Who doesn’t dream of a hero's journey—being the hero of the story of their life. But desire and intention won’t make it come true.
There is something unique about heroes—they think ahead. Heroes don’t let the future surprise them. They think about what finishing well would look like.
The Hero's Journey
Matthew Henry wrote, “It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our final day.”
Too commonly we stumble upon the future only to be met with disappointment and regret. Our goal is not to predict or craft the future as much as it should be to do our best to prepare to meet it with zeal and passion.
The hero’s journey is like a four-part play. Each stage bringing with it lessons that prepare them to move on to the next—ultimately preparing them for their final day.
We should always be preparing for something. But the vital preparation necessary to perform requires humility—recognition that we must stumble in discovery and development of competence.
The first stage of the hero’s journey is about preparation. It is engaging in the struggle and the pursuit of knowledge and development of skill . Because 80% of life’s most defining moments occur before the age of 35, according to researchers, this time of preparation is vital.
The humility to prepare provides heroes the foundation for the next stage of life which is the confidence to be ourselves and perform.
The goal is to be the best version of yourself. Everyone one has different gifts. Your gift may be the gift of service, teaching, encouragement, leadership, hospitality and the list goes on. Your gifts (unique to you) are the seeds of your greatest contributions and where the best version of yourself is discovered.
Hero’s believe their best is always in front of them. Every chapter of their story is preparation for something. They recognize they are on the cusp of significance because their focus has shifted from internal to external.
There is a deceit about worldly success perched upon money, fame and power that leads people to believe they are “bullet-proof.” Hero’s are not deceived. Rather they no longer think about what they can get, but now focus on what they can give—significance.
The last day is always at hand. Hero’s truly think ahead. They are thinking about the finish line.
Finishing strong is not easy. You want what you do to matter in the end. Legacy is about producing impact and influence that extends beyond you're earthly existence. It possesses a love that is sincere. It means honoring others above yourself.
The Finish Line
Imagine yourself 10 or 15 years from now. What will you think will be most important to you?
Imagine your last day. What are you doing today to prepare yourself for that reality? G.K. Chesteron wrote, “I had always felt life first as a story—and if there is a story there is a story teller.”
It is never too early to think about finishing strong.