Lessons On The Hero’s Journey

How principles from The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell can teach us to be better teachers, life coaches, parents, and people of integrity.

the heros journey call to adventure

In the hero’s journey, an individual rises to a calling, undergoes a series of challenges and experiences extraordinary transformations.

As life coaches we know that life is an ongoing and transformational journey through which we realize our greatest dreams and take action to attain them.

One of my very favorite authors, Joseph Campbell, dedicated his life to studying comparative mythology and writing about the archetypal hero’s journey. In one of his most powerful texts, The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Campbell explores the 17 stages of hero’s journey.

As life coaches, there’s a lot to be learned by taking a closer look at some of these stages!

The hero’s journey involves building discipline, persevering, and seeing goals through to attain an ultimate dream.

And once you’re familiar with the hero’s journey, you’ll see it everywhere!

Many of the greatest films and stories of all time depict a hero’s journey:

  • Star Wars
  • Harry Potter
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • The Lion King
  • The Matrix
  • Goonies
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • even Robocop!

The Hero’s Journey is Universal

Joseph Campbell, a master scholar and writer on the process of personal transformation, writes about 17 steps of the hero’s journey, a universal, archetypal journey (commonly depicted in film and literature) that an individual takes in their lifetime, through which challenges are faced and major changes are made.

The process of becoming a life coach itself could be considered a hero’s journey, and understanding each step can give us insight on how to be a better life coach and how to best assist our clients on their own transformational journeys.

There are 3 stages of the hero’s journey: departure, initiation, and return

We’ll be looking at 4 key steps for each stage.

So over the next year, on a monthly basis, we’ll be going over 12 of the 17 steps in the hero’s journey and discussing the wisdom we can take away from each.

You may want to bookmark this page so you can come back to it each month this year as we take another step along the hero’s journey.


  1. The Call to Adventurecall to adventure hobbit running
    The first stage of the hero’s journey is what Joseph Campbell describes as “the call to adventure.” This stage is all about finding and realizing your dream. During the call to adventure stage, your routine, day-to-day life gets shaken up in some way. You’re going about your life as you always have, and then suddenly, a new piece of information or opportunity presents itself to you. Perhaps this is what happened when you first heard about life coaching! Where were you in life when the possibility of becoming a life coach presented itself to you? Do you remember that feeling of something stirring within you as you contemplated taking this new path? The call to adventure is an event that ignites a spark in you, that beckons you to step through a new or different doorway into the unknown.
  2. Supernatural Aid
  3. Crossing the first threshold
  4. Belly of the whale


  1. The Road of Trials
  2. The Meeting With the Goddess
  3. Apotheosis
  4. The Ultimate Boon


  1. The Magic Flight
  2. The Crossing of the Return Threshold
  3. Master of Two Worlds
  4. Freedom to Live


Do you feel called to be a life coach?

You are the hero on your hero's journey