I just finished reading Percy Jackson & Heroes of Olympus series and it still not out of my head. Rick Rordian is an absolute genius to have imagined and penned this entire series. And the idea of having Greek & Roman mythologies seems quite challenging at first thought, but bang on kudos to the author for such a brilliant delivery at the end. It’s extremely gripping. Coming to what lessons we can learn from this series (I might add some points from the Olympian series as well)…
- Each one of us is Uniquely gifted:
Firstly to begin with, no matter what you are, how you are, believe that you are special and unique. Percy is ADHD and Dyslexic, which is not his limitation but his strength. He has his own special talents and strengths that other normal kids do not have.
Uniqueness is not only for Percy here. It’s for every demi-god. Like Percy has special powers for when it comes to water, Annabeth has a wisdom that no other have, Jason to control wind and lightening, Hazel for underworld senses and powers, Leo for the fire and engineering, Frank to be whatever he wants to be, Piper for her charms-speak, Nico for his underworld powers, shadow travel, etc.
Perhaps not everyone is a son of Poseidon or any other god, but we all have God-given gifts: strengths, talents, that when the time comes can save us and others.
- Team Work and Trust:
Each character had its own part to play. 7 demi-gods on quest along with 2 other demigods (Reyna & Nico) and a Satyr. Any task or project needs a group of people with certain strengths. Imagine entire quest being managed by only Percy and Annabeth or Jason and Piper… They would have surely failed. Because to defeat Gaia (mother earth) there were series of quests. Each bits and parts were taken up who had the capability to complete it.
- Project Management:
Break one big project into small-small step-by-step projects. Like a Quest to defeat Gaia, the first thing to do was to unite Greeks and Romans and to that Hera needed to have some plan to do so. She planned it was a success. Then Greek camp had one Roman demigod and Roman camp had one Greek demigod. The very first step (quest) was to rescue Hera, then free Thanatos, then find mark of Athena, then close the doors of death and finally prevent Gaia to awake by bringing the mark of Athena to camp half-blood by a Roman Leader.
When you break the project into bits, it becomes easier to achieve the smaller milestones which finally leads to the achievement of the main goal.
- Time & Crisis Management:
I think here’s the mastery of the heroes in Rick Rordian’s series. Every quest has a certain timeline which if missed results to the end of the world. When the team goes for a quest, they are clueless of they are going to come across. At every step there’s a crisis. Me as a reader is thoroughly convinced, ok, now I think nothing can happen and then the author surprises. Even at the last fraction of a second a game can change.
What more I can learn about crisis management here is. To deal with any situation or crisis, it is a very easy option to give up. What allows you to continue to fight till your last breath is your future that motivates you. In this series, a motivation to fight till last breath could vary moment to moment, like to save your love, save your friends, to not let the sacrifices of your friends go in vain (like Bob and Damasen), to save the world, to live a life with your beloved, etc. Anything that you want to live for… forever… can help you in crisis management. It will give you strength, will-power, faith, possibility.
- Resource Management:
Resource Management and Allocation is the biggest challenge. Whether Hera chose the correct ones or not was to be revealed with the time. Why not Reyna, Clarisse or any other demigods? Why Percy, Annabeth, Jason, Piper, Leo, Hazel and Frank? Hera had very finely selected the 7 demigods of the prophecy, knowing their strengths and weaknesses. Preparing for it even before they were born.
Of course, we cannot do that, but yes, we can definitely have a hawk eye to identify a resource for a project. Imagine, Frank not one of prophecy demigods just coz he didn’t look like a quest material. Hazel, for being introvert and considering herself as inferior coz she didn’t belong to the same era. Every employee should get an opportunity to identify and play to their strengths. Never under-estimate their power. Respect and consider the introverts or employees who have not got an opportunity to showcase their talents and abilities.
It’s not the quantity of resource but the quality of resource that matters. It was 7 demi-gods versus entire world – Gaia, giants, small gods, titans, etc. 7 demigods, played and combined their strengths, didn’t felt egoistic or smaller to ask for help. It’s ok to ask for support. It’s ok to ask for help. You are not meant to be a super human all the time.
- Trust your instincts:
Your instincts are your best friends. Trust them. Not everything fits in logic, nor it is necessary for everything to fit in logic. Your instincts can save you 😛
- Choose your own path:
I learned this one from Jason. For most of the series Jason was confused. He had been Roman all his life, but after coming to camp half-blood he realized how much he love the Greeks and their culture. Still, he wavered between the two worlds, unsure of what he wanted. Finally he gets some great advice from one of the wind gods. He is told that “A wind that blows aimlessly is no good to anyone.” When Jason decided to be Greek he took on a new identity, and with it came a new strength. He finally knew who he was and who he was meant to be. It was this new foundation that gave him the courage to dispel his mother’s mania, and later give the Praetorship to Frank. Jason proved that the fates can only govern so much. It is up to you to choose your path. “You can’t choose your parentage. But you can choose your legacy.”
Not only Jason, but all… Percy, Annabeth, Piper, Leo, Frank, Nico chose their own path.
Throughout the series (1 and 2) Nico was the dark character. In Blood of Olympus, however, Nico undergoes a transfiguration. In becoming friends with Reyna and encouraging her to share her secrets, Nico realizes his own hypocrisy. In the battle against Gaea when Nico finally shows all his underworld power, he is surprised to see that his friends still love him. He realizes the truth: no mask can cover us forever, but even when our most unlovely sides are revealed we can still be fully loved.
Darkness earlier too was the path chosen by Nico and the new brighter side too was his choice.
- Laughter always helps.
I love how the author inserts humor into the book’s darkest moments. He seems to be reminding us that only joy can cast out fear. And yes, never to forget Leo when it comes to sense of humor. I never have any favorite character as such, but for Leo scenes, I always looked forward for some new inventions and his PJ’s 😀
Am sure you too would love Leo’s humor and entire series too. There’s much more I can write, but for the moment I would end for this article.