Discover more from Think. Read. Write. Repeat.
Or- I Want You To Try To Chase This Little Chicken.
This month we’re talking about the Hero’s Journey. This week we discuss the role of the mentor/coach.
In the Hero's Journey, the mentor plays a crucial role in guiding and assisting the hero on their quest or adventure:
1. Providing Guidance and Wisdom: They often have knowledge that the hero lacks. They may have been there before and can help the hero understand the challenges they will face.
2. Offering Gifts or Tools: Mentors often give the hero special gifts, tools, or knowledge.
3. Inspiring and Encouraging: Mentors serve as a source of motivation and encouragement for the hero and provide support during moments of doubt or adversity.
4. Testing and Training: Mentors challenge the hero to grow and develop their skills, and push them to get better.
5. A Symbolic Figure: The mentor represents a higher moral or ethical standard, and embodies qualities like wisdom, virtue, or integrity, and serve as a role model for the hero to emulate.
6. Facilitating Transformation: Mentors help the hero undergo a transformation, both internally and externally. The hero evolves and matures as a result of their interactions with the mentor.
7. Facilitating the Crossing of Thresholds: In some cases, mentors assist the hero in crossing important physical and metaphorical boundaries.
The stories we know, and love all have memorable mentors: Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, and Merlin in Arthurian legends. These mentors play pivotal roles in shaping the hero's path and ensuring their success in facing the challenges of their adventure.
So, mentors are awesome. Get a mentor if you don’t have one. Be a mentor if you can.
But there is a version of the mentor archetype that is not helpful, the savior, or rescuer.
A mentor helps you find the answer — A savior gives it to you.
A mentor points the way— A rescuer says, “Follow me.”
A mentor does a lot of listening — A savior does all of the talking.
Make sure your mentor is a mentor, not a rescuer.
And, if you are a mentor make sure you are pushing your Hero to fight the monster or chase the chicken. Don’t try to protect them from it.
I’d love to hear what you think. Like Share and comment.
Read. Mindful Mondays
I enjoy Chris’s substack. This one is from a few weeks ago, and it hits on the same subject I talked about around the Autumnal Equinox about using it as a time to reflect and plan.
In my upcoming memoir, Tough Rugged Bastards I talk about a few of the mentors that I had over my years as a Marine in special operations. There is not a doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am had it not been for leaders who pushed me to be better and held me accountable when I missed the mark.
Think back over the mentors you’ve had. They might not have felt like mentors at the time, but in retrospect, I’m sure you can find a few.
You could journal about them, or you could write them a note and thank them. I bet they’d appreciate it.
“The journey of the hero is about the courage to seek the depths; the image of creative rebirth; the eternal cycle of change within us; the uncanny discovery that the seeker is the mystery which the seeker seeks to know. The hero's journey is a symbol that binds, in the original sense of the word, two distant ideas, the spiritual quest of the ancients with the modern search for identity, “always the one, shape-shifting yet marvelously constant story that we find.”
― Joseph Campbell, The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work
Thanks for reading Think. Read. Write. Repeat. See you next Thursday!