How To Be A Bright Shining Star

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

As a storyteller and social historian, I have always been obsessed with heroes and heroines.  The protagonist, the lone adventurer, the pioneer, the catalyst. Those who, wittingly or unwittingly, leave a legacy behind that resonates throughout history.

What is it about these characters, from both fiction and from real history, that captures our imagination? What makes them burn so bright? And what can we learn from them?

This talk explores how to be a bright, shining star.

Using the structure of the Heroes Journey, Erica will explore how each of us is, in fact, the hero in an important story. Our own.

When we know that we are at the heart of this great adventure, we can craft a life rich in meaning, purpose and adventure. Sometimes it comes by accident, sometimes it is a deliberate choice, but once we fall into the structure of the Heroic Quest, something magical starts to happen  to us and we can move from ordinaty to extraordinary.

The Heroes Journey is the classic narrative structure that all great stories follow.

It consists of 4 key stages:

The Call – that is, a push or pull toward a different way of being (which we usually resist),

The Commitment –wherein we step over the threshold to begin our adventure and find a mentor and a team,

The Challenge- where we start to wonder why we ever started this crazy plan, fight our demons and have our breakthroughs and finally

The Return – in which we transform, heal and share our story with the world.  Although the structure is well known to storytellers, it is rarely applied to real life.

It is Erica’s view that the reason a great story is so satisfying to us is that the Hero’s Journey is a roadmap for how our own lives happen. On some level, these stories call to the part of us that knows we have a sparkling destiny to fulfil and a ‘bequest’ to make to future generations.

And once we know what that the map exists, we can use it to guide us toward a truly fulfilling life. And to use this understanding to embrace change, find the courage to take positive action and inspire others to do the same. In this way, we have the tools to truly ‘sparkle’ in our personal and professional endeavours.

Video here:


Erica Sosna is the Author of Your Life Plan (Wiley, 2014). Erica’s love of storytelling and of human potential helped her create the Your Life Plan method. It’s a practical toolkit that enables people all over the world to discover what they love and lead a truly fulfilling and impactful life. Erica also advises FTSE 500 companies in their career, learning and retention strategies. Clients include: HSBC, AXA and Paypal.  Find out more at