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I love Rhonda Byrne’s books – I find that they are so simply told and yet hold so many golden nuggets that can literally change your life forever.  Have you ever listened to her audiobooks?  I remember listening to one and thinking ’wow!’.  So much effort is put into telling the story along with great sound effects too that transport me right into the story!

And ‘Hero’ is no different.  It’s one of my favourite Rhonda Byrne books.  I listened to the audiobook first and then bought the hard copy book because I wanted it in my ‘real’ (!) library, not just my virtual one. 

What’s to love?

I love this particular book because we can each relate to the ‘hero’s journey’ Rhonda Byrne describes and builds upon throughout the book.  There are several (12) real-life characters, who have achieved great success, that talk about their own ‘hero’s journey’ – the ups, the downs, and everything in between that they all had to experience before they reached success.  It’s a great reminder to us all that life is a journey, success is a journey and that to get any measure of success, we all have to go on our own hero’s journey, not only to discover success at the end of it, but to discover who we needed to become to get there.

Why should you read it?

If you’re trying to achieve great things in your own life, then you need to be the hero of your own story instead of wait for a hero to pop out from somewhere and put those great things in your lap – it’s not likely to happen!  This book reminds you that you’re not alone in sometimes feeling hopeless or fed up of trying and failing, you will be able to relate to at least one person’s story in this book, maybe more.  Personally, I got inspiration from everyone’s stories in different ways.  These people had the same doubts I often have, faced similar challenges to me and in many cases their challenges were way bigger than any I have ever faced and yet they chose to push through them, learn from them and continue with their journey.  How much easier should it be for me, then?  It made me realise that my challenges were nowhere as bad as I imagined and that that this was just part of the journey, to help me grow to the next stage.

My key take-aways from The Hero

If I had to sum up my top 5 key take aways from The Hero, they would be as follows:

1  |  There is no shortcut to success, you need to make that journey

If achieving success (whatever success means to you) was easy, everyone would be successful, right?!  But not everyone is willing to set off on that hero’s journey or keep going, especially when the going gets tough.  It’s only those that are willing to take the risk of setting off on their own hero’s journey and keep plodding on, come what may, that eventually reach their desired destination.  There is no shortcut!

2  |  There are different stages to the hero’s journey, honour the process

The hero’s journey is not an easy one to make but it’s so worth it in the end if you achieve your dreams and goals!  The book is split into four parts:

Part I – The Dream – which talks about that niggling feeling you get, that restlessness you experience when you want to follow your dreams and find your purpose and live it, rather than continue living a meaningless, mediocre life going through the motions.  It talks about answering to that ‘call to adventure’ despite the risks it might entail or the sacrifices you may have to make with no guarantees at the end.  This is probably one of the reasons I love this book so much, because BLOOM is so big on dreaming and on living life with purpose – on realising there is more out there if you’re willing to go out and find it!

Part II – The Hero – talks about you, the person – the hero of the story, your story.  What sort of mindset you need to have to be the hero of your own story, how you need to think and act.  I loved hearing about the different people in this book and it became clear that there are certain characteristics you need to have to be able to fulfil your dreams – self-belief, persistence, commitment, perseverance, discipline, resilience, and many more!  Again, this resonated with me so much because at BLOOM, becoming the person you need to be to achieve your goals is hugely important.  It’s not easy to be disciplined, to be focused, to persevere … and it wasn’t any easier for the characters in this book.  It’s inspiring to realise that they struggle with the same things we do, they just chose to work on and improve themselves, no matter how difficult it seemed.

Part III – The Quest – oh yes, we can all relate to this stage!  This basically describes the journey – the struggle, the maze, the labyrinth, the going round in circles, the frustration, the challenges … definitely something we can all relate to!  And yet, in spite of all these obstacles and challenges, we get to choose how to respond to them, just like the characters in the book did.  To me this was probably the most important and most relevant part of the book.  It’s easy to dream big dreams but when you’re down in the trenches trying to make those dreams happen, this tests you to the very core of your being!  Reading about the many challenges the characters faced and how they chose to respond to those challenges, inspired me to do the same when I faced similar issues in my life.  Too many of us decide to give up too early.  Just a slight whiff of an obstacle and we’re quick to throw the towel in.  The hero’s journeys of each of these people will inspire and encourage you to keep going in your own journey.

Part IV – Victory – making it to the other side and being able to look back and see that every challenge and every obstacle you faced was put there to test you, to mould you, to shape you, to make you a better person – the person you need to become to reach your dreams.  Realising that there is more to success than reaching your own dreams but helping others do the same. 

Reading through these different stages makes you see the bigger picture in your own journey, rather than the little step you’re currently stuck on.  If you’re stuck in The Quest, realise that Victory is the next stage, if you choose to keep going!  So, honour the process, and take it one step at a time. 

3  |  You’re stronger than you think

This is something that often came up for me.  It’s usually during a particularly challenging time that we discover just how strong and resilient we actually are.  We need to tap into this inner strength and power that we have deep within us and allow it to propel us towards success in our own journeys, and not just wait for dire circumstances to happen to us to reveal that inner strength we had all along.

4  |  Persistence pays

Whilst there were many characteristics that all the characters in the story shared to reach success, one particular characteristic stood out from the others for me, and that was persistence.  Each and every one of them persisted in their journey to reaching their dream, they refused to give up – they each found a way over, under, around or through whatever obstacle came their way!  If there’s one characteristic you want to work on if you want to achieve success, it’s persistence!

5  |  Each and everyone of us is a hero

It’s too easy to think that living a wonderful life of purpose, freedom and joy is reserved for the privileged few while we just get to watch from the sidelines.  And yet each and every one of us has the power within us to create and live the life of our dreams.  We just need to believe in ourselves more, know that we have what it takes and be willing to do what it takes to create and live that dream.  We are the heroes of our own story and we get to write that story.  Reading about the disadvantaged backgrounds many of the people in the book came from and the challenging circumstances they had to face helps you realise that if they can make it, so can you!

In conclusion

This is an easy read and the author has very cleverly turned the life experiences of twelve successful people around the world into really captivating, inspiring and encouraging life lessons for us all to learn from and apply in our own lives.  I listen to or read this book at least every couple of years, especially when I’m going through a particularly hard time in my own journey and feel like packing it in.  Then I realise … I get to choose to be the hero of my own story.  Or not.  And you get to choose too!

Have you read The Hero by Rhonda Byrne?  What was your key take away?