How to be the Hero of your Own Story – Part Two

Are you the hero of your own story?

Heroes

Your life is your story. Your choices are your path. Don’t let someone else choose for you. Take the lead. Be your own hero!

As a writer and a student of human nature, I have the on-going pleasure of studying the many different aspects of life, our world, and its varied characters. One of the most fascinating of these is our culture’s archetypes, and heroes are arguably among of the most enduring and endearing of the archetypal class. Heroes in their myriad forms have been requisite to story, myth, and legend throughout the history of humankind. What follows is Part Two of my hero traits list… a collection of high caliber qualities and attributes I believe we can all aspire to:

  • Heroes don’t “chase” their dreams. They set goals, put a plan in place, gather the best team they can find (only those loyal to their cause), and then create their own destiny!
  • A hero knows that words have the ability to wound or heal, destroy or transform. A hero uses words carefully and speaks truth willingly. A hero is never threatened by the truth, nor defeated or dejected by someone else’s version of the truth.
  • Heroes do not seek the approval of others, their validation comes from within.
  • A hero knows that the best way to cope with failure is to immediately identify it as a “rerouting” on the path to success.
  • Heroes know that they are constantly evolving —that they can reinvent themselves whenever necessary—that for a personality, stagnation equals defeat. Forward movement equals success.
  • A hero knows that there are always two choices in a difficult situation. You can choose to be the victim or the victor. The hero always chooses the victor mentality. He knows that victimhood is the act of falling prey to one’s own defeated thinking and a belief in powerlessness.
  • Victims always wish they were somewhere else, doing something else, or with someone else. Heroes never wish they were somewhere else. If they wanted to be somewhere else they would just go.
  • A hero does not indulge in self-pity. Self-pity equals powerlessness.
  • Heroes aren’t afraid of change (unless it’s a change of clothes in a phone booth).
  • Heroes don’t waste time complaining. They focus on solutions.
  • A hero knows that it is human nature to question, and does not need to be excepted or encouraged by others in order to proceed with an intention.
  • Heroes always follow through on a promise whether made to someone else or to themselves.
  • Heroes never react to what they imagine someone else thinks, wants, or needs. They ask questions, gather data, assess the situation, and, once satisfied, act accordingly.
  • A hero knows that nothing of greatness, no true measure of happiness, no deeply satisfying accomplishment, is ever achieved without desire and faith, vision and imagination, effort and energy, courage and commitment, purpose and passion.
  • Heroes own their own potential and see the power in responsibility. Taking ownership is the highest form of focus, discipline, and direction known to man. Effortlessness is an insidious virus with the power to destroy lives.
  • A hero knows that absolute focus is the key to all great human achievement.
  • Heroes never let mistakes or failure stop them. They always try to make things right, but also know that it isn’t always possible, and forgive themselves when things don’t work out. They know the value of moving on.
  • Heroes don’t waste time responding to their critics. They take note, retain what is useful and discard what is not.
  • A hero sees every problem as a challenge and every challenge as an opportunity.
  • Heroes learn from every situation and grow into better human beings because of the experience.
  • Heroes do not compare themselves to others.
  • A hero uses their past experiences to meet the next challenge, not to judge themselves.
  • A hero doesn’t throw away any lesson. All lessons, pleasant or difficult, joyful or painful, brief or everlasting, can be drawn upon for support when facing a challenge.
  • Heroes keep an open mind when entering a new situation, and keep a watchful eye for that which can benefit them and others.
  • Life is a set of experiences. A hero does not judge. All experience is useful.
  • The hero never gives up.

The hero’s journey continues in Part III (What I Learned From Starship Captains). See you next time!

E.G.James

How To Be The Hero Of Your Own Story – Part One

hero

Want to know the BEST ADVICE I’ve ever received as a writer AND as a human being?

