Your life is your story. Your choices are your path. Don’t let someone else choose for you. Take the lead. Be your own hero!
As a writer and a student of human nature, I have the on-going pleasure of studying the many different aspects of life, our world, and its varied characters. One of the most fascinating of these is our culture’s archetypes, and heroes are arguably among of the most enduring and endearing of the archetypal class. Heroes in their myriad forms have been requisite to story, myth, and legend throughout the history of humankind. What follows is Part Two of my hero traits list… a collection of high caliber qualities and attributes I believe we can all aspire to:
- Heroes don’t “chase” their dreams. They set goals, put a plan in place, gather the best team they can find (only those loyal to their cause), and then create their own destiny!
- A hero knows that words have the ability to wound or heal, destroy or transform. A hero uses words carefully and speaks truth willingly. A hero is never threatened by the truth, nor defeated or dejected by someone else’s version of the truth.
- Heroes do not seek the approval of others, their validation comes from within.
- A hero knows that the best way to cope with failure is to immediately identify it as a “rerouting” on the path to success.
- Heroes know that they are constantly evolving —that they can reinvent themselves whenever necessary—that for a personality, stagnation equals defeat. Forward movement equals success.
- A hero knows that there are always two choices in a difficult situation. You can choose to be the victim or the victor. The hero always chooses the victor mentality. He knows that victimhood is the act of falling prey to one’s own defeated thinking and a belief in powerlessness.
- Victims always wish they were somewhere else, doing something else, or with someone else. Heroes never wish they were somewhere else. If they wanted to be somewhere else they would just go.
- A hero does not indulge in self-pity. Self-pity equals powerlessness.
- Heroes aren’t afraid of change (unless it’s a change of clothes in a phone booth).
- Heroes don’t waste time complaining. They focus on solutions.
- A hero knows that it is human nature to question, and does not need to be accepted or encouraged by others in order to proceed with an intention.
- Heroes always follow through on a promise whether made to someone else or to themselves.
- Heroes never react to what they imagine someone else thinks, wants, or needs. They ask questions, gather data, assess the situation, and, once satisfied, act accordingly.
- A hero knows that nothing of greatness, no true measure of happiness, no deeply satisfying accomplishment, is ever achieved without desire and faith, vision and imagination, effort and energy, courage and commitment, purpose and passion.
- Heroes own their own potential and see the power in responsibility. Taking ownership is the highest form of focus, discipline, and direction known to man. Effortlessness is an insidious virus with the power to destroy lives.
- A hero knows that absolute focus is the key to all great human achievement.
- Heroes never let mistakes or failure stop them. They always try to make things right, but also know that it isn’t always possible, and forgive themselves when things don’t work out. They know the value of moving on.
- Heroes don’t waste time responding to their critics. They take note, retain what is useful and discard what is not.
- A hero sees every problem as a challenge and every challenge as an opportunity.
- Heroes learn from every situation and grow into better human beings because of the experience.
- Heroes do not compare themselves to others.
- A hero uses their past experiences to meet the next challenge, not to judge themselves.
- A hero doesn’t throw away any lesson. All lessons, pleasant or difficult, joyful or painful, brief or everlasting, can be drawn upon for support when facing a challenge.
- Heroes keep an open mind when entering a new situation, and keep a watchful eye for that which can benefit them and others.
- Life is a set of experiences. A hero does not judge. All experience is useful.
- The hero never gives up.
The hero’s journey continues in Part III (What I Learned From Starship Captains). See you next time!