How to Become a Hero: Outline
You Are the Champion the World Is Waiting For
C.J. Hayden, MCC
This is a work in progress. As I use this material with my clients and students, speak and write
about it, and discuss it with colleagues, it continues to evolve. At present, it is available as a one-hour talk, ongoing discussion group, and a
full-day workshop. Over time, it is becoming a full-length book. Your comments are welcome!
Here are the eight steps I have identified to becoming a hero:
- Develop your heroic qualities. The way to begin is by putting yourself in situations that
evoke your higher self rather than your lower. Even if you do not yet know what your heroic
quest will be, you can prepare yourself for it. And in preparing for the quest, you will develop
those same faculties you need to hear the call to heroism that has not yet arrived. You are trying
on the hero's mantle. Colloquially speaking, your task in this phase is to fake it 'til you make it.
- Listen for the call. The call is the inspired message that describes your mission in life, vision
for a better world, or heroic quest. You may experience it as a strong intuition, sudden
realization, divine transmission, or just a subtle wondering. But to hear it, you must first listen for
it. Many heroes-in-the-making find specific structures like meditation, prayer, journaling, or
artistic endeavors helpful to open up their listening. What you are listening for is a call to greatness -- a
suggestion, request, or even demand that you step into a role larger than you have ever had before.
- Take action. It's not enough to suspect or even know what your mission or quest to be of service might be. To
become a hero, you must act on your heightened awareness. Even if you aren't sure you
interpreted the call correctly, it is only by beginning to take action on your understanding that you
will be sure. To move into action, you must get past the initial refusal of the call that every hero
- Meet the dragon. Your worst enemy on the hero's journey is your own internal dragon of
negativity, fear, and self-doubt. This piece of yourself tries to prevent you from fulfilling your
heroic destiny. This dragon cannot be slain; you must meet it in its lair and develop strategies for
continuing to take action. The dragon will continue to co-exist with the positive qualities that
make it possible for you to be heroic.
- Commit to the quest. It's entirely possible for you to get this far in the hero's journey without
yet having made a commitment to your mission. You may be unsure of the authenticity of the
call, lack confidence in your abilities, or be surrounded by unfavorable conditions. Regardless,
without commitment, your mission will ultimately fail. This is the point when you must declare
yourself a hero, ready or not.
- Seek guidance. The hero's life can be lonely and difficult without the aid of human and spirit
guides. Finding sources of ongoing guidance to support your mission can be critical to its
success. Books, films, music, and art can all provide guidance, but the best guides are real people
and a connection with the divine.
- Make a plan. In my original writings about this subject, I neglected to add this step. It is an
amusing omission, given that my own claim to fame in the world is based on creating action
plans. But what I have seen is that new heroes who follow the six steps above, but never develop
a plan, ultimately cannot carry out their mission. They have good intentions, but sloppy
execution. A dream and the will to begin only carry them so far. To continue on with their quest,
they must have a method, a process, a vehicle for their dream to become reality.
- Stay the course. In my initial formula, I left this stage out also. But yet, it is the most difficult
one of all. The hero must keep going despite opposition, catastrophe, and the small, distracting
details of everyday life. It's just as hard to be a hero while taking out the trash as it is to be one
while your marriage is falling apart. To remain on the heroic path, you must stay vigilant and
Copyright © 2003-7 C.J. Hayden
Would you like to listen to
a talk C.J. gave on this topic? To listen online, click the play button on the left-hand side of the console below.
To download the MP3 file, right click here
and choose Save Target/Link As.
How to Become a Hero with C.J. Hayden
Hosted by Eva Gregory (55 minutes; 10 MB)