At one point in history, the transition from Clark Kent into Superman was done in a phone booth. The changing room for the “man of steel” was a utility of the every man. People could feel their own association to this man with supernatural powers by simply making a phone call. Unfortunately times have changed. The phone booths have disappeared and so have our beliefs in the possibility of greatness for the common man.
In the modern day, the only small changing room available to Superman would be a Port-o-Potty. As depressing as this may seem, perhaps it is the perfect mental picture for the situation of the day. Our inclination is no longer to believe in the magnificent or the awe-inspiring. Instead we assume that everything is a sham, fraud or ripoff. Our hope has been sullied by too many people that sought to capture our dollars and not our hearts. A hero of today almost has to rise out of the refuse because we tend to assume that squeaky clean is too good to be true. Or worse, we cannot believe in our own possibility for greatness because we know where we come from.
Clark Kent, the phone booth or the port-o-potty are all just a prelude to the magnificent. In our cynical world, it’s easy to poke holes in anything and find what is wrong. The measure of the hero is not in his lack of faults. The hero is measured by how consistently he shows up and does what other people cannot or will not. So do not assume because your story is not perfect that it is not your time to be the hero. At bare minimum there is at least one person in this world that needs you to show up every day and do whatever you’re able. That person is you! You’re the hero that you’ve been waiting for!
At one point in history, I’m sure that superlatives meant something. I surely felt like they did during my childhood. Michael Jordan was definitely the best player in the NBA. You didn’t need to shout it louder to make your point. It could be said softly with a calm assurance that it was accurate. As the internet has given a voice to every two thumbed animal with a high speed connection, superlative seems to be a game for people who want to yell the loudest.
Since everyone can be heard, the time to say nothing may be here. Perhaps in the era of communication overload, it is the individual who does and says nothing that will truly stand out. Rather than doubling down on superlatives and expletives, it might be time to be more subtle.
Today when you go out into the world, do the simple and subtle. Smile a little more. Be a little more patient. Be forgiving to yourself. Home-runs can win games but so can singles. If we’re always swinging hard for the fences, we may strikeout on underhand pitches because we’re too jacked up.
At the present moment, the “selfie” has become so common place that it is almost a requirement at any social function involving young people. It is the photographic representation that “I was there”. Although showing up is an important part of the equation, it has inexplicably become a standard of achievement rather than the bare minimum. The problem with the selfie is that anyone can fake it for a fraction of a second. There needs to be more to life than a collection of rehearsed faces and hand gestures. We need to look in mirrors rather than practicing our poses.
The beauty of the mirror is that it does not lie. Stand in front of a mirror for long enough and you’ll realize that your best friend and worst enemy are staring back at you. In this duplicity you’ll find everything that you could possibly need to achieve your every desire. You’ll also find most of the road blocks that will stand in your way. The mirror is going to tell it like it is. It won’t accept fake poses for very long. Fat, skinny, ugly, pretty, average or anything else are all there for you to deal with. As you begin to look at who you truly are in the mirror, you’ll recognize that showing up is not enough. Faking it for an instant is not enough. The world expects more! Now you can either hide behind the mask of poses or accept the challenge to carry the mirror with you.
The mirror may reside in your head or in your heart but it can be with you always. As you go through your day, you can look to see if you are being true to yourself. Your best self! Throughout the day checking to see if you’re going in the right direction to those places that you desire to go. As you get closer, you’ll notice that the reflection in the mirror gets better and it’s easier to look. When you finally reach your goal, I suppose you could take a selfie…. But the picture you have inside of who you’ve become is so much better. So for today, don’t just show up! Wake up, stand up and look in the mirror. Then keep working until you’re ecstatic with what you see!
There is very little that is inherently special about any of us. Most of us are of average height, income, etc. Even if you are an outlier in height or something else, you’re most likely average in other ways. Special is not a divine right handed down through genealogy.
Special is a choice. It takes a different mentality to do the things that other people will not or cannot. Showing up is not particularly special unless the place that you show up is the top of Mt. Everest. In each moment, we have a choice to be special or be like everyone else. Being special yesterday gives you no guarantee toward being special today. You’ve got to put chips back on the table, double down if you can because the world owes you absolutely nothing! The word ‘deserve’ belongs exclusively to those that have chosen to do more.
So what will you be today? Will you choose to be special or be just like everyone else? Special is a choice that you can either make or be disappointed in the thought that it wasn’t your day to be chosen as ‘special’. It’s not a gift, it’s a choice!
Cups are an everyday thing that we rarely take much notice of. They are a utility that must have a few very simple features. They need to have walls of some sort and a bottom. Without the bottom, it is just a cylinder. The bottom is the essence of the cup. It does not have to sit flush to the table. It can be raised to any height within the walls that the designer wants. Tops are completely optional. Sometimes they are useful but the majority of cups have no need for a top.
It can be helpful to have a bottom in life as well. A set of standards that you will not go below. This bottom should not be a goal but a mental barrier that as you approach it, you start to build back up. Upward movement creates space and the possibility of raising the bottom. Cap the downside first.
In life and cups, tops are optional. If you’ve put a limit on what you can be, do or accomplish, flip your perspective and use that top as your bottom. Cap the downside first. Perhaps you’ve already done this or maybe you just think that you have. Regardless having a bottom to your cup is much more important than putting a top on it. Stay away from the bottom and keep testing if there is a top.
Redefine the top today!