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A Field Guide for the Hero's Journey [Kindle Edition]

Robert Sirico , Jeff Sandefer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.00
Kindle Price: $6.99
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Book Description

Do you feel like something big is missing from your life? Do you feel trapped, bored, stuck in a meaningless routine? It may be you think you’re too ordinary to ever do something special. Perhaps you’re afraid that if you try, you’ll fail.

The startling truth is this: Just about anyone can do great things, can live a life that’s remarkable, purposeful, excellent, and yes, even heroic. If you want to be a hero, you can be.


That’s what this book is all about.

Will you choose to do it? Will you decide to journey heroically, instead of spending your life merely marking time?

If so, this is the book for you. Welcome to your heroic journey.

Editorial Reviews


"Hero's Journey should be required reading for all young people entering the business world who dream of being entrepreneurs and are seeking inspiration."
 --Philip Anschutz, Chairman and CEO, The Anschutz Corporation

"Many 'new ideas' in today's leadership writing are recycled from timeless exemplars in literature, philosophy and sacred texts. Hero's Journey draws upon those texts but wraps them in poignantly personal lessons from a world class entrepreneur and a worldly statesman priest." 
--Louis Kim, Vice President, Hewlett-Packard

"A Field Guide for the Hero's Journey" is an amazing book. Inspirational and practical at the same time and guaranteed to address virtually any "do I have what it takes?" questions you may have about a life of entrepreneurship. Jeff Sandefer is the educator better suited than anyone on earth to give lie to the adage, "Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach." He's been there, done it (incredibly well), and now teaches with a caring and compassion I have experienced in few other successes. 
--Dr. Steven Berglas, psychiatrist, formerly at Harvard Medical School and current Forbes columnist

Jeff Sandefer and Rev. Robert Sirico have national reputations as extraordinary teachers who change the lives of their students forever. Guided by the premise that everyone has the potential to be a hero, this inspirational and practical book will help you focus on the right questions that will enable you to lead a life of purpose, achievement, and, yes, heroism.  
--Adam Meyerson, President, The Philanthropy Roundtable

About the Author

Jeff Sandefer is an entrepreneur, a teacher and an educational innovator. As an entrepreneur, he started his first company at age 16; recently he sold Sandefer Capital Partners, an energy investment firm with several billion dollars in assets. As an education innovator, ten years ago Jeff and a group of successful entrepreneur-teachers started the Acton School of Business - named after the Victorian scholar of freedom, Lord Acton, who most famously said, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."  The school is dedicated to serving America's next generation of principled entrepreneurs.  Acton is famous for its 100-hour work weeks, and the Princeton Review - the gold standard for business school rankings - has consistently ranked Acton's teachers, students and program as one of the top MBA programs in the country. More recently, Jeff and his wife started Acton Academy, a low cost elementary school that has been drawing national attention as one of the leaders in blended and project based learning.

Rev. Robert A. Sirico is a parish priest and author of Defending the Free Market. As president of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, he has spoken to Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant groups, to secular and religious university audiences, and to pastors and political leaders around the world. A tireless defender of economic freedom and entrepreneurship, Rev. Sirico emphasizes that God made us to be free, creative, and responsible, and any system that undermines that purpose will also undermine human flourishing. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, National Review, Crisis, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal.

