Refusal of the Call

There is a story telling framework called “The Hero’s Journey”. It’s contained in many different media formats that we consume such as books, TV, movies, etc.

One interesting thing about the “Hero’s Journey” that we see over and over in movies is that the hero always refuses the call to action at first. It illustrates the mental resistance that everyone faces in their lives. Hero’s are made, not born after all. Without the resistance, there isn’t much of a story because the development of a hero is the strengthening of oneself internally through conflict. Naturally, we all face this. However, it’s interesting to note, unlike a movie, where we know the hero is going to overcome the refusal eventually, in our lives, it’s much easier to refuse the call and never think twice about going back.

The refusal stems from insecurity and fear. That the hero doesn’t have what it takes.

Depending on your age, you’ve probably gone through this at least once, but maybe multiple times in life already. The important thing is to think about when you’re being called to action, and recognizing the part it plays in your own life. It’s easy to see a call to action in a movie that’s been framed specifically to see it, it’s much harder to see it in our own life when the events aren’t perfectly framed.

A call to action in our own lives could be:

  • An internal nagging in our minds
  • A job offer
  • A crisis

Mental resistance is always there, it’s a useful to for not fooling leaping into every problem, but it might also be a distraction. A way to avoid doing something important for yourself or for others. Having the courage to overcome it is an important step in growth in work, character and life.