Live Your Own Hero’s Journey


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Start Your Hero’s Journey right NOW

Thoreau famously said “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. Indeed, it seems that on life’s journey this is many times the most frightening aspect: to live and die unfulfilled. Or – even worse – we think that this moment is all there is and that our lives will never change. While your life may seem boring or unimportant at the moment, it still has a place in the world. Your own path may have many obstacles to overcome, but, too often, obstacles are seen not as the journey itself, but a part of life faced briefly and skipped to get to the interesting stuff. Whether it is illness, studies, or starting a family, the feeling is many times that the best thing, the biggest adventure is yet to come. But continually living for a mythical “then” will lead you to miss every moment of “now” you are given.

You are You NOW

This is not to say that striving for something is not important, or that you can’t look forward to anything, but that you should look at where you are right now as well, not what you lack now that you will have in some imagined future. Chastising yourself for not being the Future You at present will only lead you to miss out on what is happening in your journey right now.

You are the hero in your own journey

The path you choose is the only one of its kind ever undertaken, and that will ever be undertaken. Each one is its own entity, a story that will be told only once, but must be told spectacularly. As Holmes said: “Alas for those who never sing, / But die with all their music still in them”.

At this moment, for everything that is wrong in the world, there is so much good that can be done. There are so many chances to live your passion, to do all that you can, to reach out and touch people half a world away or living right next door to you.


Fulfillment on your life’s journey does not mean having your name plastered on everything from magazines to ice cream. Fulfillment on your journey can be seeing your children finish school, or creating art even though no one else will ever see it just because it makes you feel happy, or simply knowing that you made a difference in someone’s journey.

Whatever your music is, make a point of living it on your journey. No one should spend every moment thinking “I’m half sick of shadows” or toil every day in “quiet desperation”. You might not be able to go back and change the past, but choices happen every moment of every day. Do not dwell on roads not taken, but on the next road you will take; whether you take “the one less traveled by”, or not. Sometimes you just need a longer path to reach the place you want to be. Everyone gets lost once in a while.

Seize every opportunity every day

Only you can live your journey, and you will be pleasantly surprised when you see that your journey will “join some larger way / Where many paths and errands meet”. Many of the paths you could never have imagined when you set out on your journey. Make your journey the best journey you possibly can – and seize each day.

Author: Carin Marais

Carin Marais is a trained language practitioner living in South Africa. Her interests range from language, archaeology, and mythology, to speculative fiction, media, and technology. Her published articles include Top 5 Vintage James Bond Cars, 5 easy time hacks to get more time out of your day, and How to Take Responsible Risks to Success. Her work has appeared in Speculative Grammarian and her published fiction includes “A Fair Trade” and “The Call From Below”.

Links to articles, fiction, posts, and her contact information can be found at, or follow her on @CarinMarais.

Quotes taken from:

“The Road Less Taken” by R. Frost.

“The Voiceless” by O.W. Holmes.

“The Lady of Shallot” by A. Tennyson.

Walden by H.D. Thoreau.

“The Walking Song” by J.R.R. Tolkien