Originally a software development methodology, Scrum can also be applied to personal development as an iterative and incremental transformation process. It defines the flexible and strategic use of the Hero’s Journey, as described by Joseph Campbell, for overcoming one’s challenges, responding to emerging requirements of the environment and adapting to ever-changing circumstances.
You get feedback about your current state throughout your daily life, whether it is directly through interactions with other people and feelings in your body or indirectly from the results you can achieve in the world and from reflection on your past experiences.
In the beginning you are oblivious to the information, you choose to ignore it or refuse to take responsibility for it.
Only when something severe happens to you, a major illness or some atrocity, will you be shocked into waking up.
God has to throw a brick to get your attention.
When you go through the transformation process, your awareness grows.
Over time, you will be able to pick up subtle details and adjust your course accordingly.
God’s pebbles will then be sufficient.
With the feedback that gets through, you build up a list of all your life’s challenges.
You honestly assess yourself and map out the status quo, all of your weaknesses, sticking points and areas that do not work for you.
Your initial list will most likely be vague and only contain 1-2 points, with the thought process being:
“I just need to solve this one problem, and then everything will be fine.”
Once you are on the path of personal development, however, the list points will be increasingly concise and start to pile up.
At one point, you will come to the realization that even though you can improve yourself, you will never be a perfect human being, hence, will always have a list of challenges.
From the backlog, you choose the challenge with the greatest need for transformation and search for the best way of bringing about it.
They next challenge to take on will be practically evident.
It is either an urgent need that came up shortly before or a sticking point that has been growing within you for a while and is now ripe for the picking.
Just trust your inner-wisdom.
It is also remarkable that you will find little to no resistance to address that issue.
The journey itself comes in different forms. It is not only a trip to some exotic place but also can be a simple seminar or a change of lifestyle. It can be out in the world or just inside your head. One thing is sure it will push you far beyond your comfort zone.
You might ruminate and look at different possibilities for the quest. In all likelihood, the right experience will find you instead.
It will feel like an invitation.
Once you have decided what adventure to take, you create another list of your primary, secondary and tertiary goals.
What do you want to get out of it?
No journey will ever be as you expected it to be. So it is best to have detailed objectives in the back of your mind.
Answer the three questions for the different levels of accomplishments:
- If everything goes awry, what is the least result you expect?
- What outcome did other that have gone before you get? You will probably get the same.
- This is the ultra best case scenario. Go wild with your imagination. What do you wish to achieve?
The Hero’s Journey
For the duration of the actual journey, you have to have the most open mind possible and allow all of the experiences to happen as they do.
The terrain will seem foreign and strange. You will be asked to do outlandish tasks and forced to face your fears. You either manage to slay that dragon or are gobbled up by it.
To the degree that you can give up all skepticism and go all in, will change be possible. The reason for this is that your normal self or ego will not be able to interfere with the transformation process.
It’s also important to note that length of the adventure is exactly right. You might want to exit prematurely, if it doesn’t go your way, or to prolongate your stay if you have something amazing happening. Resist the urge as this will slow your overall progress.
Only after returning home will you analyze the journey’s effectiveness.
Did you find the treasure that you have sought? Or at least, parts of it?
Merely 10% of the expeditions will deliver on their promises. The fault is not in the journey itself but your wrong expectations of it.
So the real value lies in disrupting your thought pattern, setting your worldview straight and thereby making you more mature.
You also reflect on the overall mechanics of the journey.
What went well? What could you improve the next time around?
Going through the transformation process doesn’t mean that you have to live like an ascetic.
Challenging your inner-most beliefs is taxing enough. So allow yourself some luxury now and then.
Better Functioning You
The journey will have altered you, but it takes time for your mind and your body to digest the experience and for new evidence to show up in the world.
Be patient with yourself.
Taking a single journey will also not completely turn your life around. You will have to go through the transformation process many times. It will, however, get easier as incremental change adds up.
Over the course of your life, you will experience some form of the Hero’s Journey.
Rather than letting it run on autopilot, the transformation process here described will allow you to take control of it.
You are just making the preparation of the journey and the analysis afterward a more conscious endeavor, and thus facilitating a faster personal development.