From Rags to Riches: Summing Up

A second way in which a story naturally takes shape in the human imagination is that which shows how some young, unrecognized hero or heroine is eventually lifted out of obscurity, poverty and misery to a state of great splendor and happiness. But their upward progress is unlikely to be a continuous unbroken climb, and most Rags to Riches stories, except the very simplest versions, may well unfold through a recognizable series of stages like this:

  1.  Initial wretchedness at home and the Call to Adventure. We are first introduced to the young hero or heroine in their original lowly and unhappy state, usually at home. The most obvious reason for their misery is that they are overshadowed by malevolent ‘dark’ figures around them, who scorn or maltreat them. This phase ends when something happens to call and send them out into a wider world.
  2. Out into the world, initial success; Although this new phase may be  marked by new ordeals, the hero or heroine are here rewarded with their first, limited success, and may have some prevision of their eventual glorious destiny. They may make a first encounter with their ‘Princess’ or ‘Prince’ and may even outstrip dark rivals, but only in some incomplete fashion, and it is made clear that they are not yet ready for their final state of complete fulfillment.
  3. The central crisis: Everything suddenly goes wrong. The shadows cast by the dark figures return. Hero or heroine are separated from that which has become more important to them than anything in the world, and they are overwhelmed with despair. Because of the earlier lift in their fortunes, and because they are so powerless, this is the worst moment in the story.
  4.  Independence and the final ordeal: As they emerge from the crisis, we gradually come to see the hero or heroine in a new light. Although still unfulfilled, they are discovering in themselves a new independent strength. As this develops it must at last be put to a final test, again usually involving a battle with some powerful dark figure who stands, as a dark rival, between them and their goal; and this forms the climax to the whole story. Only when this has been successfully resolved and the shadow over their lives wholly removed, are they at last liberated to move to the final stage.
  5. Final union, completion and fulfillment:  Their reward is usually a state of complete, loving union with the ‘Princess’ or ‘Prince’. They may also finally succeed to some kind of ‘kingdom’, the nature of which is not spelled out but which from their mature and developed state, implies a domain over which they will rule wisely and well. The story thus resolves on an image which signifies a perfect state of wholeness, lasting indefinitely into the future (‘they lived happily ever after’)

As in the Overcoming the Monster plot, we see that, at its deepest level, the Rags to Riches story unfolds through alternating phases of constriction and expansion. We begin with the hero or heroine weighed down by the contempt and even persecution to which they are exposed in the opening scenes. This is followed by the sense of a gradual opening out and lifting of their hopes as they go out into the world and meet with their modest early successes. But this is abruptly ended by the shock of a central crisis, imposing a new sense of constriction. Again there is a gradual opening out, as they develop a deeper maturity, until this is put to a climactic test, when the sense of constriction is at its most severe. Only then can we see the final act of liberation which enables them to emerge triumphant at the end of the story, having won the prize which gives them a sense of complete fulfillment and a hold on life which will continue indefinitely into the future.

What Can I Expect?

Here’s an outline of “The Seven Stories of Your Life itinerary.

Journey Outline


The Dark Power: From Shadow into Light


  • The Twelve Dark Characters
  • In the Zone
  • The Perfect Balance
  • The Unrealized Value
  • The Drama
  • The Twelve Light Characters
  • Reaching the Goal
  • The Fatal Flaw


  • The Ego Takes Over
  • Losing Your Plot
  • Going Nowhere
  • Why Sex and Violence?
  • Rebellion Against ‘The One’
  • The Mystery


  • Telling Us Who We Are: Ego versus Instinct
  • Into the Real World: What Legend are You Living?
  • Of Gods and Men: Finding Your Authentic Story
  • The Age of Loki: The Dismantling of the Self

Epilogue:  What is Your Story?

About Peter de Kuster

Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’ s Journey & The Hero’s  Journey


Peter is founder of the Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey project where worldwide thousands of professionals shared their story of making money doing what you love. He wrote 50+ books. Peter has an MBA in Marketing,  MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences.


  • tickYou are a creative professional who is interested in developing yourself and your creative business.
  • tickYou are aware that there are no quick fixes. Learning is a journey that works when you are fully committed to it. A guide like Peter de Kuster can bring awareness and help you navigate, but in the end it’s you who is in charge of your growth.
  • tickYou want to learn more about how to tell yourself a more powerful story, learn about blind spots, and get feedback.
  • tickYou are curious and want to engage in an interactive learning journey with Peter de Kuster.
  • tickYou are motivated to work in-between journeys on yourself (e.g. working on questions that will help you develop new storytelling, mindsets, skills, and behaviors).


The Hero’s Journey is all about your development. To make the most out of your journey with Peter, we ask you to prepare topics to work on with him. These topics can serve as a starting point for further in-depth exploration.


One Hour Virtual Coaching for Euro 150 (excluding VAT)

One Day Journey for EUR 1,200 (excl. VAT)

Two Day Journey for EUR 2,150 (excl. VAT)

Three Day Journey for EUR 2,950 (excl. VAT)



Who can sign up for The Hero’s Journey?

Creative professionals who wish to improve their storytelling, mindset(s) and develop their leadership skills.

What language do we speak in the journey?


Can I bring my own topics?

Yes, you get to choose your own topic.

Are journeys confidential?

Yes. Peter will not share anything that is discussed in the journey.

Where will the journeys take place?

Sessions will take place travelling with Peter a world city like Paris, Rome, Florence, Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, Antwerp, Venice, New York, Berlin, Madrid.

How do I sign up?

Send Peter an email to

How do I pay?

After you booked The Hero’s Journey by sending an email to Peter you will receive an email with info how to pay.

How do I book and reschedule a journey?

Once we’ve received your payment, our Program Coordinator will book your journey. She will also support you with rescheduling journeys if needed.

What is your cancellation policy?

Individual journeys can be postponed up to one week before the journey.