It has been said that there are really only about a dozen stories in all of human history– it’s just the minor details that keep changing over the years. One of those stories is the Quest, or Journey, story. That’s the one where the kingdom is in trouble and a humble young man is the “chosen one” who must go on a quest, encountering difficult trials and tribulations, to save the kingdom from evil or permanent destruction. (Think King Arthur and Camelot here.) In the Quest story, there are several main character types and a fairly typical path that the story takes (regardless of how it’s told, the setting, the name changes, etc.). And if we consider the Quest story as a template for modern life, we can learn from each character and their respective journeys through the story– what role(s) do they play, how do they act/change as the journey progresses, what qualities/gifts do they bring.
Carol Pearson does a fabulous job of describing the Quest story, all the characters involved, and how it can effect our lives in her books “The Hero Within” and “Awakening the Heroes Within.” The material in both books overlap somewhat, but they both include valuable and practical information and insights into modern life. She details each character (or archetype), discusses how they fit into the story, their gifts and drawbacks, and how to recognize them when they appear (because they’re not always obvious). Both books include exercises for working with and through the characters/archetypes as they appear in our own lives, although I personally prefer the exercises in “Awakening.” Both books are extremely well-written and easy to comprehend.
If you’re looking for a different kind of self-help book, these would be a welcome change to the typical fare in bookstores. They would be especially beneficial for those times when one feels particularly stuck in non-productive life patterns.
Disclaimer: These recommendations are purely my own. I am in no way reimbursed or compensated for this book review by any of the entities mentioned in this blog post, and I receive no commission or payment of any kind from writing this recommendation or from any purchases that may be made as a result of an individual reading it.