Kermit the Frog in the Muppets gives us a great example of reluctant behavior that Joseph Campbell called “Refusal of the Call” in his masterwork The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
“It’s not easy being green!” Kermit laments his fate. He can’t hear, see, or speak any benefit in being a color that blends in with every other darn ordinary green thing on the planet. He focuses on what it is not, too caught up in his misery. Then…he has a breakthrough thought, and another, and another, and another. He embraces his green and is gloriously happy!
The Master Key Experience (MKE) can be that breakthrough in four ways for us, too. How do we know that can happen?
Joseph Campbell points out that refusal of the call is a story as old as time, repeated around the globe in every culture in every Hero’s Journey. Each of us is the hero of our own life. We as hero get the call to embrace and live by our innate greatness, to be who we were created to be with our own unique DNA, core motive, nurture, and talents. Yet the first inclination of every hero is to find ourselves doing EVERYTHING else but accepting that call to be our most free and glorious selves. It’s so easy to stay in the status quo. We don’t believe it can happen. We know there will be pain. We’re afraid we’ll fail. We don’t have the support we need. After all, who are we anyway to think of ourselves as a hero?
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Refusal of the Call Examples
No, we’re not Kermit as a male refusing the call. We’re not the Moana as a female in the 2016 Disney movie of that name. She at first focuses on how hard it’s been to try to get beyond the reef and the monster waves when she’s forced to return. Like every hero, for a bit, she refuses the call, focusing instead on her father’s warning and letting herself believe it’s just too dangerous to navigate the ocean. These two are more familiar examples of the many other mythical characters that Campbell shares as examples in his chapter on “Refusal of the Call” before they finally accept the Call.
Often in actual life, and not infrequently in the myths and popular tales, we encounter the dull case of the call unanswered, for it is always possible to turn the ear to other interests. Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or “culture,” the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless…All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration.Joseph Campbell Hero with a Thousand Faces p 59.
We see more common examples of refusal of the call as newcomers start to embrace the Master Key Experience. One of the hashtags of MKE is #nothinglikeit, and many are unprepared by their life experience to embrace what it takes to fully experience all it offers. The experience is such a rich, all-encompassing invitation not only to accept the call but to thrive and grow using dozens of new tools and skills on the rewarding journey of a lifetime. The MKE is built around each individual’s Hero’s Journey and during the six-month experience each learns in depth about the entire journey and the rich rewards that come to the returning Hero.
Refusal of the call can ALSO come during the journey–as Campbell’s “boredom, hard work, or [our screens-everywhere-all-the-time] ‘culture’ pulls the hero off the path and back to the life Emerson described as “quiet desperation.”
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”Henry Davie Thoreau Civil Disobedience and Other Essays
As Campbell points out above, many start the Hero’s Journey path or get pulled from it because they are too “walled in boredom, hard work, or ‘culture’ to the extent that s/he loses the power of significant affirmative action.”
Instead of doing the required reading, the significant affirmative action, they say they have no time. Instead of doing the daily “sit,” they “forget” to do this daily. Instead of building the daily simple habits that will set their time free and make self-confidence soar, they continue with old easier bad habits instead of replacing them effectively and eventually easily one by one with new hero habits as MKE guides us to do.
Clearly intervention is needed to turn all this around for the stalled Hero.
Refusal of the Call is easy!
We Transform Refusal of the Call with Guides
Among the many extraordinary benefits of the MKE, four stand out as the most helpful to the reluctant Hero in each of us.
The first significant intervention comes with a personal Certified MKE Guide. These individuals have gone through the MKE themselves and well remember their first stumbling steps on their own Hero’s Journey. The new Hero receives his/her Guide who provides contact info for one:one help as needed. Not only can the Guide empathize. Each Guide has been expertly trained for this role by those who have been Guides from the beginning of MKE. During the six months between MKE sessions, these Guides prepare with in-depth study and discussion and MasterMinding in preparation for the incoming participants. Each Guide belongs to a “pod’ formed of intern Guides, Certified Guides, Master Guides, and Staff Guides who answer each others’ questions, inspire, and hold each other accountable to excellence.
We Transform Refusal of the Call with DMPs
The second significant intervention is the Definite Major Purpose (DMP) that each reluctant Hero writes to put into power words and visuals the life they want for themselves and for all whom their life will touch. This is how my first attempt at writing my DMP went in the Fall of 2020. It is NOT easy to do! Popularized by Napoleon Hill in his classic Think and Grow Rich, the visualization of the goal of their Hero’s Journey ignites the imagination and fires the subconscious as described in the extensive work of Charles Haanel in his Master Key System as thoughts become real. Three sets of eyes see the weekly updated DMP–the Certified Guide, the Master Guide, and the Staff Guide. This assures that proper guidance, not influence, is offered. Where else can one find this life-enhancing experience for a $1 registration fee only–because the previous MKE has “paid if forward” to cover the costs of the incoming participants’ MKE?
We Transform Refusal of the Call with the “Sit”
The third significant intervention is the daily minimum10-minute “sit.” The reluctant Hero is guided into doing this effectively by reading Haanel, participating in the weekly livestream session with founders Mark and Davene Januszewski and Staff Guides, studying and adding to pre-printed notes, and their interaction with their personal Guide and their small MasterMind group. In silence the Hero sits with the Divine by whatever name s/he uses and opens to transformation.
We Transform Refusal of the Call with MasterMinds
The fourth significant intervention is participation in two significant MasterMinds. The large MasterMind of many hundreds of fellow participants from around the world interacts with each other during the weekly livestream sessions, through reading each others’ personal blogs, and through posting, asking questions about, and commenting on the week’s topic or past topics. The 2nd and smaller MasterMind is called a “tribe” and is made up of each Guides’ assigned participants who have the opportunity to share experiences, ask questions, and encourage each other through the Marco Polo app open 24/7, and frequent live zooms facilitated by the Guide.
If you are ready to transform YOUR Refusal of the Call…
After decades of searching–I’m so grateful to be part of the Master Key Experience where we learn from others and 4000 years of wisdom all the ways to transform our Refusal of the Call and move beyond being the reluctant Hero and embrace our Hero’s Journey. We can take our lives to the next level by learning more about how the Hero’s Journey works best, masterminding with others about what’s working for them, and creating habits to make it the Adventure of a Lifetime we are meant to have!
I understand if up till now you’ve not had something like this and have been missing out. I skimmed life, too. So if you’re ready to stop skimming and to join a powerful Master Mind of like spirits, we can help. On this website, put your name on the waiting list for the next Master Key Experience course, and then download and try one of our powerful tools: the 7-Day Mental Diet.
While you’re thinking about it, do two things now. (1) Put the MKE on your calendar for the last Sunday of September. (2) Start the 7-Day Mental Diet.
You know what they say–if not now, when? If not you, who? Enriching your life by transforming your refusal of the call is a key, and no one can get the key to YOUR experience but YOU. No one can get through what’s locking that door to your total effectiveness but YOU–it’s a YOU-shaped key. No one can make it work except YOU. And Master Key Experience can help you turn it in the lock!
NOTE: I’m a huge advocate of inclusive language, yet DO accept that the language of earlier times is not inclusive. I trust that you readers know to transform in your minds the quotes used above. Thank you.