Blogpost, self-reliance

Level Up Your Hero Game

We all have a hero living inside of ourselves. The question is not whether it is there. Almost always the question is the type of hero and when does they show up. A hero is defined as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. We all have that possibility within us but not everyone is willing to live the hero life. Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up.

The Stillborn Hero – Just like everyone else, this person has greatness within them but either don’t know it or choose not to use it. These are the saddest people to meet because it’s plain to see that they have more inside. They just can’t or won’t access it.

The Reluctant Hero – This is the person who will only access that higher level of ability when it is forced upon them. They don’t want to do anything special because it’s too much of a hassle. When the circumstances are right, they’ll save the day but they’d rather be in their secret hideout with their sidekick relaxing.

The Self Aggrandizing Hero – Although they do some hero work, they make it sound much bigger than it is. Saving a kitten from a tree somehow gets translated into saving the world.

The Mercenary Hero – I’m not completely sure if this is where they belong on the scale. However these heroes have great abilities that people recognize and laud them for. Unfortunately they come with the understanding that they’ll get compensated for their hero work. They’re not a sucker. The skills that they have are not for free.

The Small Time Hero – This may be my favorite type of hero. Their contributions to the world are nothing spectacular but they consistently show up to do that which is required of them. They save the world one person at a time but do it in stride. They don’t think of themselves as heroes but they definitely are.

The Super Hero – This is the one that we tend to make movies about. While there are no supernatural abilities being thrown around, these are the people that we remember forever. They give something of themselves at such a level that they inspire other people to be a better version of themselves. They might get compensated for what they did but that’s not why they did it. They acted out of selflessness, patriotism, or any other noble cause.

All of these levels of hero have their flaws. Even the super hero in the real world has an addiction to chocolate or some other vice but they act as a hero enough for us to notice.

Each of us is on this spectrum someplace (or maybe I missed some in the middle). Regardless of where you stand at the moment, do your best to level up! There is nothing wrong with staying where you are but if you didn’t notice, the world is hurting at the moment. The world could use a few more heroes. It doesn’t need to be every moment of every day. You can do your hero work in fits and starts. Do it at times where no one expects it. So as you go through your day today, look for opportunities to HERO UP! They’re all around you. Don’t wait for a spotlight in the sky because that’s impractical. Keep your eyes open for the people who need your special skill because they are out there. Villains can take care of themselves, the heroes need to step up for one another.

HERO UP!

Pete

Blogpost, self-reliance, SoccerLifeBalance

Neither Batman Nor Jüergen Klopp

Notice a simple fact. Robin did not name himself Batboy nor Batman Jr. Even when Dick Grayson rebranded himself as Nightwing, it was partially to come into his own. Only when he took over the role of Batman, did he also take on the name. In a fictitious city with fictitious people, a young man understood the need for him to separate himself from him his idol, mentor and hero.

Despite the fact that I am a fan of heroes (super or otherwise), there needs to be caution used by us mere mortals who idolize them. The role of the hero can take on several possible forms. Depending on the circumstance, they can also be counted upon to save those in distress. They can also give us a model to emulate in some way. Both of these roles of the hero have their place in real and fictitious worlds. The onus needs to be on the fan to wear her/his own metaphorical cape.

Although heroes are most well known for saving people, that role creates issues. People who are unable to save themselves are victims. Relying completely upon a hero to save you continuously (Louis Lane) is a strategy that encourages weakness, inaction and dependence. Most people are smart enough to avoid this trap. The perils of the real world for most people are also less sinister than that of a superhero. The supervillains are not around every corner.

Being a model to emulate is a powerful function of the hero. The issue here is that everyone is fallible. Even the superheroes within comic worlds have their foibles. More importantly, no matter how perfect of a model any hero might be, you will never be them. Regardless of your attention to detail or persistence, transmission of consciousness into another body is even hokey in the comic world. So watch YES! Learn YES! Emulate SURE! Worship NO! Deify UH UH!

