Real-Life Superhero of the Week: You

superheroyou Real-Life Superhero of the Week You

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, we profile real-life superheroes who have done amazing things in the world, like Walter Cronkite or Stephen King. This week, we decided to switch tactics – and remind you why you are already a real-life superhero, too. 

You are a real-life superhero.

Yes. You.

I don’t think we acknowledge ourselves enough.

Enough. A word I think we all, consciously or unconsciously, think about often.

Pretty enough. Smart enough. Good enough.

When does it end?

Does it end?

Here are 10 reasons why you’re a real-life superhero.

1. You’ve made hard decisions.

The word “decision” comes from the Latin word “decidere” – which means “to cut off.”

That’s why decisions can be hard. Because making a decision means choosing one thing over something else.

I knew I wanted to take voluntary redundancy from my corporate job, but it wasn’t the easiest decision I’ve ever made. I knew I’d be giving up many things, like a stable income and a good career.

But I also knew I’d be gaining many things. Happiness. Doing something I knew I loved doing. Fulfillment.

Whether it’s changing jobs, letting go of your “friends,” or sacrificing some of your social life for your passion, you’ve made hard decisions in your life.

2. You’ve cut people off you once loved.

After I broke up with my ex-girlfriend we got back together. And then we broke up again. And then we sort of got back together. And then we stopped talking. And then we started seeing each other again. And then we stopped. And then we started. Stopped. Started.

Stopped. Finally.

I didn’t want to cut her off — not fully, not completely. What if I was making a mistake?

Pleasure, pain, pleasure, pain. I kept forgetting that cycle.

I felt better when I finally decided I deserved better and cut her off. Not totally better. I still felt a sense of loss. But I knew it was the right thing.

You’ve done it before. Maybe you went back and forth like me. Maybe you were braver than I was and just did it because you knew it was the right thing. And you knew you were worth more.

3. You’ve let yourself be vulnerable.

I used to be convinced that being vulnerable meant being weak. Even now, I’m not sure I fully believe vulnerability is a sign of strength. But there you go! Here’s me being vulnerable.

There have been moments in your life where you’ve let yourself be vulnerable. Even if it’s just one moment.

Those are the moments that people have thanked me for being honest.

4. You’ve said “thank you.”

How do you feel when someone says “thank you” to you?

Whether it’s your parents, a friend, or even a stranger, how good does it feel?

You’ve done something for someone and they know it.

You’ve been that person. You’ve thanked someone for something that they never thought you’d thank them for. Maybe it wasn’t even a big deal to them. But it was to you and you told them so.

5. You’ve smiled at a stranger.

I feel a surprising bit of warmth when a stranger smiles at me. They didn’t have to. They could’ve walked by and done nothing because we’ll never see each other again.

But they looked at me. They smiled. They made me feel noticed.

I’d like to say I always do this, but I don’t. Sometimes, I’m too busy thinking about myself to do it. Sometimes, I’m too shy.

Maybe you don’t always do it either. But you have done it. How good did you feel when you did?

And how good do you think they felt?

“Better to be the one who smiled than the one who didn’t smile back.”

6. You’ve turned your pain into action.

I was sad about a girl recently. Embarrassingly sad. The kind of sad where I thought, “But I shouldn’t be sad!”

I was stuck for a couple of days. She dominated my mind and I just wanted to feel better.

It was only when I got out of my own way that I thought, “How can I turn this pain into something better?” And, not surprisingly, I realized I should write about it.

You’ve done this too. You’ve had pain in your life – and it’s hurt. Maybe it’s crushed you.

But then you learned from it. And you started again. A wiser, braver, even more indestructible you started again.

Like Ernest Hemingway said, “But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”

7. You’ve gone for something that the real you wanted.

Going for something the real me wants feels right and powerful and like I deserve to have it.

It means I’m being kind to myself.

It also means I’m going to inspire other people to do the same. I’ve had too many comments and messages for me to believe anything less.

You’ve done it. Remember how good it felt when you knew you wanted something and you went for it?

I wonder what stops us from doing it more often.

8. You’ve been grateful for something that destroyed you.

I liked a girl and she didn’t like me and I cried. Those are the only details that matter.

