The Path of the Emerging Hero (Or All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Star Wars)

You’re a hero.

Yes, you.

Even if you don’t feel particularly heroic.

Especially if you don’t feel particularly heroic.

Because if you’re trying to find work that you enjoy, that’s meaningful, and that allows you to contribute your greatest gifts to the world, then you’re already on a hero’s quest.

It Takes a Different Sort of Person…

You see, it isn’t the people like the Emperor of the Galactic Empire, with their fancy titles and their private death stars and their millions of Twitter followers who are going to save the world.

No, our true protagonists come from a much humbler background. The vast majority don’t know yet that they are heroes—they still don’t know what they’re capable of. They just have a sense that they’re meant for more than this—that they have an important role to play in the world, even if they don’t know what that is.

And they’re right. Because what the world needs now are the uncertain ones. The questioning ones. The ones who are painfully aware that they don’t have all the answers, but who desperately want to learn.

We need the misfits. The malcontents. The ones who aren’t satisfied with the humdrum status quo.

We need the Luke Skywalkers.

img_photo_darth-vader

“Luke, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power.”
—Darth Vader

What Luke Skywalker Can Teach You About Finding Your Calling

1. You’ll face scary, stinky obstacles–and that’s a good thing.

“Ungh. And I thought they smelled bad on the outside.”
—Han Solo

Luke and his buddies had to sleep inside a noxious Tauntaun, make their way through a giant trash compactor, and even make a landing inside the colon of a giant space worm.

But every hero has their share of challenges to face. In overcoming these obstacles, you develop new skills and abilities. You learn all about yourself and the truth of the world around you. You get creative and discover all that you have to offer the world.

In the end, it’s the challenges that give you the tools you need to change your world; they’re what make the entire journey worthwhile.

img_photo_yoda2. You’ll need to be patient.

“Ready are you? What know you of ready?”
—Yoda

Luke always thought he was ready before the universe seemed to agree. That means he spent a lot of time feeling stuck with no way forward.

That’s normal. It’s part of the path. (If the Emperor had been defeated at the end of the first movie, the world would have missed out on two classic sequels!)

We learn many things in school, but we’re not taught anything about how to recognize what we really want, what our purpose is, or how to go about fulfilling it. It takes time to learn this. It takes commitment. But it is possible, for everyone.

3. The Force is strong in you. Believe in it.

“The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”
—Obi-Wan Kenobi

If you want to find your calling, you’re going to need to finally admit that you’re amazing. You’ll have to acknowledge your own strength, power, and awesomeness. You’ll no longer be able to tell yourself the lie that you can’t do it, that everyone else has it all figured out, or that you’re any smaller or less important than anybody else.

4. You’ll succeed because you have help (from ewoks, wookies, droids, and possibly humans, too.)

“We have—ungh!—powerful friends. You’re going to regret this.”
—Princes Leia

Luke didn’t save the galaxy single-handedly. He needed a lot of help, and so will you.
We all get stuck. We all get discouraged. The difference between those who find their calling and those who don’t is a willingness to ask for help.

img_photo_luke-skywalker5. In saving yourself, you save the world.

“Your thoughts betray you, Father. I feel the good in you, the conflict.”
—Luke Skywalker

Luke knew from the beginning that he wanted to do something more. Through his quest to become a Jedi Knight, he discovered the nature of what was calling him. He developed his own strengths and superpowers, and he learned how to stay true to what was good in him.

In doing so, he was able to see the good in others. Luke saved the galaxy by believing in his father, giving him one, last chance to act altruistically, and thus redeeming him in the end. He was able to free the world because he had already done the work of freeing himself.

Because in the end, there’s nobody we need to defeat.

Things need to change, but it’s not because we’re bad people. We’re just confused. Somewhere along the line we began to mistake money for security, approval for happiness. We lost track of who we are, and all that really matters.

Giving full expression to the truth of what’s within us, we transform our world in powerful ways and do more good than we could ever imagine.

We need more redeemers. More misfits, malcontents, and truth-seekers.

We need you. All of you.

“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.”
—Yoda

People all over the world are waking up to the need to use their talents for good.

They’re discovering what brings them joy and seeking work that makes the world a better place.

In doing so, they’re making powerful changes. In themselves, in the people around them, and in the world. (Read the stories of just a few of these people.)

You are critical to this struggle. You have unique gifts to give that nobody else can in quite the same way.

In order to create a better way of doing things, we need you to find your calling so that you unlock your superpowers and discover the joy that lies latent in the heart of all of us.

That’s what can truly change the world.

That’s what the world needs most.