Product Details

  • File Size: 284 KB
  • Print Length: 156 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,341 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Return of the Hero December 14, 2012
How do you live a life of heroic virtue in the midst of an age of ever-shifting and occasionally-questionable values? Rev. Robert Sirico (a Roman Catholic priest) and Jeff Sandefer (an entrepreneur) offer a helpful primer on the heroic life in their edited collection entitled A Field Guide for the Hero's Journey. The authors provide a three-step program to move willing readers from a merely existing to a heroic life of meaning. First, an aspiring hero should contemplate the heroic journey by reading about the journeys of others. Second, the reader should think through his own journey by working through the questions at the end of each chapter. These questions are designed to help you apply the lessons learned in the previous section. Third, the reader should use the "Try This" sections to move from thinking to acting.
Chapter conveys a lesson about the heroic life and begins with autobiographical stories or other insights from Fr. Sirico and Sandefer designed to illustrate the intended lesson. My favorite of these stories include Sandefer's story of the summer when he earned $100,000 as a teenage and Sirico's discovery that he was not a socialist after he had explained to comrades that he hoped the coming social revolution would enable the oppressed of the earth to be able to shop at Gucci's. The second part of the chapters consists of a selection of (often excerpted and/or abridged) essays, fables, poems, and stories from well-known individuals, including Teddy Roosevelt, Aesop, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the Biblical authors, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Leo Tolstoy, Homer, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Bunyan, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr., William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, Beowulf, Patrick Henry, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderfully Practical Book of Wisdom December 18, 2012
In this short guide for those seeking a purpose in their life beyond merely living, Jeff Sandefer and the Rev. Robert Sirico have taken the unusual step of connecting practical questions and tasks to the wisdom found in the literary and cultural heritage of Western Civilization (with two or three Asian tales thrown in for good measure). The result of this innovative approach is an inspiring collection of poems and classic tales organized to lead one to deep reflection on what it means to live heroically or, as the authors put it, to make "small choices that add up to a big life." Aesop's Fables and the Bible have pride of place, but Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Eliot are here, too, as are several personal stories by Mr. Sandefer and Fr. Sirico.

This wonderful little book would be the perfect gift for any young person seeking to find their way in a world that all too often tells them to focus only on themselves. It takes both a priest and a businessman, it seems, to provide us with a guide to perennial wisdom that is also suited to life in the twenty-first century.

John C. Pinheiro, Ph.D.
Author of Manifest Ambition: James K. Polk and Civil-Military Relations during the Mexican War
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes a Great Pre-Christmas Gift December 3, 2012
How do I know this book makes a great (pre) Christmas gift? Because that's how I got it.

At first glance this book, a collection of inspiring selections from history and literature interspersed with commentary, seems to be just another effort to raise people's spirits in a world in which the State, viewed by many as the only recourse in times of trouble or need, has been revealed as a false hope and an idol with feet of clay. That assessment, however (while accurate), would be incomplete, and therefore unjust. Rather than being simply a random collection of "feel good" quotes, there is a definite structure to the selections and commentary. It is, as the title tells us, a "field guide for the hero's journey."

Which hero? You. The message I got from this book is that the potential to be a hero lies in each one of us. The book details a list of nine steps on how to be a hero. I say "steps," not the authors, and it's probably a bad term, or at least a misleading one. It implies a sequence of actions to be taken in order, a sort of "PERT chart for life." This is not, however, that kind of book, nor that kind of program. If you're looking for specifics on how to be a success as a person -- which seems to be the authors' definition of hero -- you won't find it here . . . and should be extremely suspicious of it when something of the sort is recommended.

Instead, what I found was a list of general principles to keep in mind on life's journey. None of these are original with the authors, nor do they make any such claim. The principles are (or should be) obvious, once we think about them. This book is extremely valuable as a reminder of what we should already know, and as an inspiration for developing and maintaining our own program.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So Who Wants To Be A Hero? January 16, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Though both are good neither freedom nor wealth are morally sufficient ends in themselves for the human family. Like freedom, wealth is for something. Actually strictly speaking wealth and freedom are both in the service of human flourishing. In the Christian tradition this means that both human freedom and all the myriad forms that wealth takes are only fully realized in love and love is always necessarily sacrificial. We strive to be free and wealth so that we are able to love fully and without reservation or compromise.

Too often freedom and love are seen as sui generis, as almost Platonic ideals that are simply "there." My own ministry as a priest has taught me to be wary whenever conversations about practical matters turn theoretical. Freedom and wealth, their morally legitimate uses, the conditions that foster or obstruct their realization and growth, are all matters of prudence. When we try and discuss prudential matters as if they were simply a matter of principle, our conversation quickly becomes a source of conflict and degenerate into mere posturing. While there is no guarantee that of practical agreement, understanding that freedom and wealth are at the service of love offers both critics and apologists of democracy and the free market a potential more fruitful foundation for their discussions and even their disagreements.