It destroyed me for a while. She was all I could think about.

Now I’m grateful for it. I’m grateful I got to spend any time at all with her. I’m grateful I’ve learned to make better choices. I’m grateful because I’ve been able to write about it.

Is there something you never thought you’d be grateful for that you’re now grateful for? What destroyed you at the time but now you’re glad it happened? What happened on the worst day of your life that you can now be kind to yourself about?

Gratitude takes courage.

9. You’ve put yourself above everyone else.

Maybe you think this is selfish. The opposite of a superhero.

Since I started putting myself first, I’ve been able to help and inspire more people than ever. I’ve been more generous than ever, and more empathetic than ever, and able to take care of myself better than ever.

Is that not what a superhero does?

How do you feel when you put yourself first? Doesn’t it make you want to inspire more people because, finally, you know how you’re going to inspire them?

You’ve done this before.

Did you feel selfish? Or did you feel confident?

Did you feel like you didn’t care about anybody else? Or did you feel like you cared deeply?

Did you feel like a villain? Or did you feel like a superhero?

10. You’ve put someone else above yourself.

I think it’s OK to do this sometimes.

Like when a friend needs you to listen to them. Like when your parents need your help. Like when a child asks you if they can play basketball with you.

Sometimes, Superman puts Earth’s needs above his own. Sometimes, Batman puts Gotham City’s needs above his own. Sometimes, Thor puts Asgard’s needs above his own.

They don’t do it because they have to do it. But maybe they do it because they feel they have to do it. They do it because they know they’re not the biggest thing in the world. They do it because they know the universe needs them to.

Maybe they do it in the hope that everyone else, or maybe some people, or maybe just one child, will want to do it too.

Maybe they do it because they’re truly selfless.

Just like you’ve been.

*****

Yes. Thinking about “enough” ends.

It ends when we acknowledge all of the above.

It ends when we acknowledge that yes, sometimes, we, all of us, can be a Superhero.

It ends when we acknowledge that we always have been and always will be and always are enough.

Liked this? Check out 10 Inspiring War Heroes!

Written by Matt Hearnden

Photo Credit: a.pasquier via Compfight cc

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, we profile real-life superheroes who have done amazing things in the world, like Walter Cronkite or Stephen King. This week, we decided to switch tactics – and remind you why you are already a real-life superhero, too. 

You are a real-life superhero.

Yes. You.

I don’t think we acknowledge ourselves enough.

Enough. A word I think we all, consciously or unconsciously, think about often.

Pretty enough. Smart enough. Good enough.

When does it end?

Does it end?

Here are 10 reasons why you’re a real-life superhero.

1. You’ve made hard decisions.

The word “decision” comes from the Latin word “decidere” – which means “to cut off.”

That’s why decisions can be hard. Because making a decision means choosing one thing over something else.

I knew I wanted to take voluntary redundancy from my corporate job, but it wasn’t the easiest decision I’ve ever made. I knew I’d be giving up many things, like a stable income and a good career.

But I also knew I’d be gaining many things. Happiness. Doing something I knew I loved doing. Fulfillment.

Whether it’s changing jobs, letting go of your “friends,” or sacrificing some of your social life for your passion, you’ve made hard decisions in your life.

2. You’ve cut people off you once loved.

After I broke up with my ex-girlfriend we got back together. And then we broke up again. And then we sort of got back together. And then we stopped talking. And then we started seeing each other again. And then we stopped. And then we started. Stopped. Started.

Stopped. Finally.

I didn’t want to cut her off — not fully, not completely. What if I was making a mistake?

Pleasure, pain, pleasure, pain. I kept forgetting that cycle.

I felt better when I finally decided I deserved better and cut her off. Not totally better. I still felt a sense of loss. But I knew it was the right thing.

You’ve done it before. Maybe you went back and forth like me. Maybe you were braver than I was and just did it because you knew it was the right thing. And you knew you were worth more.

3. You’ve let yourself be vulnerable.

I used to be convinced that being vulnerable meant being weak. Even now, I’m not sure I fully believe vulnerability is a sign of strength. But there you go! Here’s me being vulnerable.

There have been moments in your life where you’ve let yourself be vulnerable. Even if it’s just one moment.

