Neo believes he's living a normal, but slightly troubled life in 1999. By day, a computer programmer for a large, generic software company; by night, a hacker, providing the fruits of his labors to other troubled souls. He lives alone, he doesn't sleep, and there's a profound emptiness in his life, but it's something he can't put his finger on - until he is contacted by Trinity. "It's the question that drives us", she whispers in his ear, to which he correctly responds "What is the Matrix?" It is this question that has gnawed at Neo seemingly his entire life, yet he's never put it into words before now. It is the voicing of this question that begins his transformation into The One.
Morpheus has sent Trinity to contact Neo, believing he is The One of prophecy. Morpheus explains it to Neo in this way: "When the Matrix was first built there was a man born inside that had the ability to change what he wanted, to remake the Matrix as he saw fit. It was this man who freed the first of us and taught us the truth - When he died, the Oracle prophesied his return and envisioned that his coming would hail the destruction of the Matrix."
Morpheus' followers believe in him, and they mostly believe in The Oracle's prophecy, but not necessarily his selection of candidates for The One. It is with both great anticipation and extreme dread that they "wake" Neo to the real world, knowing the path he has ahead of him, and the potential conclusion.
Neo's journey in the movie bears many hallmarks of classic myths. He is the Chosen One, the reluctant hero, the savior, and the one who will lead his people to freedom. In order to do that, he must sacrifice himself, and rise from the dead. He faces progressively greater challenges through the course of the movie, and as he begins to believe in himself, he is able to overcome these challenges, including besting his ultimate adversary, Agent Smith.