I love this phrase - "Be the hero of your own story" - but until recently I haven't really thought about what it means. If you want to be the hero of your own story, what do you need to do?
Attribution: Pixabay - alan9187
Heroes carry out the main actions
A hero in a movie carries out the main actions. Maybe they listen to the advice of others, but in the end it is they who carry them out.
Attribution: Flickr - John Ragai
To be the hero of your own story you want to be active. You work to get that promotion, to get the girl or guy and earn money. There is nothing in your life that you didn't earn. You don't wait around hoping governments, managers, colleagues or friends will fix the problem, and you certainly don't sit around complaining. You fix it yourself.
Heroes make the key decisions
One of the key characteristics of a hero is that they will make a decision. In Hollywood movies they usually manage to make the best decisions all the time. But my favourite movies have the main characters making wrong decisions or having to put a lot of effort in before they can make a decision.
Attribution: Flickr - Julia Manzerova
Do you make the key decisions in your life? It doesn't mean you don't listen to advice or work with other people; what it means is, did you choose where you live, what you do for a living and how you spend your weekends? If so, you are the hero of your own journey.
Heroes shrug off injury and hurt
One of the classic action hero lines from the 1980s was "I don't have time to bleed!" The hero is shot, stabbed, beaten and just keeps on going when a normal human would be lying on the floor shaking with the symptoms of shock.
Attribution: Flickr - r. nial bradshaw
If you are the hero of your story then things like colds and being upset don't make you quit. Instead you keep going. Meanwhile ordinary people cry over that failed relationship, complain about work problems or stop what they are doing for a sore throat.
Heroes stick to a set of values
If there is one thing that defines a hero more than anything else, it's the values that they hold and that they fight to keep and fulfill them. True heroes reflect the best values of society, while an anti-hero possesses the negative values that we desire.
Attribution: Pixabay - Johnhain
To be hero of your own life you need to work out your values and live them. You must be prepared to lose friends, your job or even be arrested for your values. But generally it means being a good person in your life, even when it is difficult.
Everyone wants to be the hero
While the hero saves the day, is rewarded and gets the girl, that isn't why we want to be the hero. After all the hero doesn't get the rewards until they have faced pain and struggle. The villain usually has all those things already and could keep them if they didn't go out and be too evil. Rather we want to be the hero because of what they do and be who they are.
Attribution: Flickr - Ryan C
So be the person that you want to be. If you are the hero of your own story you will find others want to be like you. If you are working a dull but stable job and watching TV on the weekends people probably don't want to be you. But if you are living your dream then you are likely to be not only your own hero but other people's as well.