Bilbo Baggins was tucked into his beautiful hobbit hole eating lamb and potatoes and drinking ale when he heard a knock on the door.
I kid. We all know it was Gandalf, and that wizard rocked Bilbo’s world. Creatures started piling into the hobbit hole throwing food around and causing mass chaos. Poor Bilbo. He was trembling. Wanting to hide. Wanting to run from the journey that would eventually make him a hero.
He was scared.
Remember the look on Katniss Everdeen’s face when she volunteered as tribute? Sheer terror. How about Harry Potter when he faced Voldemort? The wizard kid was pasty white and pukey and on the verge of death.
Heroes are terrified people. They are wracked with fear. They don’t know if they can do it. They don’t know if they will survive. And, they have three things going for them that lead them to victory.
#1: Heroes make decisions. They move forward. They don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis saying “I don’t know what I should do!” because they don’t have enough time. They make choices and keep moving.
#2: Heroes have allies that they rely on for help. They learn that good relationships and love make you stronger. They know they can’t do everything themselves.
#3: Heroes know the why. They have a reason greater than themselves for going on their journeys and succeeding. They have a purpose beyond greed or egotism or revenge. They work for a greater good.
We all love a good heroic journey. We love Bilbo, Katniss, and Harry Potter. We love to see good prevail on a grand scale.
Movies are giant exaggerations. We don’t need to save the world on a grand scale. We can leave that to Hollywood and consider our own lives:
You might need to write that cookbook. You might want to show your paintings. You might be a great baseball coach. You could start a blog. Or go back to school. Or travel the world. Or make a YouTube video.
Are you scared? It’s ok. So is everyone.
Starting today: make a decision, enlist some allies, and figure out why your journey is important.
Believe me, we’ll all be cheering you on. No one wanted Bilbo to stay home.
Hey, what’s that sound? Knock knock knock.
It’s Dumbledore. It’s Gandalf. It’s time.