Tag Archive: superheroes


Saturday October 23rd is Make a Difference Day. Although I think its great to take a day to purposefully reflect on ways we can make a POSITIVE difference in the world, I think a much better approach is to make it a lifestyle change. Making a difference should be a way of life, not just a one day affair. One day of good deeds is not enough to undo a year’s worth of injustice, ignorance, and apathy. We need to strive to make a difference 24/7, 365 (plus one extra day of superhero antics every leap year).

So yes, please stop on Saturday and think of ways to make a difference and then ACT on them, but don’t stop there. Think of ways to make it a part of your life. Small acts repeated over time have a snowball effect, eventually resulting in major and lasting change. So instead of only celebrating Make a Difference Day, why don’t you take the pledge to be a hero and make a difference for life!

We’ve already talked about how heroes come in many shapes and sizes, but superheroes also become heroes for different reasons. The reasons are as varied as the type of heroes they become, but for the most part they can be broken down into two groups: proactive and reactive.

Proactive Heroes

Proactive heroes have a strong sense of justice and humanity. They see something wrong with the world and go out and look for ways to fix it. They have no other motivation than the fact that something in their heart is compelling them forward. It’s just something they have to do.

Reactive Heroes

The reactive hero, as the name suggests, becomes a hero in reaction to something. Usually it’s because of an injustice they experienced or one that was done to someone they care about. They react in a positive manner, doing everything they can to make sure that no one else has to endure the hardship they endured. It’s not that they were uncaring before, it’s just that now it is a personal mission and a way to take charge of the hurt inflicted on them.

Both heroes are noble and valuable even if they adopted their missions for very different reasons. So long as they are out their advocating for a better world it doesn’t matter why they became a hero. What does matter is that the world is better because of them.

“Stop trying to be so ordinary

Be strong and be brave

And begin your story.”

— “So Ordinary” by Ryan Star

Superheroes are much more than characters on the Technicolor pages of a graphic novel. There are real superheroes – everyday angels who spread light in large and small ways. They stand up for others in need. They help us believe again when we’ve lost hope. In the end, they change the world.

And you want to know a secret? They are no different from you or I. Really! You have that same essence of bravery, love, empathy, and empowerment flowing through your veins.

True…it’s not always easy with the pressures of family, friends, and society to embrace our inner awesomeness. Most of us make the mistake of trying to live our lives from the outside in. We focus on appearances, fitting in, and trying to make others happy. We focus so hard on avoiding losing love that we shut down our inner light. It’s the exact opposite of what we must do to live a full life and connect with our inner superhero.

To live the life we are truly destined for, we must start from within. Your experiences, your inner wisdom, your gifts are there for a reason. You are not on this Earth only for yourself. You’re here to better the world and be of service to others. Short changing yourself robs the world of something very precious.

But we can’t manage to do great things until we see ourselves as great. Unless we believe in our potential, we won’t fly. We’ll sit on the edge of the ledge, gazing out over a beautiful valley, feeling the sun’s warmth and tempting kiss of the breeze. We’ll ache for the experience that is calling us, all the while missing out on it.

We find the faith to leap by connecting to the divinity within us. So how do we begin to do that?

Meditate

Meditation calms your whole being. It centers you firmly in the present moment. This practice of relaxing the body and quieting the mind allows you to connect to the energies of love, peace, and creativity.

Fears don’t exist in the present moment. They are worries based on potential futures. Fears lose their power when you are able to stay hooked into the blessings held in the Now.

Take responsibility

You’re the co-creator of your life. You choose your perspective on situations. You decide to take a chance or to stay in the status quo.

To change your life, change yourself. Begin with your thoughts. Watch their positivity or negativity. Be aware of self-judgment and negative self-talk. When you catch those kinds of thoughts, replace them with a positive thought that connects you with the kind of life you wish to manifest.

And always realize you can choose to see the blessing or pain in any situation. You can act to change things if you are not experiencing life in the way you desire. You are not the victim in your life…you’re the hero or heroine of it.

Laugh

Joy is one of the highest vibrations in life. When we experience it, our heart opens. Our body releases stress and relaxes. We become caught up in the love of life; and that is a powerful place to be.

Stepping out of your comfort zone becomes easier if you can just laugh at yourself and enjoy the experience – even when things don’t go “perfectly.” It eases the pressure. It allows for a loving acceptance of imperfections as you grow. So let yourself have fun!

See the humanity in others

If you’re not feeling especially happy with yourself and your life, it can be easy to envy others. We see things in their life like a job, good mate, nice home, and fall into a sense of lack about our own lives.

