The author Joseph Campbell studied myths in many cultures and described common elements of the stories in his 1949 book, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, The title refers to a similar protagonist who recurred in story after story, following the same path to success, The Hero's Journey. We might say that it was the author of the story who followed a path to success, because thousands of stories, from crime novels to courtroom dramas to romances to adventure tales, follow the same formula.
George Lucas announced that he based Star Wars on the Hero's Journey. If you know the steps, you can spot The Hero's Journey in Disney films like The Lion King, in classics like The Wizard of Oz, in courtroom dramas such as The Verdict and Fracture and countless other wonderful stories.
Stages of the Hero's Journey
There are twelve steps to the hero’s journey, although you can find condensed versions. Sometimes the list of steps appears to apply only to fantasies (because Campbell's original wording mentioned swords and elixirs.) I'll illustrate their universality by citing where each step appears in a modern courtroom drama move, Fractured, with Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling.
See if the Hero's Journey will work for your plot. (There is no stigma attached to following a "formula".) If you follow it, calling on your creativity to make your work original, you will be well on your way to having a plot that will engage your readers.