What would you say if I told you that every Story throughout history was actually the same Story being told again and again? Don’t believe me? You may not have come across the 12 Stages of the Hero’s Journey.
Joseph Campbell studied Stories and myths throughout history and found that they all followed the same pattern, what he called the Monomyth. He elaborates on this in his book, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” Take a look at the image below for the key 12 Stages of the Hero’s Journey.
George Lucas has used this model to great effect with franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. And in recent years, Pixar has found a lot of success with this template as well. Few Stories follow this journey as closely as Finding Nemo. Hint: Dory is the mentor.
In truth, all great Storytelling can be broken down into some version of the 12 Stages of the Hero’s Journey. Even commercials or ad campaigns touch on certain stages while still progressing from an ordinary world into the special one – and then they return to the ordinary world with the elixir. Here’s another hint: the “elixir” is your product or service.
This journey applies to real life as well. So whether it’s the Story of how you got to work this morning, or the Story of your great company, it’s likely you experienced some form of these stages.
Enjoy the video below for a fun variant on the 12 Stages of the Hero’s Journey.