- Stories are powerful tools. You can see your own life, as a story.
- Many stories are about a hero, who goes on a journey to accomplish a goal. You are the hero of your own story.
- Most journey have a number of milestones, or turning points. Explain the milestones. Use the .pdf to show the milestones, or write them on a flipchart.
It sometimes helps to make ‘stops’ in a large room: hang signs on the walls in five different places and move with the group from place to place. (This depends if the group is not too large, or the room is big enough.) Make it a real ‘journey’ that you take together.
Stage 1 – The Calling
“If you don’t know where you’re sailing, any wind will do.” So it is better to set a course and know your direction. What are you aiming for?
You can have a discussion or ask the participants to make a drawing or short description of where they see themselves in a year, or five years’ time. Also fun: to ask them to make a live painting with the other participants, showing themselves in their future jobs.
Stage 2 – The Fellowship
“One finger cannot lift a pebble.” You can not do everything by yourself. Every hero has one or more people to help along the way: a wise (wo)man with advice, a strong fighter by his/her side, or a funny person to make them laugh.
Ask participants to make a list of people who help them, and how. Let them choose one and describe him/her, or ask them to write this helper a letter or make a video for them. (These do not have to be sent of course, it is an exercise!)
Stage 3 – The dragon
“Where you stumble, the treasure lies.” We are often afraid of difficulties but we forget that this is also when we learn and grow the most.
It is important to talk about the difficulties (or use the creative methods like above: draw, write, perform) but also ask about how to overcome them. Make sure this is not only about complaining but also a little bit of bragging about clever solutions. Also try to include the ‘treasure’: what do we get for solving the problems?
Stage 4 – The performance (the battle)
“Stepping into the middle of the moment.” When work needs to get done, we can not always wait for the best moment to do it. We have to make our own best moment and create ‘Flow’ (see resources).
Ask participants to describe a moment when they were doing their best work. How did they feel? What were the circumstances? What matters and what does not? Please note that often the best work comes in moments when it is most difficult. Why is this?
Stage 5 – The return
“Bringing home the Holy Grail.” In the end, every hero comes home (in a way). What has she/he gained during her/his adventures? Knowledge, skills, a better understanding or attitude, perhaps? Is this something that is valuable for other people too?
What is the participant’s Holy Grail? (Please note that this is linked to the first stage, the Calling.)
Discuss if the participants recognize the Journey for themselves. Discuss how the Journey repeats itself again and again for everyone: when you come home, you can (and will) begin a new journey.
Step 2: Intention (ritual)
Although it is not strictly necessary, it helps to mark the moment when the journey (to employment or entrepreneurship) begins. This is part of the first step: the Calling. Make it some sort of (non-religious) ritual: light a fire or propose a toast or form a circle by holding hands – anything that makes it a shared moment (and as long as you as a trainer feel comfortable with it). One by one ask participants to speak their intention for the next year. Please note that it does not even have to be about work! Personal growth will come back in professional growth.