Editor’s note: Meet Noah Blumenthal. His super skill is heroic leadership. Noah is the author of the nationally bestselling book, Be the Hero: Three Powerful Ways to Overcome Challenges in Work and Life and was named by Leadership Excellence Magazine as one of the world’s “Top 100 Minds in Personal Development.”
I asked Noah for a guest post after reading Be the Hero, because I liked his approach. Be the Hero is a simple framework for effectiveness. By telling more effective stories about yourself, the situation, and others, you combine multiple key skills (mastering your stories, empathic listening, changing focus, changing mindsets, reframing, and positivity.) It’s skilled living in action. Here’s Noah’s guest post on eight ways to be heroic …
Have you ever dreamed of being a hero – the person who saves the day? Sometimes a hero is someone whose actions are larger than life, but there are also everyday heroes. These are the people who rise to the more normal occasions of their lives. These occasions could be crises or challenges or even opportunities. The everyday hero is someone who is calm and poised and is at their best whenever their best is needed.
I think we all want to be that person, but we often miss the mark. We slip too easily into frustration, anger, bitterness, helplessness, or hopelessness. Then we struggle to return to the person we want to become – the hero we would love to be.
In fact there are tricks to becoming that hero – techniques and methods that help you think and act like the hero you want to be. Here are the 8 best ways I know to be the everyday hero in your life.
- See their pain. In victim mode we tend to focus on our own pain, how others have wronged us in some way. This behavior amplifies our frustration, anger, bitterness, or disappointment. These emotions make it impossible to put our best foot forward. Instead, ask yourself what challenge the other person is facing. Even if they just hurt you in some way, think of the worst pain they might be experiencing. This shift in perspective will allow you to feel empathy, think more clearly, and exercise greater control over your response.
- Celebrate the best. It is easy to get caught up in desire. I want that house, job, vacation, promotion, spouse, etc. When our desires consume us we lose the energy we need to respond positively, to take heroic actions. Instead, find something to celebrate. What are the best elements in your life? What do you love most about your work? Taking a moment to be thankful can give you the energy you need to be the person you want to be.
- Embrace the worst. When the crisis hits it is easy to get thrown off your game. No one would blame you for not being at your best. However, this moment is also your greatest opportunity to be heroic. The next time someone tells you they have bad news or the stuff is about to hit the fan, tell yourself, this is my time. This is my moment to be the hero.
- Laugh it off. One mark of an everyday hero is remaining calm and poised in agitating circumstances. This could be when someone cuts you off in traffic, criticizes you, or offers you a big promotion. When your insides go from room temperature to scalding hot in a matter of moments it helps to have techniques at the ready to calm that inner boil. One of my favorites is to laugh it off. Literally, break into a big smile and give a little chuckle. Life is full of surprises. You just encountered one. Remember that the pain, anger, fear, thrill, or excitement won’t last forever. It’s just a momentary surge. Then laugh at it. You’ll feel better right away.
- Practice breathing. Sometimes the laugh needs a partner, something to soothe, calm, and enable you to think more clearly. Try taking 10 deep breaths. Even in conversation, most of the time silence works in your favor. While you concentrate on breathing, others will reveal more of their thoughts and views and you will better prepare to voice your own ideas.
- Believe in possibility. Former US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Most of the things worth doing in this world had been declared impossible before they were done.” To be the person who does the things worth doing, you must not accept impossible. You must believe relentlessly, against all odds, against the better judgment of friends, family, colleagues, and “experts” that what you envision can be done.
- Channel your hero. Even heroes get stuck. What then? I suggest you look to your hero for the answer. Who inspires you? Whose ideas do you respect? Who is the best innovator you know? Next time you feel stuck, ask yourself what that person would do in your situation. Often you will find that when you can’t come up with your own answers, you will find more creative solutions when you think as someone else.
- Take one step. Being a hero can be tough. Some tasks are too big to even contemplate. If thinking of the end goal is overwhelming, focus on the starting place. All you really need to do today is take one step to move you forward. Sometimes taking a single step is an incredibly heroic act.
It’s not easy being the hero. Of course, it’s not easy being the victim either, and being the hero comes with a lot more fringe benefits. Next time the world seems stacked against you, think of it as your time to shine. And always remember to be the hero.
Resources You Can Use
Leading Principles.com (Web site)
Top 100 Minds on Personal Development (PDF)
Be the Hero: Three Powerful Ways to Overcome Challenges in Work and Life (Book)