But no one is perfect and neither is their life. They all have challenges, fears, weaknesses, strengths, joys, and sorrows. Imagine being fully in their life with all the personal history, challenges, and responsibilities. Their life won’t seem so easy or perfect when you allow yourself to see the bigger picture.

And you know what is fabulous about that? It means that, like the people you admire, you can be powerful and make a difference. It doesn’t take perfection. It takes a willingness to act from the heart and stand in your truth.

So enough with the playing small. Stop trying to be so ordinary. You’re much more than that. Be unapologetically alive today. Be brave. Try again and again. Love fiercely. Allow the amazing light within you to radiate.

You just might surprise yourself and discover there is a superhero lurking within.

Thanks Lark N. for your wonderful guest post. I hope everyone is just as inspired as I am by your words!

It only takes one person to make a difference.

Too often we wait around for someone else to be the first. We let injustice and hatred continue because we don’t want to be the one to stick out our neck and absorb the first blow. We’re afraid of what might happen, that no one will be there to support us, that we may endure negative repercussions in return. You know what else might happen?

You might succeed.

You might stop that ranting asshole who never knew how much he tormented others. You may inspire a woman to leave an abusive relationship. You just may save a life. Doesn’t that make it worth it?

Here’s my favorite it takes only one story. If you ever think you can’t stand up and make a difference, just stop and think about this guy. I have for over twenty years. If one man can stop a tank, imagine what you could do.

Bravery

I was watching a man sitting by himself at the cafe reading books on self-help and health. It set off a deep emotional trigger and got me thinking. No one else may have noticed it, but sitting by himself, taking notes, assessing his behavior, and faithfully learning and applying the material in those books, he was taking a big step toward changing his life. That’s bravery.

I admired him. I admire everyone who takes that terrifying first step when they know for a fact (because of their negative internal dialogue) that they are going to fail. I’ve been there. I’ve walked into the gym, overweight, alone, no clue as to what I am doing while the snooty little bitch behind the counter makes faces at me. Even after I got into fitness and became a gym rat, I never lost my admiration for the newbie. The size 2 fitness model doesn’t impress me. The person daring to change their habits, suffering through cravings and feelings of worthlessness but getting out there anyway–now that impresses me.

The person who is 5, 10, 30 years older than the average college student but who shows up to class, puts up with the stares and snickering, sacrifices time away from their children–that impresses me. The career change at age 50. The woman who leaves the abusive relationship. The person who decides its okay to be uncool–that bravery.

We put too much stock in admiring the people to whom things come easy. I’ve never had that luxury. I’ve been a human punching bag, I was a single parent going to college, I had to fight my cravings for chocolate cake while battling a score 0f 34% body fat. I know that the first step is the hardest, and requires the most courage.

So to all of you out there contemplating that first step, struggling while you’re changing habits, terrified to try something new, know that I support you 150%. I know its hard, and sometimes you feel like giving up, but don’t. Even if you lapse, and give in to that craving or those negative feelings, know that its okay. It’s a daily battle, but one worth fighting, no matter what your goals. You deserve a full life. Here’s to finding it!

We often identify superheroes as individuals with extraordinary strength, the ability to read minds and bend the elements to their will, time travel, and other talents that test the limits of biology and physics. Very few of us can claim such abilities. However, each of us does possess something that makes us extraordinary. Whatever that something is, that’s your superpower, the source of your strength, and what defines you as a superhero.

To identify your superpower, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What skill or knowledge set do people seek me out for? Do they ask me for advice on leadership, help repairing their vehicle, comfort in their time of need, or a tasteless joke to lift the mood?
  • What is my passion? What would sustain me, if money and fame and security didn’t matter. What could I see myself doing day in and day out? Is it surfing, writing, teaching, building, picketing, mentoring, painting, etc?
  • What sets me apart from others? Do I have a unique sense of humor, a new way of seeing things, the ability to put things into perspective for others? Have I simplified a process, developed a new strategy, uncovered a new idea, or improved on an existing product?

Here are the answers I came up with in my search for my own superhero power:

  • What do people seek me out for? My strength is my ability to listen to what a person has to say, then helping them put it into perspective and communicating to others. As a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant I have been able to help individuals and businesses identify their unique powers, find their place in the market, and hone their message so they can communicate their superpower to the world. I also apply that skill as a mentor to writers and women, especially mothers, which brings me to the next element.
  • What is my passion? I am caregiver and a passionate advocate for those without a voice. I can zealously debate anyone on the topic of motherhood and women’s rights, and often find myself concerned with the welfare of others. I am passionate about helping people find their own superhero voice, so they can lead fulfilling lives, and will advocate for anyone who has been wronged and deserves to be heard.
  • What sets me apart from others? I am able to communicate–not merely speak, but actually connect with a variety of people in a way that reaches the heart of an issue or idea.  This skill manifests itself in my writing, speaking, teaching, and more.

