“Michelangelo went to Jacopo’s side, ran his hand caressingly over the sarcophagus, his fingers tracing out in its low relief the funeral procession of fighting men and horses. “Feel how these marble figures are still alive and breathing!” His voice carried such exultation that his friends turned to stare at him. Now his secret had burst into the open of the Florentine dusk, with the sinking sun setting the domes of the Baptistery and cathedral on fire. His hunger had gotten the better of him. “God was the first sculptor; He made his first figure: man. And when He wanted to give His laws, what material did He use? Stone. The Ten Commandments engraved on a stone tablet for Moses. What were the first tools that men carved for themselves? Stone. Look at all us painters lolling on the Duomo steps. How many sculptors are there? ” His fellow apprentices were stunned by the outburst. They had never heard him speak with such urgency, his eyes glowing like amber coals i the fading light” From Irving Stone “The Agony and the Ectasy”
Who has a why to live, can bear with almost any how.
When you have a great passion, it dramatically changes your willingness to spend energy and take risk. When the stakes are a large sum of money people don’t take great risks. When the stakes are love and life and that which has incalculable value, people go the extra mile.
A great passion is the epicenter of everyone’s hero’s journey story. Passion is one of the three foundations of good storytelling
Without passion, no character in a book, or movie or in art would do anything interesting, meaningful, memorable, worthwhile. Without passion, our hero’s journey story has no meaning. It has no coherence, no direction, no inexorable momentum. Without passion, our life still ‘moves’ along – whatever that means, but it lacks an organizing principle. Without passion, it is all but impossible to be fully engaged. To be extraordinary.
We find our hero’s journey by understanding what the passion is. Michelangelo’s strength from an early age was in drafting, transferring to paper what his eyes saw or his mind imagined. He knew this and nurtured it by drawing whenever he had the chance. In the words of his contemporary Giorgio Vasari, “Since Michelangelo’s genius drew him to delight in design, all the time he could snatch he would spend in drawing in secret, being scolded for this by his father and other elders, and at times beaten”. Michelangelo expressed the belief that drawing was the source from which flowed the rivers of painting, sculpture and architecture. With training in the workshop of Domenico Chirlandaio and at the Medici artists’ school, Michelangelo further developed his talent in drawing and developed his lifelong passion for sculpture. But for Michelangelo’s passions to be truly transformed into his journey, they had to become aligned with his values. Michelangelo’s chief value – what he cared about most – was to glorify God. Michelangelo believed that man was created in God’s image and that the soul needs to escape materiality to reconnect with God. He believed that in rendering God’s highest creation as perfectly as possible in stone, he was glorifying God. And in his remarkable series of scultures known as the Captives, the figures seem to be struggling to escape from the stone – a metaphor for the enslavement of the human spirit within the body and the beginning of the soul’s journey to God. From his famous Last Judgment in the Vatican and his sculptures of David, the Captives, and the three Pietas, to the soaring dome he designed for St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, he saw his work as the outgrowth of his most deeply held values. For Michelangelo connecting his values and passion generated the energy, the creative spirit, the story he told himself needed for each masterpiece. He honed his strength of drafting, which he described as “a hand obedient to the mind” to pursue his passion, sculpting, in the service of his most deeply held value, glorifying God, by depleting the beauty and perfection of man. He found no greater joy than in this journey, and he was working on his final masterpiece, the Rondanini Pieta, the week before his death at age 89.
With passion, on the other hand, people do amazing things: good, smart, productive things, often heroic things, unprecedented things. Passion is the thing in your hero’s journey you will fight for. It is the ground you will defend at any cost. Passion is not the same as ‘incentive’, but rather the motor behind it, the end that drives why you have energy for some things and not for others.
I have seen many seen articulate their passion to themselves and to others. But articulation is not nearly enough; in fact it is really not even worth of a pat on the back, so long as one continues to live one’s life in a way that does very little, if anything, to support that passion. Indeed, to say you have a passion and then to do nothing about it is, first, a sham, and, last, a tragedy.
