The Ordinary World refers to the familiar life of the Hero (that’s you!).
It’s the daily routine, the stresses, and strains of work, family, relationships, friendships, and obligations. It’s a world you know well, may have spent years creating and may still enjoy sometimes but underneath the veneer of your busyness, something is not quite right. You are not quite sure when it started but the enjoyment factor has been dwindling for a while. More effort is required and there are fewer rewards. Everyday life, your ordinary world, is feeling more like a chore than something you enjoy. You hear yourself say ‘different day same shit!’
Typically at Stage 1 you experience a mismatch between the life you want and the life you’ve got.
Whatever the issue, at this stage you firmly believe the problem is not you. It’s your partner or your children, your boss or colleague or family member. Whoever or whatever the problem, you are certain it’s not you!
This belief is about to change.
Heroes may be quite right in feeling hurt or angry about what others have done or by what has happened in life. But at this state you have little or no idea that despite whatever the problem is ‘out there’, another problem lies within. Heroes are often full of good intentions, yet have no idea that this is often the road to hell. You are convinced that you are the ‘good guy’ and have done nothing wrong (well not as wrong as other people!). Your ongoing frustration is ‘why won’t other people realise their mistakes and just change?’
For heroes at this stage, there is something quite foreign, probably scary about reflecting about your own behaviour, where you may have slipped up or done the wrong thing. You are committed to making other people realise they are the problem and you’ll do whatever it takes to maintain that you are the innocent party.
Stage 1 (the ordinary world) may be most challenging for heroes who have been on the receiving end of injustice, cruelty or trauma. Heroes may be quite right in saying they were an innocent bystander and life has simply, unexpectedly, sometimes shockingly kicked you to the curb. Yet even in these circumstances, personal change will be required to address any subsequent problem.
Would-be heroes see only half the problem; the one ‘out there’. The other half they won’t, don’t or can’t acknowledge lies within.
- Is your life big on demand and few on rewards? How long has this been the case?
- Can you pinpoint a time, an event that happened around this time? Was this the event that began to change your life?
- What have you done to address this imbalance of cons > pros? Or have you just been too busy, told yourself ‘this is as good as it gets’ and kept on doing what you’ve always done?
- Do you blame other people /events for the current state of affairs? Has blaming them helped you or the situation in any way or made things worse?
- Are you convinced that it is others who must change and certainly not you? How long have you been trying to change someone? Has it worked? Has it left you exhausted and despairing? Why are you persisting with a strategy that isn’t working?
- Do you avoid people, topics, situations that you need to address? You’re full of opinions and solutions for how others should live yet your own life is problematic, lonely or chaotic?
- Do those near and dear to you actually know you? What is it that you don’t say? What is it that you hide? Why?