Be Your Own Hero

As humans with the gift of language, we are continuously telling a story about what is happening to us and around us. Every action we observe, every circumstance as it unfolds is fodder for this internal narrative. Each waking moment, we’re building this story in our minds.

The choice is your own whether to tell your story from the perspective of a victim or a hero. Victims believe everything is happening to them; heroes believe everything is happening for them.

Which do you prefer?

Think about the books you’ve read, the TV shows you follow and the movies you love. If the plot doesn’t feature a main character with challenges to overcome and obstacles to navigate, my hunch is you will find another activity to occupy your time. (Tell me where I’m wrong?)

Each obstacle and challenge offers the character a chance to grow, learn and bring him/her closer to their happy ending, which is always more fabulous than what the character originally wanted. If instead, the character threw up his hands in defeat at the first sign of trouble and then hid inside, afraid to take any further steps out of fear of failure, it would be quite a boring story. And it would be finished before it really got started.

Take The Greatest Showman, for example. Mr. Barnum knew he had a burning desire to capture people’s imaginations and entertain them. He originally thought that could be accomplished with giant, stuffed, wild animals in a dark and dusty museum. When that didn’t sell tickets, he gathered every non-conforming person he could find to put on a show of exaggerated oddities. Here enters the infamous bearded lady, the tallest man on Earth, snake man and the completely tattooed man.

Then that show’s theatre burnt down. Did that stop him? No. With his new knowledge about traveling performances (which, by the way, was a result of a so-called-failure of another investment in an opera show that cost him all his money and his house), he and his new business partner built convertible tents down at the docks. These eventually became the traveling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus that we grew up with. Each mistake, each setback was a lesson in testing and adjusting until it was just right.

Whether you want to attribute it to Darwinism or Pavlov’s Theory, we’ve generationally conditioned our minds over centuries to be more motivated to avoid pain than we are to move toward pleasure. We somehow think that if we fixate on avoiding all the things that could possibly go wrong, that we’ll live longer. While that may have been true in the dark ages, it only serves to keep our desires hidden and restricted.

I’m also fairly certain that all the innovations we enjoy today – such as internet, mobile phones, computer animated movies, electric cars, solar-power, etc. – would be nothing more than a wisp of a faint dream locked tight away from the light of day.

If we can change our perspectives to believe that everything unfolding is for our benefit, and if we can take on the role of investigative hero, we will learn our lessons quicker and take steps more fervently toward the life we were intended to live.

You have a purpose. I invite you to write your story as a hero. Be the conqueror of your obstacles. Learn from your lessons and bring your dreams into tangible reality for the sake of all of us to enjoy!

Or don’t.

The choice is yours. It’s your one and precious life, and only you can do with it what you want.

What will you choose?