Those are the moments that people have thanked me for being honest.

4. You’ve said “thank you.”

How do you feel when someone says “thank you” to you?

Whether it’s your parents, a friend, or even a stranger, how good does it feel?

You’ve done something for someone and they know it.

You’ve been that person. You’ve thanked someone for something that they never thought you’d thank them for. Maybe it wasn’t even a big deal to them. But it was to you and you told them so.

5. You’ve smiled at a stranger.

I feel a surprising bit of warmth when a stranger smiles at me. They didn’t have to. They could’ve walked by and done nothing because we’ll never see each other again.

But they looked at me. They smiled. They made me feel noticed.

I’d like to say I always do this, but I don’t. Sometimes, I’m too busy thinking about myself to do it. Sometimes, I’m too shy.

Maybe you don’t always do it either. But you have done it. How good did you feel when you did?

And how good do you think they felt?

“Better to be the one who smiled than the one who didn’t smile back.”

6. You’ve turned your pain into action.

I was sad about a girl recently. Embarrassingly sad. The kind of sad where I thought, “But I shouldn’t be sad!”

I was stuck for a couple of days. She dominated my mind and I just wanted to feel better.

It was only when I got out of my own way that I thought, “How can I turn this pain into something better?” And, not surprisingly, I realized I should write about it.

You’ve done this too. You’ve had pain in your life – and it’s hurt. Maybe it’s crushed you.

But then you learned from it. And you started again. A wiser, braver, even more indestructible you started again.

Like Ernest Hemingway said, “But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”

7. You’ve gone for something that the real you wanted.

Going for something the real me wants feels right and powerful and like I deserve to have it.

It means I’m being kind to myself.

It also means I’m going to inspire other people to do the same. I’ve had too many comments and messages for me to believe anything less.

You’ve done it. Remember how good it felt when you knew you wanted something and you went for it?

I wonder what stops us from doing it more often.

8. You’ve been grateful for something that destroyed you.

I liked a girl and she didn’t like me and I cried. Those are the only details that matter.

It destroyed me for a while. She was all I could think about.

Now I’m grateful for it. I’m grateful I got to spend any time at all with her. I’m grateful I’ve learned to make better choices. I’m grateful because I’ve been able to write about it.

Is there something you never thought you’d be grateful for that you’re now grateful for? What destroyed you at the time but now you’re glad it happened? What happened on the worst day of your life that you can now be kind to yourself about?

Gratitude takes courage.

9. You’ve put yourself above everyone else.

Maybe you think this is selfish. The opposite of a superhero.

Since I started putting myself first, I’ve been able to help and inspire more people than ever. I’ve been more generous than ever, and more empathetic than ever, and able to take care of myself better than ever.

Is that not what a superhero does?

How do you feel when you put yourself first? Doesn’t it make you want to inspire more people because, finally, you know how you’re going to inspire them?

You’ve done this before.

Did you feel selfish? Or did you feel confident?

Did you feel like you didn’t care about anybody else? Or did you feel like you cared deeply?

Did you feel like a villain? Or did you feel like a superhero?

10. You’ve put someone else above yourself.

I think it’s OK to do this sometimes.

Like when a friend needs you to listen to them. Like when your parents need your help. Like when a child asks you if they can play basketball with you.

Sometimes, Superman puts Earth’s needs above his own. Sometimes, Batman puts Gotham City’s needs above his own. Sometimes, Thor puts Asgard’s needs above his own.

They don’t do it because they have to do it. But maybe they do it because they feel they have to do it. They do it because they know they’re not the biggest thing in the world. They do it because they know the universe needs them to.

Maybe they do it in the hope that everyone else, or maybe some people, or maybe just one child, will want to do it too.

Maybe they do it because they’re truly selfless.

Just like you’ve been.

*****

Yes. Thinking about “enough” ends.

It ends when we acknowledge all of the above.

It ends when we acknowledge that yes, sometimes, we, all of us, can be a Superhero.

It ends when we acknowledge that we always have been and always will be and always are enough.

Liked this? Check out 10 Inspiring War Heroes!

Written by Matt Hearnden

Photo Credit: a.pasquier via Compfight cc

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