Coming back to the real world and in particular the soccer world, there are plenty of players and coaches to choose as heroes. On the coach side of things, Jüergen Klopp is the flavor of the month/year. If you chose to do so, you could study all of his interviews, strategies and possibly get into his mindset. You could even get JK screenprinted onto your jacket, hopefully for JUST KIDDING. Despite all of that effort, no matter what you cannot be him. It’s an interesting question to ask, “What would Jüergen Klopp do with my U10 girls team?” An even better question is “What are you going to do with them?” After all of mental posturing that we might do in relation to our heroes, the equation always ends with you being you. All of your thoughts and actions get syphoned through the person that you are.

So rather than spending too much time trying to be someone else, envision the best version of you in the future. Like Serpentor from GI JOE, take the best from your heroes and develop a new version of yourself. As you progress through the process of becoming a better you, remember that you cannot be Jüergen Klopp but maybe you can replace him. That’s a better goal to have because it keeps you in the picture as you. You cannot be Batman nor Jüergen Klopp but you can take pieces from either in order to be the best you.

Be your own hero!

Pete

self-reliance, Uncategorized

Mediocrity Man

lhvmarathon-e1497924664977.jpgHollywood is regularly churning out super hero movies and their sequels. At the moment they seem to be almost a sure thing at the box office. Iron Man, Spider Man, Batman and Captain America all seem to capture the imagination of the people as they pay big movie theater prices to see these super humans. It is obvious that “super” is what the people want to see.

What if there was a hero named Mediocrity Man? He had super powers that were inside of him but he was afraid of them. Any time that he saw himself do something out of the ordinary, he would instantly recoil and deny his abilities. Rather than keeping his secret identity from everyone else, he would hide or deny his powers to himself. What if Clark Kent never changed into Superman? Would you watch that movie? Of course not.

If this hero existed, why would he hide his powers? The reasons would be the same that you or I don’t do the things that would produce greatness.

  • It’s too hard.
  • It will take too long.
  • I might not succeed.
  • Or worse, I might succeed and the people would expect more out of me.
  • I don’t want people to make fun of me.
  • No one in my family, town, state or country has ever done it before, who am I to be first?

Imagine the Earth being filled with superheroes. What if people were getting most out of themselves every single day? What would that look like? I’ve been Mediocrity Man. I’ve traded in my cape for a t-shirt on a regular basis. Feeling comfortable in the cape is difficult because I know all of my faults, all of my weaknesses and every way that I have ever screwed up. The hero in the movie never falls for long. He gets his super powers and continues on until the world is safe again. For us regular heroes, it’s not a magic movie moment involving a radioactive spider or the destruction of Krypton that begins our ascent. It’s a consistent decision to be the best form of ourselves.

Uncategorized

Story Stacking (A Star Wars ripoff story)

StarWarsThe trilogy is not truly the king of cinema but rather stack-able stories.  There’s no magical power to the number three.  The key component to the greatest movie series is the way that the stories fit together and one movie can be catapulted based on the strengths of its predecessor.  While I’m a huge movie fan and have been since my childhood, there is something that’s missing from the great movies that are being released today.  Kids aren’t stacking them into their own lives.

Han Solo was my guy from about 4 until 10 years old.  In the VHS culture of the day, my brothers and I would watch Star Wars and then play Star Wars for hours afterward.  I was Han Solo for hours on end and it gave me a chance to wear his overconfident skin for a while.  His character was stacked onto my personality for a bit and I’m sure that some of it stuck.  After Han, there was Rocky Balboa.  I never climbed in a ring or drank a cup of raw eggs but I got up at 6 am religiously and ran.  Training for events or just life became part of my stroy.

While I think that the present day movie technology puts the 70s and 80s to shame, the greater shame is that since Iron Man’s mask is so readily available in the store, kids don’t need to wear his skin.  Everything is prepackaged and fabricated to perfection so much that a young person is always separated from their heroes by a layer of plastic that none of the residue rubs off.

The human race has reached its place in the world through the stories that we tell ourselves.  Thousands of years ago it started with a group of cavemen believing that they could collectively beat a saber tooth.  Then a man told himself that steam could move machines.  Now children are being told the most elaborate stories of all time but they are not stacking them like they used to.  The story is a ceiling rather than a staircase.  So if you are young or have contact with young people, stack those stories and attach them to your soul or the soul of someone else.  It’s not just entertainment.  It’s ENTERtrainMENT.  A new world you can enter to train your mental image of yourself.  So if you go out to the movies, be sure to go out afterwards and wear something new.

Enjoy!

pete