21 December 2021
The Hero’s Journey
George Lucas loved Joseph Campbell, and even if you have never heard of him, you will be very familiar with his subject of interest: the hero’s journey. This is the journey of everyone from Odysseus to Luke Skywalker, and hopefully to you, the CAD/BIM user.
You may not have stopped to consider what you have in common with a moisture farmer from a planet with twin moons, and you may be silently calling me a Nerf herder under your breath, but bear with me. I shall demonstrate to you how you are heroic, by following you on a possible journey through your day.
The Call to Adventure
It’s true you aren’t going to get a small cylindrical robot projecting an image of a princess mentioning Obi Wan Kenobi and saying, “You’re my only hope.” There isn’t a grail that you need to hunt down, it’s true. But there is something that you need to do as part of your job, and it will galvanize you into action. You are given a project that you must get completed by a certain time. There are certain standards that you must meet. Your client has given you all the specs.
You may be silently calling me a Nerf herder under your breath, but bear with me. I shall demonstrate to you how you are heroic.
Refusal of the Call
The refusal of the hero’s call is quite often the initial reaction of the hero. Maybe you just complain that you don’t have enough coffee, or enough time, and you can’t possibly hit such a tight deadline with your other commitments. It’s understandable. Many heroes balk at the idea of the journey and the challenges that invariably arise. Skywalker had a bit of doubt because of the squashing of his ambition that Uncle Owen and the farm represent. So, if you’re not exactly champing at the bit to spend hours making changes to your title blocks or some such menial task, fear not, you’re in good company.
Meeting the Mentor
At some point in your journey towards a deadline, you will reach a defining point in that journey. It may be that you hit that moment in the project where there is no return and you have to commit to doing all that importing of data from Excel into your design files, or you are fifty sheets in on changing your title blocks or two hours deep into checking your CAD standards. Whatever it is, every project has it. It may not be marked quite so obviously as running into a princess with Eccles cakes on the sides of her head, or a Sith Lord, but you will know it when you encounter it.
Crossing the Threshold
I’m sure you have your Ben Kenobi. Maybe your Yoda. Perhaps, in the back of the office, sits a wizened creature called Dave, made entirely of coffee and cigarettes, who can regale you about the land before CAD. Whoever it is, they will get you back and rolling on your path, providing you with Zen-like tidbits of information, that drive your narrative forward.
The formatting of the data that you imported from Excel does not look like it should and it’s wrong in all the drawings of your project. So now, you need to make changes across all your files. Or something breaks. Not everyone gets Sirens singing songs from the rocks, or lemonade that gives you gas so you can fly, like Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka. Yes, you will notice as we get through this, if you haven’t already, that the hero’s journey is present everywhere in popular culture, hence its relevance to you.
Approaching the Innermost Cave
Is this your Dagobah moment? (That’s the swamp planet Yoda lives on, if you’ve been living like a hermit or Yoda, and haven’t seen Star Wars.) Or Edward Norton encountering his power animal in the ice cave in Fight Club? Maybe it’s that moment when you get into your “zone” and the repetitive tasks you are working on, through the endless repetition, are painful enough to give you an out-of-body experience.
The refusal of the hero’s call is quite often the initial reaction of the hero.
Working late at night, losing a weekend, or feeling the pressure of that deadline squashing in on you ⎯ as you deal with those repetitive tasks that always slow you down ⎯ are seemingly part of the hero’s journey. It may feel like a scaled-down version of a lightsaber duel or making the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.
What is your reward? A happy client or a project completed? Or perhaps it’s perfectly imported data from an Excel spreadsheet into your design file? Maybe getting all those quality-assurance checks done? Whatever your Grail is, we’re here to help you achieve it.
The Road Back
This is the victorious road back, where you have completed your mission and you get to go home. You may not get the reception of Han, Luke and Chewbacca at the end of Star Wars — no medals, but the achievement of your goal is a reward in and of itself.
This is described as a final and most dangerous encounter with death. Luke meets Emperor Palpatine, Kirk faces off against Khan, and Harry goes toe to toe with Voldemort. We’re not going to get that dramatic with your journey, but perhaps you get to the final hurdle and something happens that throws project completion into disarray. You triumph (and bring victory to your company) and it brings in a whole slew of new orders.
Master of Two Worlds
Returning to the ordinary world after the world of your quest (as the master of both) can be seen in any number of movies. You are Jennifer Connelly returning from the labyrinth ⎯ having defeated the Goblin King ⎯ with a new appreciation for her baby brother. You could be, and here’s an older movie reference for you, Alex Rogan returning to your family in the trailer park after flying The Last Starfighter with newly earned respect. You have fixed all the problems and you are the toast of the office.
Endlessly repetitive tasks can be painful enough to give you an out-of-body experience.
Let’s backtrack and weave in where we might be able to help you on your journey (and make it a lot faster for you). Let’s replace Dave, your office’s resident Guru, for one of our team who gives you a demonstration of MicroStation Productivity Toolkit™ and you have a new spin on the Meeting Your Mentor stage of the journey. You sit down with this new tool and cross the threshold with MicroStation Productivity Toolkit as your secret weapon. The tests you face are now easily bested — you can import Excel spreadsheet data and Word documents into your design files with perfect formatting. You can perform quality assurance checks on your MicroStation files quickly and easily. You can take control of your MicroStation cell libraries. These and other tools make your hero’s journey so much easier. Every step after that will be smoother and more confident. Contact one of our team today at 727-442-7774 or visit www.AxiomInt.com.