Hero on a Mission Book Summary

Hero on a Mission | Free Book Summary

Hero on a Mission

“Hero on a Mission” is a book by bestselling author Donald Miller.  

The book focuses on the four roles we play in life – victim, villain, hero, and guide – and teaches readers how to recognize when they are playing each role, with the goal of guiding readers towards playing the hero role more often.

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The hero on a mission life plan

The Hero on a Mission Life Plan is based on two ideas: the first is Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy, and the second is the elements that drive an interesting story. This life plan is not about productivity, though it will certainly help you become more productive. This life plan is designed to help you experience a deep sense of meaning.

The character we play

Our story’s quality depends on the character we play. If we operate from a victim identity, we believe we are helpless and at the mercy of fate. If we operate from a villain identity, we believe others are small and should do as we say. Free book, podcast summaries

heroic energy

However, when we surface our heroic energy, we realize that our lives are not completely in the hands of fate. We have the power to change our circumstances with courage. Although fate may send challenges, we have the power to shape our own stories. Who we are determines our story more than anything or anybody else.

A hero chooses a life of meaning

Meaning is existential. To be more precise, it is an emotional state you experience under certain circumstances, and those circumstances can be created by us, and they are relatively easy to create.

To experience meaning, a person simply needs to rise up, point at the horizon, and, with deep conviction, decide to venture out toward the hope of a meaningful story. Meaning is something you experience while on an adventure.

Donald Miller

Meaning is not an idea to be agreed with. It is a feeling you get when you live as a hero on a mission. And it cannot be experienced without taking action and living into a story.

The Hero want something specific

The Hero want something specific

A storyteller must define the exact thing the hero wants. They want to win the karate tournament. They want to save their father’s company. They want to marry their sweetheart.

Hero want something specific

The Hero want something specific contd

Once the hero defines what they want, the story begins. And why does the story begin? Because, again, when a hero defines what they want, a story question is posed. The audience, and for that matter the hero, are engaged by a single interesting question: Will the hero get what they want?

The hero should have a want: Narrative traction

The hero should have a want: Narrative traction

When an audience can’t determine what a hero wants, or when what the hero wants is too elusive for the audience to understand, the audience loses interest and becomes bored.

Narrative traction refers to the feeling that our personal story is so compelling that we cannot turn away, even if we do not always like it. It keeps us interested in our own lives, even if it exhausts us and we find ourselves complaining about it.

In order to create a story, we must take action and “put something on the plot” every day.

Viktor Frankl

Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.

Intentional Living

  • A victim has no plan. They are waiting for a rescuer.
  • A villain has a plan for destruction and strategizes vengeance on a world that has hurt them.
  • A hero creates a plan that is mutually beneficial for the world and sticks with it.
  • A guide has lived a great life and turns around to help heroes find and live meaningful stories of their own.

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