Most people who have been living in this way, when inspired to be passionate, will quickly identify what they claim to be their true passion in life.
To find one’s true passion sometimes takes work. Fortunately, the skill it requires is one that every person is blessed with.
For a few people, naming one’s passion comes with remarkable ease. The individual feels it in the deepest part of his or her soul; the passion has always been there, even if it got lost for a very long while, remaining unexpressed to oneself and to those who are the objects of one’s passion. Deep enduring passion is virtually always motivated by a desire for the well-being of others.
You know passion when you see it.
To author a workable, fulfilling new story, you will need to ask yourself many questions and then answer them, none more important than those that concern passion. Passion is the sail on the boat, the yeast in the bread. Once you know your passion – that is, what matters – then everything else can fall into place. Getting your passion clear is your defining truth. What is the passion of your life? Whatever it is, it had better be someting for which you will move mountains, cross deserts, seven days a week, no questions asked.
Once you find your passion, you have a chance to live a story that moves you and those around you. A story that make them live happily ever after.
The Hero’s Journey
- Start Date: You can start at any date
- Duration: Five weeks
- Time: 1 hour/week Zoom/Skype meeting
- Form: online personal coaching with Peter de Kuster
- Price: Euro 599 excluding VAT
Reserve your ticket at firstname.lastname@example.org or 00-31-6-33661772
In this groundbreaking new hero’s journey in Michelangelo’s Florence and Rome we examine the way we tell stories about ourselves to ourselves — and, most important, the way we can change those stories to transform our business and personal lives.
Your story is your life. As human beings, we continually tell ourselves stories — of success or failure; of power or victimhood; stories that endure for an hour, or a day, or an entire lifetime. We have stories about our work, our families and relationships, our health; about what we want and what we’re capable of achieving. Yet, while our stories profoundly affect how others see us and we see ourselves, too few of us even recognize that we’re telling stories, or what they are, or that we can change them — and, in turn, transform our very destinies.
Telling ourselves stories provides structure and direction as we navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and helps us interpret our goals and skills. Stories make sense of chaos; they organize our many divergent experiences into a coherent thread; they shape our entire reality. And far too many of our stories are dysfunctional, in need of serious editing. First, we ask you to answer the question, “In which areas of my life is it clear that I cannot achieve my goals with the story I’ve got?” We then show you how to create new, reality-based stories that inspire you to action, and take you where you want to go both in your work and personal life.
For decades, at the Hero’s Journey has been examining the power of story to increase passion and performance. Thousands of individuals from every walk of life have sought out and benefited from our life-altering stories.
Our capacity to tell stories is one of our profoundest gifts. The Hero’s Journey approach to creating deeply engaging stories will give you the tools to wield the power of storytelling and forever change your business and personal life.
What Can I Expect?
Here’s an outline of the THE POWER OF YOUR STORY
DAY ONE: OLD STORIES
- Your Story Is Your Life
- Your Life Is Your Story
- What is your Story?
- Your Hero’s Journey
- Is This Really Your Story?
- The Private Voice
- The Three Rules of Storytelling
- They Lived Happily Ever After?
- They Lived Happily Ever After!
- Are you even trying to tell a Story?
- Tell your current Story
DAY TWO: YOUR NEW STORY
- A Quest is Never Forgettable
- The Premise of your Story.
- The words on your tombstone
- You ultimate mission, out loud
- Questioning the Premise
- Lining up
- Flawed Alignment, Tragic Ending
- Write Your New Story
DAY THREE: TURNING STORY INTO ACTION
- Turning your story into action
- The Story Effect
- Story Ritualizing
- The Storyteller and the art of story
- The Power of Your Story
- Storyboarding your creative process
- They Created and Lived Happily Ever After
About Peter de Kuster
Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey & Hero’s Journey project, a storytelling firm which helps creative professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lives and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.
Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing, MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences.