We want to know that Uncle Henry and Auntie Em will be waiting around the corner for us with a gentle hug and maybe some apple pie. We want to find the answers we seek.
While those stories are often outlandish tales of good versus evil, our own lives are examples of the hero’s journey. We want to see our hero make it. We need to see our hero make it because it gives us hope—hope that we can make it, too.
We've gone from our own depths of hell— tests and travails, allies and enemies—just as Dorothy did. We've learned lessons along the way: avoid the wicked witch; stay with Glinda, the good witch; be careful whom you trust. Maybe we've gotten our own ruby slippers, or maybe we're still on our yellow brick road. We must find our own answers to whatever path we’re on, but knowing that someone else has triumphed gives us hope that we will be victorious.
There are many real-life examples of people who have overcome tremendous obstacles and have seemingly won their battles: J.K. Rowling, Elizabeth Gilbert, Marco Polo. The woman who has four children and has no idea how to pay the bills and develops an idea for a product that makes millions. The man who decides he needs to completely rewrite his life and takes off for a trip around the world. The couple who gets rid of all their stuff and finds they’re content just to live a life of adventure. We all want to find our nirvana—the life that has meaning and purpose.
This fall, Vitanova will be touring the country looking for people with stories to tell of their own journeys—and how they overcame their demons, fought their battles, won their wars, or are still on their path to finding the answers to life’s questions.
We'll let you know when that journey begins so you can follow us and possibly even tell us your story.