Step #4: The Road of Trials
Theme: THE 1% RULE
The fourth step of the "Hero's Journey," a core
pattern underlying all world myth and legend, is generally referred
to as the "Road of Trials."
Remember the first three steps: #1, Confronting the challenge.
#2, Rejecting the challenge. #3, Accepting the challenge. Now,
in this fourth step we actually begin the process of achievement,
Several readers of this e-zine have asked if there is a difference
between men's and women's journeys, a "Hero's Journey" as opposed
to, for instance, a "Siren's Journey." I would say no, but different
journeys are in different directions: sometimes externally focused,
sometimes internally. A stereotypical male journey is a road
trip to slay a dragon. A stereotypical female journey might
be the establishment of a stable, nurturing home for said knight
to return to. The task of creating a human balance between these
stereotypes is to balance the true "Outer" journeys: (business,
environmental threats, interpersonal conflicts, etc.) with "Inner"
Journeys: (self-growth, self-love, healing, forgiveness, spiritual
Both men and women face journeys composed of both elements,
and each human being must create her own perception of the proper
pace and path.
But the most important aspect of the "Road of Trials" is the
realization that life is, indeed, a path--and a long one. Every
completion of the "Hero's Journey" pattern brings one to the
next level, where new challenges must be faced. For example:
reaching a goal of eliminating credit card debt just leads you
to a new goal of mastering secure financial investments. One
of the worst mistakes you can make is to try to sprint from
one level to the next.
If it took you twenty years to get out of shape, going on a
crash diet to slim down is sheer idiocy. If you have never learned
fiscal responsibility, never examined how money is made in our
culture, it is madness to try to cure bill problems with get-rich
quick schemes, or buying lottery tickets. And if you have a
terrible relationship history, hanging around in singles bars
for quick pick-ups isn't likely to lead you to lasting romance.
In all of these cases, the "Lifewriting" answer is to analyze
your current position in respect to your goals (and remember:
for this system to work, you MUST have goals in all three areas).
Subtract this from where you want to be, and what remains is
the distance to be traveled. Then divide this work up into about
100 pieces, and do 1-3 pieces every week.
Fitness. If you have 50 pounds to lose, commit to lose about
1 pound a week. If you want to run a marathon, but have never
run, start by walking a mile a day, add a mile a month and over
two years work your way up to running ten miles three times
a week. After 20 months of this, take a 20-mile run once a month.
If you have a massive debt load, plan on working your way out
of debt in 2 years through saving and studying the art of sales.
(By the way-most people assume that they know how to sell, and
don't need to study this. ALL top professional salespeople will
tell you that their discipline is a science, and must be studied
the way a doctor studies medical journals. To simply assume
you understand this arena is nothing but ego. Unless you are
making all the money you want, study sales!)
If you have a negative or dysfunctional relationship history,
it might be best to abstain from all relationships for a year.
During that time, HEAL YOURSELF. Meditation, introspection,
counseling, self-improvement. All of these things factor in.
If you were the opposite sex, would you want you? Could you
have a relationship with you? What would you think of you physically?
What would you think of you economically? Remember, you're all
alone: no one is watching you answer this question. Tell the
truth. If the answer is anything less than "Yow! I'd LOVE to
have a guy/girl like me!!" then you have work to do. Men and
women screw themselves up by getting into inappropriate relationships,
doomed relationships, stupid relationships, all out of loneliness,
desperation, weakness, anger, or fear.
In order to have a healthy relationship with another person,
you must first have one with yourself.