Here it is:

Hero Of Story 2

Be the hero of your own story! Yes! For me that means living my life by all the same principles and doctrines I hold for my protagonists like:

  • Never giving up when the going gets tough.
  • Meeting every challenge with integrity, ingenuity, and creativity.
  • Saying yes to the adventure of life and helping the people I meet along the way as much as I can.
  • It means being fiercely loyal to my true friends, being there for them no matter what, and never giving up on them when it seems all hope is lost.
  • Using my head alongside my heart and never losing site of my dreams and goals, and always remembering why I set out on this glorious journey in the first place.
  • Being open to synchronicity, serendipity and the infinite realm of possibilities.
  • Using my intuition and trusting my gut even when everyone else thinks I’m crazy.
  • It means achieving what I set out to accomplish, but also giving myself permission to alter my course and change my mind if what I thought I set out to do turns into something else.
  • Tending to the needs of my soul, in addition to the needs of mind and body.
  • Having the courage to be who I am, even if that makes me a freak, a geek, or an alien from another planet.
  • Setting my intention to wake up every morning with gratitude and a positive attitude, and look for the good in every situation.
  • It means be brave, be strong, be honest, be compassionate, be patient …not only with others but also with myself.
  • AND it means that if I fall short in my ability to achieve any of these fine attributes on any given day, that I allow myself to be human, forgive myself for my mistakes, regroup if I need to, and then say “onward!”

Getting this advice, this grand challenge—to be the hero of my own story—had such an impact on me that I spent an entire year investigating what makes a hero, determined to uncover those distinct characteristics common to all (or at least most) of our heroes today.

So I researched heroes in their myriad forms (film, books, television, comic books, and of course, some of my real life heroes as well), to chronicle the various personality traits and attributes that make up this rare breed of human.

What I found changed me. I knew if I wanted to be the hero of my own story, I had to find a way to embody these qualities and live my life in an entirely new way. The transformation is still in progress, of course, but it is a worthy adventure.

So for the next few weeks, I will be sharing what I have learned about becoming extraordinary in our everyday lives and the little changes we can render along the way that will make a big difference.

See you soon. Part Two is coming up the next week.

Elayne G. James

Author of The LightBridge Legacy Series

Whose life is it anyway?

Vintage Reflection

Have you ever met someone who had your life? The life you knew you were meant to live? Someone you meet purely by chance and strike up a conversation with to pass the time in line or at a luncheon. And in this conversation you learn this other person is living the life you should have had all along, but didn’t. You realize that somewhere along the way you turned left instead of right and ended up where you are, on the other side of the table sipping tea from the wrong cup.

I listened to this woman tell me about her life, living every dream I’ve ever had, being everything I’ve ever wanted to be, even looking exactly how I always wanted to look, and by the end of the conversation I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I couldn’t fathom how I got here, and how she got there. I looked at my life—a good life—but all I could see was how wrong everything turned out . . . all my stupid mistakes, all the bad decisions I made to lead me away from my path . . . and there, right in front of me, was the woman I would have become if only . . . if only . . . if only.

What’s worse? I liked her. She was wonderful, beautiful, graceful, kind, generous, and immensely happy. So I’m denied even the chance to be envious. How can I begrudge her the life she has so obviously deserved, and I so obviously never earned?

Yet it is mine and I walk away knowing why I do not have it . . . because she does.

Where do I go from here? Knowing someone else has my life? And tell me, whose life do I have? Will someone meet me on the road someday and say,

“You! You’re the one.

You

Have

My

Life.”

___________________________________

What is this?

Okay, so I have a folder that’s been on the desktop of every computer I’ve ever owned. I call it the Bottom Drawer. It’s where I throw all the bits and pieces of writing that pour out of my brain unattached to any story or project. The file has become quite fat over the years. I decided to go spelunking to see what I might find. I’ll be digging into this “bottom drawer” of mine for time to time, to see what I might share, grab-bag-style. This one is probably 25 or so years old transferred here exactly how it was originally written, formatting and all. Just thought it was kind of odd and interesting.