Joseph Campbell was a professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College who was born in New York in 1904. His specialist areas were comparative religion and comparative mythology, and he is best known for writing the book ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’. According to Wikipedia, the theories from this book have been applied to the work of many modern artists and writers George Lucas once credited Campbell as influencing the Star Wars saga. Although Campbell died in Hawaii in 1987, he is still considered by many as an influential and inspirational man. Here are the 20 best Joseph Campbell theories that apply to business.
20. On Having Courage
“A bit of advice given to a young Native American at the time of his initiation: As you go the way of life, you will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think.”
Sometimes, it can seem scary to try new things, enter a new phase in your life, or start a business. In these situations, you should find some courage from within yourself. Things are often not as scary as they seem, and it is simply the fear of the unknown that is unbalancing you. Have some courage and go for it.
19. On Not Having Regrets
“Regrets are illuminations that come too late.”
When you look back on your life, the decisions you made in business, and the mistakes you have made, you may find that you experience regrets. Regrets are simply the realization of how you could have done something better. Try not to waste too much time on regrets as the things that have gone badly in your life are all part of life’s journey and they will have given you experience.
18. On Increasing Your Knowledge
“Sit in a room and read- and read and read. And read the right books by the right people. Your mind is brought onto that level, and you have a nice, mild, slow-burning rapture all the time.”
In this Joseph Campbell quote, he talks about the importance of reading as a way of increasing your knowledge, but there are many other ways that you can increase your knowledge. Some of these include taking a course, observing the behavior of others, and learning from your own experience. Increasing your knowledge is vital if you want to improve yourself and do better in your business.
17. On Changing Your Perspective
“… all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It’s a very interesting shift of perspective and that’s all it is… joyful participation in the sorrows and everything else changes.”
For things to improve in your working life, sometimes all it takes is for you to change your perspective. Start looking at things from a different angle and change your tactics and strategies accordingly. By looking at things from a different perspective, you may soon see improvements in your business.
16. On Facing the Unknown
“We’re in a freefall into future. We don’t know where we’re going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you’re going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along.”
One of the biggest fears for businesspeople is the fear of the unknown, and this is often because they cannot control this situation. It can cause anxiety, and it makes it difficult to plan ahead when you do not know what lies in the future. Rather than fearing the unknown, view it as a new adventure and things may turn out better than you anticipated.
15. On Using Your Intuition
“Technology is not going to save us. Our computers, our tools, our machines are not enough. We have to rely on our intuition, our true being.”
This Joseph Campbell quote is listed on Everyday Power. Technology is useful in many aspects of running a business. However, using technology is not enough for success. Human input is more valuable in many situations. Technology is only a tool, and it cannot deal with the unexpected in the same way as human intuition.
14. On Planning Ahead
“There is perhaps nothing worse than reaching the top of the ladder and discovering that you’re on the wrong wall.”
Planning ahead can help you make sure that you keep your business on the right track. A lack of planning may mean that you put in a lot of work and then you find yourself in an unexpected position that is completely different from what you had wanted. In addition to setting long-term goals, you should plan short-term goals as stepping stones that will keep you on the right track.
13. On Aiming High
“If you’re going to have a story, have a big story.”
To become successful, you need to do something that is different from the average person. Otherwise, you will only achieve the same level of success as the average person. Therefore, you need to aim high to achieve greater things in your life. Set yourself goals that are achievable, but will stretch you to your limits.
12. On Taking the First Steps in Business
“That step, the heroic first step of a journey, is out of, or over the edge of your boundaries, and it often must be taken before you know that you will be supported.”
Launching a business is a scary time of your life. You do not know what lies ahead, you may fear failure, and whether you will have the support of others is still debatable. However, it is not until you take that first step that you begin your journey until business success. Joseph Campbell describes this as a heroic step because it takes courage.
11. On Having a Passion for Your Work
“I think the person who takes a job in order to live, that is to say, for the money, has turned himself into a slave.”
If you are only in your profession for the money, then you are in it for the wrong reasons. While it may lead to you enjoying financial success, you will not necessarily enjoy your working life. In turn, this can add unhappiness to your personal life. Having a passion for what you do is essential. It will keep you motivated to work towards your goal, and you are more likely to achieve good results. It will also keep you happy, and this will have a positive impact on you personally.
10. On Accepting Challenges
“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”
Business is full of highs and lows, so you are likely to face a range of challenges along the way. In this sense, business is not for the faint-hearted. To overcome these challenges and become successful, you must embrace the adventure that lies ahead of you.
9. On Taking Control of Your Destiny
“Your life is the fruit of your own doing, you have no one to blame but yourself.”
You are the person who is responsible for your life. If you are not happy with how it is going, then it is up to you to make changes to get the life that you desire. In terms of business, do what it takes to get into the profession you want, or take the necessary steps to launch your own business. You can get the life you want if you are willing to do something about it.
8. On Finding Positives from Negatives
“Where you stumble and fall, there you will find gold.”
Listed by Awaken the Greatness Within, this Joseph Campbell quote is about finding positives in negative situations. Sometimes, it is necessary to experience the negative times to get you through to the good times. When you make mistakes or you fail, it is not always a bad thing as it can help you to do things better the next time around. In turn, this will contribute to your success.
7. On Becoming Stronger Through Negative Experiences
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”
During difficult times, it may seem hard to find the positives. However, one positive that you can take from suffering a negative experience is that it can make you a stronger person. This will help you in the future when you face other challenges. Therefore, you will find yourself more able to cope with problems.
6. On Taking Every Opportunity
“Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
If you miss an opportunity, you may never get the same opportunities again. Therefore, you should take any opportunity that comes your way. Opportunities may come when you least expect them and in surprising forms. If opportunities are not coming your way, then you should make your own opportunities in life.
5. On Growing as a Person
“The agony of breaking through personal limitations is the agony of spiritual growth.”
Setting yourself limitations can sometimes hold you back. Breaking through your personal limitations can help you to grow as a person. You can see your limitations as challenges to overcome. Breaking through them is a small step towards success. As you grow as a person, you will find yourself more able to cope with the challenges that life throws in your direction. Overcoming your limitations is an important element of self-improvement.
4. On Being Yourself
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
No matter what happens in life and how successful you become, you should always stay true to who you are. Trying to be like someone else can sometimes contribute to failure as it is a hard act to keep up. Being yourself in business will also lead to a happier working life. You have the potential within you to become the best you can possibly become if you work hard and give life your best shot.
3. On Following Your Own Path
“If you can see your path before you laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
Each person has their own path in life to follow, and nobody should simply follow in someone else’s path. You will find that the journey ahead of you is full of obstacles, but these are counteracted by plenty of good times. Both the highs and the lows are an important part of your journey, and you should appreciate all the experiences that come your way.
2. On Having a Positive Outlook
“Find a place inside you where there is joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
Your outlook on life can make a significant difference in your life, both personally and professionally. In business, if you have a negative attitude, then you will find it difficult to overcome problems and you will have an unhappy working life. On the other hand, a positive attitude will keep you motivated, help you to find solutions to problems, and make you enjoy being at work. It is also worth noting that your outlook will impact on those around you. Therefore, having a positive attitude will mean that your team is more likely to remain positive.
1. On Facing Your Fears
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
According to Goalcast, this is one of the best Joseph Campbell quotes that apply to business. Everyone has fears, and this is nothing about which you should feel ashamed. How you handle your fears is what matters. Giving in to your fears means that you will stop yourself from making progress in life and in business. It is vital that you can find ways to overcome your fears so that you can become successful.