Story paradigms like the Hero's Journey are useful for understanding how we perceive events in the world. We put everything in terms of stories, so the specific stories and story structures we know influence the very things we see around us (if it doesn't fit the story, we drop it).
What does that say about ... well, about everything?
Here's a pretty neat look at six different story paradigms in terms of how they're similar to and differ from a seventh one that the author has developed.
I find it useful to think of a story paradigm as sort of a cognitive boilerplate that we use to make sense of events in the world around us. This is doubly interesting when you consider that user stories are now becoming an explicit design tool for software.