Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story
Have you ever finished a great book or walked out of a movie theater feeling pumped up, walking like you’re 12 feet tall, totally inspired or ready to take on the world? Chances are that you have! Stories are a powerful medium and as human beings we have listened to stories of heroes and their incredible feats and adventures since our ancestors first warmed their hands by a fire.
What is it about stories that is so powerful you ask? Perhaps it is that we imagine ourselves within the shoes of those heroes as part of our own deep longing for meaningful adventure. At Leaders of the Day, our own Heroic Journeys in the wilderness provide opportunities for people to cross over into the realm of the “unfamiliar” and the “unexpected”.
Our Adventures and trainings allow people to explore incredible, wild landscapes and to effectively step away from their lives for a short time to truly taste some adventures that few on the planet will ever embark upon. In doing so our students and travelers often uncover remarkable insights about themselves, their lifestyles, their relationships and the things that really matter to them. They often tell us that they return feeling: rejuvenated, re-inspired and full of fire! The wilderness is a powerful catalyst for personal discovery.
Are you ready to become the Hero of YOUR own Story? Imagine your Life as an adventurous story and watch EVERYTHING begin to change and Transform.
Check out this incredible video that helps the concept of the Hero’s Journey to “leap off the pages”!
Defining the Transformative Experience
Every root culture of the world somewhere in its origins recognized the tremendous importance of transformative experience and consciously made it an integral part of their traditions. They did this because they understood the incredible power of transformative experience to support the important passages that mark challenging transitions in a person’s life. Many of these traditions still thrive within select cultures of the world today.
Now as then, transformative experience involves creating opportunities for people to engage in activities that are outside the scope of their everyday experiences and strategically presenting challenging but manageable obstacles that need to be overcome.
In rising to greet these challenges, in a safe and supportive environment, people often find themselves standing quite outside the previous boundaries of who they perceived themselves to be and glimpse aspects of their own skills and inner resources that they may not previously have acknowledged.
The circle is completed by important opportunities for quiet, self-reflection and mentorship as people seek both to make sense of what has just taken place, to integrate their understandings and to then transfer the learning to their lives at large beyond that experience.
If there is one constant in this world, it is that Life is always changing. Many people in the world today hurry from one transition in their lives to another without truly taking the time to honour “what just was”; to properly grieve, to learn from choices or mistakes; to re-calibrate their dreams when life has changed directions, or to truly prepare for the next road they intend to walk upon before actually placing their feet upon it.
As people begin to explore their own edges and have the courage to push past them, they come face to face with their own capacity for greatness and begin to develop a deeper understanding of the ingredients in their life that uniquely make them feel happy and alive.
“Transformative learning involves experiencing a deep, structural shift in the basic premises of thought, feelings, and actions. It is a shift of consciousness that dramatically and irreversibly alters our way of being in the world. Such a shift involves our understanding of ourselves; our relationships with other humans and with the natural world; our understanding of relations of power as they relate to class, race and gender; our body awarenesses, our visions of alternative approaches to living; and our sense of possibilities for peace and personal joy.” – O’Sullivan
Our Learner to Leader Program Model:
This central theme is an important focus of all Leaders of the Day programs and signifies the important progression from dependence to collaboration to eventual self-reliance. Leaders of the Day’s expeditionary programs include a number of Peak Transformative Experiences that assist participants in confidently moving through the journey from Learner to Leader.
- The Journey to Self-reliance: Learn, Practice, Master – During the course of all our skills programs and expeditions, our Instructors first spend time introducing participants to new skills and then “create space” for those skills to be practiced in a real context. As an example, on Day 1 of a program, we may teach a group how to light a fire with flint and steel or a bow drill. The next day, it becomes the responsibility of one of the participant’s to try and replicate that skill under the mentorship of our Instructors. Great pride can come from doing for oneself; especially if we are used to having things done for us.
- Experience being the Leader of the Day – This is a valuable opportunity for learning that invites two students to partner and take the lead. Together they will help to plan, oversee and support an entire day of the expedition, with the background safety net and available guidance of their experienced Instructors.
- Leadership Practicum – In the final stages of the expedition, the Instructors will fade more and more into the background as the members of the group develop the capacity to assume greater responsibility and leadership. For up to three days the group will collaboratively plan, manage and negotiate all aspects of the expedition up to its destination. The Instructors remain engaged as invisible risk managers and safety nets but wherever appropriate, help to facilitate increasing opportunities for the group to assume the mantle of leadership and the sense of accomplishment that comes with that. This is the group’s moment to shine and to take responsibility for much of the day to day decision making.