Time for a cheesy list of some of the things that can make us feel like heroes in the movies of our lives. Why? Because – in the bastardized words of Kurt Cobain – wanting other heroes to rescue us is a waste of the heroes we are.
hero quality #1. you took a hike
You stopped waiting for other people to be available and went on a solo adventure somewhere. And following any initial discomfort you may have felt, you had the time of your life and also grew in the process.
And so now you understand the true meaning of travel. Which is at least a little about looking back and saying to yourself ‘yeah, I did that’.
hero quality #2. you were magnanimous
Magnanimity – or generosity or kindness – might be going out of fashion, but not for you.
You don’t dwell on other people’s clueless behaviour. These days, when people do something that upsets you, you silently thank them. You do this because they showed you that you were unfairly relying on them to be anything other than who they are.
And you mind your own business, because criticizing or blaming is a waste of your time.
hero quality #3. you developed yourself
As well as travelling, you decided to read more. And do something bold with your career. You attended a personal development course. And you actively work at building intimacy in your relationships with people. You realized that if you ever stop growing, you may as well be dying.
But you develop, not improve. Because you also know that nothing needs fixing – least of all you.
hero quality #4. you met your own psychological needs
You decided it truly is time to stop blaming your parents for doing a sub standard job. And that constantly trying and failing to get your needs met by other people is too painful to continue.
So you’ve taken to self soothing. If you need telling you’re awesome, you do. And if you need telling it’s okay that you screwed up, you do it. You fill in the gaps in your parenting.
hero quality #5. you attempted to meet some of other people’s, too
Because we are all at different stages of becoming our own heroes, you were responsive the last time someone asked for your support. You weren’t ungracious about it, and didn’t secretly accuse them of neediness, because you remember how it feels to feel like you need saving.
hero quality #6. you knew your limits
When you were last being pulled in all directions, you said to yourself, not for the first time: ‘not my monkeys not my circus’.
Because although you enjoy helping others, you come first. And that means not always being available for every single demand on your time and resources.
hero quality #7. you were real and honest
You stopped lying. To others yes but more importantly, to yourself.
That thing that hasn’t been working in life for years? You changed it.
You stopped living life like you’re immortal.
hero quality #8. you got an early night, and ate some real food
You started caring about getting a full eight hours. You eat real food. You move.
Because you’re not sure anyone can be their own hero without that.
hero quality #9. you knew you are capable of greatness
Maybe it isn’t always there, the self-belief. Maybe it wavers at times. But underneath it, you know you are capable of great things.
Maybe it’s the future leader of your country that you will nurture from baby to adult. Or maybe you’ll make, or act in, a movie that will raise consciousness and change the world. You aren’t afraid to dream big.
You know that you have something unique to offer the world.
hero quality #10. you did even unpleasant things with a smile on your face
You don’t fake it if you’re not feeling it. It’s just that mostly you are feeling it.
Because before, you wasn’t actually depressed – just habitually negative.
hero quality #11. you were kind
You made time for people. You sat and listened for hours because they needed it. And you didn’t constantly interject with sentences beginning ‘I’.
hero quality #12. you created your own financial freedom
You made your financial freedom your responsibility. Because you know that, irrelevant of your circumstances, being able to pay for yourself to live the life you want feels amazing.
And if you are relying on others for that, you muddy your ability to stay out of choice and not need.
hero quality #13. you had purpose
You discovered that having purpose is actually quite straightforward:
You simply assess every single activity of your life for value, and then get rid of what isn’t meaningful. Not only do you apply that philosophy to how you spend the time, but also who you spend it with. Eventually, your sense of purpose will emerge from the clearing/wreckage.
This works better than attempting to discover your purpose from another day at the office doing a job you can’t stand, with people you don’t like, and hopping online at five second intervals reading articles about purpose.
hero quality #14. you had a little faith, mother fucker
You know that your own journey is intertwined with everyone elses, and that sometimes that means the glory days aren’t yours for a while. And that your efforts are going unnoticed.
But you don’t read too much into it, or take it as evidence that you are ‘off track’ somehow. You trust life, and trust that your time will come.
hero quality #15. you got knocked down, and got back up again
You got bitched slapped by life, again, and you got back up, again.
And afterwards, you said to yourself ‘that was interesting’ – and got busy with the next thing.