How to use the hero’s journey as a framework for life

Note: the interactive drag-and-drop exercises on this page might be difficult to do on a mobile device. We advise to try them on a desktop or laptop computer instead.

The hero's journey provides us with a map or blueprint to navigate the adventure of life. It illustrates the steps that so many of us take, and thus it can guide, support, and reassure us in challenging times.

In short, it's a framework about someone (the hero) who dares to go on an adventure, faces many challenges and temporary defeats, is ultimately victorious in a decisive crisis, and comes home transformed.

The great thing about the hero's journey is that you are already familiar with it, although largely subconsciously. You will recognize it in books, tales, and the most successful films such as Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and The Matrix.

The hero's journey and our personal development

We use the different steps of the hero's journey to illustrate the different levels to personal growth mastery. They are not exactly the same, but have many commonalities.

Below you find a few interactive exercises and an assignment to understand the hero's journey better and to apply it to the events in your own life.

Exercise 1

Drag and drop the events of one or more of the stories below in their correct order of occurrence. Once you think every event is in the right order, click ‘Check'.  The application will let you know if you got it right. If you made a mistake, you can resume the exercise, or you can choose to view the solution.

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Personal growth assessment hero's journey

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The Hero's Journey in The Lord of The Rings

The Hero's Journey in The Matrix

Exercise 2

Based on the the previous exercise, let's see if you can drag and drop the different steps of the hero's journey in the correct order.

The Hero's Journey framework

Exercise 3

Your Personal Hero's Journey

Apply the steps of the hero's journey to your own life. This will help you put your journey in a broader perspective and normalize challenges you meet along the way:

Share your insights with us

What insights did these exercises give you? Did your recognize parts of the hero's journey in your own life?
Should we add more stories/books/films to the exercises?
Let us know by leaving a comment below, and keep moving forward!


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