But this brings us to a challenge that is both pedagogical and cultural.

Prudence along with justice, temperance and courage, is a cardinal virtue. Unfortunately as contemporary Western culture has become more secularized it has formed generations of men and women who are deaf to the music of human virtue. Many of us embrace a vision of human life that counsel spontaneity not habit as the mark of a life well and fully lived.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
In every way, this book was excellent. The authors chose great selections from world literature. Better than these, though, were the sections written by the authors themselves... Read more
Published 15 months ago by A. B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Put your life in order
I enjoyed all of the stories used to illustrate each of the principles in the book. Stories are much easier to understand.
Published 16 months ago by John Maughan
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading Title
I was required to read this book for a business course. The authors did not communicate an understanding of the Monomyth Cycle or Hero's Journey, as outlined by James Campbell. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Jennifer Jamison
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for young and old
This book is a great collaborative work with a unified voice, which challenges, equips, encourages, and sharpens. It is great for young and old, novice and expert. Read more
Published on January 23, 2013 by Phil Darke
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and practical. Love this book!
This book is an easy read but one that should not be read quickly. It would be easy to sit down and dive into the book from beginning to end. Read more
Published on January 21, 2013 by Cheryl Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read.
Amazing book! To the heart of the matter! It is beautiful how the authors bring in classic stories, with timeless themes.
Published on January 20, 2013 by Tony Valente
5.0 out of 5 stars great suggestion
I'd refer it to new college grads and other young people.Iliked the notation and verbage from many people.Lots of good
Published on January 19, 2013 by philip manning
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books i ever read!
I am what you call a voracious reader.I hope i spelled that correctly. I feel that this was an inspiring book which i think could move most anyone to have confidence in life. Read more
Published on January 19, 2013 by ed
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick read, fun, unexpected, heart-warming, valuable advice!
Father Sirico and Jeff Sanderfer combine their expertise and life experiences as teachers, mentors and intellectuals in this book. Read more
Published on January 18, 2013 by Carroll Rios
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
This is a quick read. I had high hopes for the book, but it's a disappointment. It's chopped up into bits and pieces; there's no way to gain any traction.
Published on December 27, 2012 by Old Man
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Rev. Robert A. Sirico received his Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic University of America, following undergraduate study at the University of Southern California and the University of London. During his studies and early ministry, he experienced a growing concern over the lack of training religious studies students receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today's social problems. As a result of these concerns, Fr. Sirico co-founded the Acton Institute with Kris Alan Mauren in 1990.

In April of 1999, Fr. Sirico was awarded an honorary doctorate in Christian Ethics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and in May of 2001, Universidad Francisco Marroquin awarded him an honorary doctorate in Social Sciences. He is a member of the prestigious Mont Pèlerin Society, the American Academy of Religion, and the Philadelphia Society, and is on the Board of Advisors of the Civic Institute in Prague. Father Sirico also served on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission from 1994 to 1998. He is also currently serving on the pastoral staff of Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Fr. Sirico's pastoral ministry has included a chaplaincy to AIDS patients at the National Institutes of Health and the recent founding of a new community, St. Philip Neri House in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Books he has written:

* Catholicism's Developing Social Teaching (Acton Institute, 1993)
* Moral Basis for Liberty (Foundation for Economic Education, 1996)
* Il personalismo economico e la società libera (Italian language edition)
* Capitalism, Morality and Markets (Institute of Economic Affairs, 2001)
* The Entrepreneurial Vocation (Acton Institute, 2001)
* The Soul of Liberty (Acton Institute, 2002)
* Defending the Free Market (Regnery, 2012)

Books he has co-authored:

*Skepticism, Faith, and Freedom (Acton Institute, 2007)
*A Field Guide for the Hero's Journey (Acton Institute, 2012)

Books he has edited:

* The Social Agenda: A Collection of Magisterial Texts (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 2000)

Find out more:
Official Blog:
Acton Institute profile:
PovertyCure voice:


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