Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Resolve to be a Hero

I love movies. I not only enjoy the spectacle, the humor, drama and music, I find it satisfying to absorb the moral of the story through the comfort of a cushy seat in an air conditioned theater.

Movies, like sports, give you the chance to root, root, root for the home team, without risking your own neck. And that is a good thing, especially for me. If my heroics were the theme of a movie, I can safely say there would be no sequel. I doubt I’d defuse the bomb in time, the Red Queen would have my head, and I’d be reluctant to jump into the bubbling and short-circuiting Hot Tub Time Machine. “Can someone please call an electrician?”

I’m a big fan of the under dog (still rooting for the Chicago Cubs) and I never tire of the ongoing movie theme of the reluctant hero rising to the occasion and saving the day. I also use the morals, or theme of a movie, as a guide in my life. Great one-liners become my credo.

For instance, I just saw the movie, Alice in Wonderland. There is a line of dialogue, “Think of six impossible things before breakfast.” I have edited this for my own purposes to three impossible things. I’m not satisfied with thinking of unachievable (or seemingly ridiculous) feats, I come up with three that I’m determined to accomplish. This year I’ve accomplished two - publishing my book and hitting a home run in softball. Both of these endeavors have not just taken me years to achieve, they have taken decades.

I probably could have shaved years off completing these goals if I had put 100% of my passion and determination into it, but I got a little sloppy. After all, there are so many things one has to do in a day and it is easy to become distracted. But the one thing I do have is persistence. Some would describe it as “bull-headed or stubborn” but I’m taking the high road here.

However, when I look back on the many seemingly impossible things I have accomplished, there is one ingredient that has always been there – a burning resolve to succeed. These are not tasks I said I would TRY to do. It is something I determined I WOULD accomplish, no matter what. It’s more than a choice of words, it a determination that sparks an electrifying passion in my gut – like heart burn, but in a good way.

In addition to movies, inspiring books have the same effect on me. They are a motivating tool. It’s like putting high octane fuel in my tank. The thing is, we have lots of choices we can make every day. We can choose to read, hear and listen to things that can inspire us, or we can surround ourselves with sadness and sorrow. There are plenty of examples of both in the world.

That is not to say that we should bury our head in the sand when something disturbing occurs. We can whine and bemoan the situation, or we can determine to face our difficulties head-on with a gut-busting determination to win.

I was on a radio show recently talking about the importance of erasing negativity and embracing optimism. One of the questions was, “Isn’t optimism a form of denial?” I get that question a lot. My answer is, “Optimism is a way to approach situations with an eye on success.”

So my advice is to wake up in the morning, take a few moments to think of some things that you are grateful for, then make a firm resolve to accomplish three, four, five or however many impossible things you want to accomplish. You can get your spark from talking to optimistic people, reading a motivational book, or even watching an inspirational movie. In the final analysis, the important thing to remember is that you are the one writing the script of your life, and you have the power to make it a tragedy, melodrama, comedy or a triumph.

Now go listen to the theme from Rocky and accomplish something great.

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