Take a few minutes and do the self-assesment above. If you’re having difficulty, ask a close friend or relative to help. Once you have identified those three things, start brainstorming ways to bring your superpower to light so that others may see the superhero in you.

Yes, I know I’m behind the curve again, but in my defense I heard that it wasn’t good and waited until it came out on HBO before I watched it. I’m glad I saved the $30.

Despite the great previews and the flashy action sequences, this movie was an overall let down. To begin with, the characters were cardboard archetypes. First they present the troubled hero discovering his awkward talents and using them to do not so heroic things (like Spiderman wrestling for money). Then there was the pristine hometown sweetheart left behind by the troubled hero who returns to sweep her off her feet once more. She goes with him without question to wherever because of course, however many years later she is completely available (having waited for him) and willing to believe anything. It didn’t help that the acting fell flat too, but even Samuel Jackson wasn’t able to redeem the boring, cookie cutter evangelist leader of some secret agency out to rid the world of people who don’t fit in.

In addition to boring characters and less than stellar acting was the slow-moving and underdeveloped plot. The sequence ran in a loop from a brief and exciting moment of action to twenty minutes of horribly lagging narrative. Character motivations never developed well enough to justify the sudden changes in the character’s decisions or actions. The entire plot culminated into too many loose ends, unresolved subplots, and basically a big giant question mark.

The only redeeming factor of this movie was the action scenes. The special effects were pretty amazing and the action was well-coordinated. Even some of the more unbelievable effects came off well, I just wish the story and characters had come together at the same caliber. All in all, if you are really bored one day and there is nothing else on and you can’t find the remote then maybe leave the television on to watch this movie–but only if you can’t find the remote.

In this installment of Villain Archetypes, we look at the classic villain boilerplate I like to call “The Runner Up.” This person always comes in second next to the hero, whether in terms of professional or romantic conquests (sometimes both). The constant thwarting fuels a deep-rooted hatred spurred by jealousy and an intense desire to be the one in the spotlight. Oftentimes, the Runner Up is always in second place because they are lacking in intelligence, creativity, strength, charisma, or some combination thereof.

Because they know they can’t best the hero on their own, the Runner Up decides to join forces with another villain. This villain tends to be less flamboyant, but also more intelligent and cunning than the foolish Runner Up funding the endeavor. Unfortunately, the Runner Up can’t control their partner, and suddenly finds themselves in an even worse situation then before (third place).

I’ll use iron Man 2 as an example since it just came out and even non-comic book geeks will be able to follow the story. Weapons manufacturer Hammer continually falls in second place to Tony Stark both professionally and personally. Frustrated, Hammer is willing to work with a convicted felon Vanko in order to best Stark on his own turf.  As predicted, Vanko is an unstable and unwieldly villain in his own way and bent on doing more than just show up Stark–he wants murder.

This theme is common in all types of superhero media, from movies and comic books to television shows and novels. Jealousy is an old motive. It’s just more fun when they have superpowers and gadgets.

Even before Kick Ass hit the theaters, a wave of citizen activism swept the nation. Concerned citizens across the United States are donning caps and spandex in an effort to educate children on the dangers of drugs, host neighborhood watches, and in some cases fend off would be criminals. They go by many names, but their mission is the same: to make a difference.

Being a superhero isn’t easy, and finding other like-minded individuals to form a superhero team is even more difficult, as Greenwich based superhero Darkslay notes. The truth of the matter is, being a superhero is dangerous and it doesn’t always pay to stick your neck out. Does this mean he should give up?

HELL NO!

What we need is for every citizen to find the superhero within them. Too often, bad things happen because people LET them happen. We become passive, complacent, desensitized, and in some cases intrigued and hungry for the depravity and crime that runs rampant. Does this mean that you should dress up like Batman and go after the mob like Big Daddy?

No.

It does mean that every person has a duty to be active in their community and to give back in any way you can. Every volunteer who spends their weekend teaching an art class, picking up trash at the park, volunteering at a local shelter, collecting donations for veterans, rescuing stray animals, and any other worthwhile venture is a superhero. The person who talks back to the rude customer is a hero. The single mother working two jobs then going home to help her kids with their homework is a hero. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Which one are you?