“Sometimes, the path to personal growth begins with answering a call you never expected.” —Joseph Campbell
Are you feeling bored or stuck in your career at this point and wondering if there could be more to what this could look like? It’s a question that haunts many of us at some point in our professional lives. We may find ourselves in roles that don’t ignite our passion, or perhaps we’re feeling pigeonholed in a career direction that doesn’t align with our true desires. There’s no denying that work often dominates our lives, leaving little time for the things we truly love. If you find yourself at this crossroads, this moment could potentially be a turning point—a time when you decide to be intentional and invite an extra force to help you make progress.
The Tale of Bilbo Baggins
To illustrate this point, let’s connect your experience to a classic fantasy tale—J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. In this story, we meet a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, a character who undergoes a profound transformation. Bilbo’s journey from a comfortable, sedentary life to one filled with adventure and uncertainty is a narrative that resonates with anyone contemplating a major change.
Perhaps you, too, feel a bit like Bilbo. You’re pulled toward something more, something new and unknown. Yet, just like Bilbo, you may find yourself resisting the call, tethered to the comforts of what you know. When presented with the opportunity for adventure, Bilbo initially responds with, “Sorry, I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not today. Good morning! But please come to tea—anytime you like. Why not tomorrow? Goodbye!”
The Hero’s Journey
This moment from “The Hobbit” serves as a compelling analogy for those of us who have sensed an inner calling but hesitated to answer. Bilbo’s journey represents what author and scholar Joseph Campbell referred to as the “Hero’s Journey” —a common narrative structure found in many stories, myths, and movies. It consists of stages like starting in The Ordinary World, receiving The Call to Adventure, initially Refusing the Call, encountering a Mentor, and eventually Crossing the Threshold into action, leading to transformative experiences.
Answering the Call
The key question is whether you are ready to answer your own call to adventure. If you’re feeling stuck or unfulfilled in your career and life, there may be a calling you’ve been resisting. Just as Bilbo had Gandalf as his mentor, you may need guidance or a mentor figure to help you navigate your journey. But ultimately, the decision rests with you. The opportunity to create your life and career with intention is at hand.
It’s important not to remain at rest or stay stuck, expecting things to change on their own. You are being summoned to do more, to take ownership, and to take action. This could be the start of your hero’s journey, a path that leads to personal growth, fulfillment, and the realization of your true potential.
Are you ready to answer the call and become who you want to become?
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