Life as a Hero’s Journey

Most films and books follow the narrative of a main character, our hero, and show us how the hero confronts and overcomes a challenging situation. We’re accustomed to seeing the Hero’s Journey narrative across popular media. In this podcast, Benjamin Rogers, PhD, Assistant Professor of Management and Organization at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, discusses how viewing our own lives through the lens of the “Hero’s Journey” can provide us with new insights.


[00:00:00] Stephen Calabria: From the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, this is Road to Resilience, a podcast about facing adversity. I'm Stephen Calabria, Mount Sinai's Director of Podcasting. On today's episode, and in honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, we delve into The Hero's Journey, a storytelling template first developed in the mid 20th century.

[00:00:22] Chances are, if you've ever seen a superhero movie, or really any major Hollywood blockbuster, you've seen The Hero's Journey's story structure in action. The story of the hero, be they Luke Skywalker, Wonder Woman, or virtually any other well known protagonist, often follows a cyclical series of steps.

[00:00:39] The hero often embarks out on their quest reluctantly, and ultimately finds themselves changed as a result of the journey. It turns out, the hero's journey is much more applicable to our lives than we'd think.

[00:00:50] Our guest is Benjamin Rogers, an assistant professor of management and organization in the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.

[00:00:57] Professor Rogers is the co author of a recent study showing how participants who applied the lessons of the hero's journey to their own lives came away with a deeper understanding of themselves, their struggles, and the world as a whole.

[00:01:09] We're honored to welcome Professor Rogers to the show.

[00:01:13] Benjamin Rogers of Boston College. Welcome to Road to Resilience.

[00:01:18] Ben Rogers: Thanks. I'm really excited to be here.

[00:01:20] Stephen Calabria: Could you give us some of your background?

[00:01:22] Ben Rogers: Yeah, I am an assistant professor at Boston College in the management and organization department. So I study broadly organizational behavior, which deals with the psychology of work generally.

[00:01:33] And so that's really my focus. But I have a lot of interest in the stories that we tell about our lives and our work.

[00:01:39] And that ends up spanning broader psychological issues, such as the paper that we'll talk about a lot today.

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