Who are you a 'hero' to? Who looks up to you? Who is inspired by you? Who relies on you to turn up as the best version of you everyday?
Your child? Your parents? Your partner? Your boss? Your friends?
It's not a question asked very often.
Easier to think of the people we aspire to be like - the historical or blockbuster heroes of movie dreams come true.
The person who overcomes any obstacles in their way to help and serve others. The hero who finds their own path - despite the odds.
- The woman who survives a crippling disease and goes on to do great things.
- The icon famously shunned for being 'not television' worthy.
- The cash-strapped business owner using positive intentions to grow their calling.
- The over-worked and underpaid martyr who always has time for others.
Yet if you take a moment to ask yourself - "Whose hero are you/" - what do you hear?
If you're thinking 'I'm no one's hero' - think again.
Being an 'everyday hero' is about being the person who intentionally does 'the little things'. Those that make a difference in someone's life.
Nietzsch said, "All of us are potentially hero or genius - only inertia keeps us mediocre."
And it's people like Sue who works in the hospital cafe at Geelong's St John of God who gets the core of what this means.
She operates the till and never forgets a face.
Beneath turquoise shadowed eyes she serves the people who visit unwell relatives and friends in the hospital with an unruffled calm not usually found in this bustling role.
She senses her customers are searching for respite - a space to let down their smiling guard and drop the mask of upbeat lightness.
She knows the emotional flatness that comes with this state, and somehow between ringing up the day's toastie and bringing over a coffee, she relays a calm knowing, 'It's going to be ok - no matter what, it'll be ok'.
Another 'hero' I look up to is Elizabeth Layton - a woman who discovered how powerful creativity was to gaining mental wellness again and overcoming a depression that had held her captive for decades.
She used 'contour drawings' and turned them into an art form.
Because it's the small things - a look, a gesture - a presence - that lets someone know they're not alone.
The little things done mindfully that make the difference.
And this brings me to what I want to share with you.
Taking a hero's journey.
These are the moments that help us be someone's hero - or the moments that guide us through our own trials and tribulations.
As Joseph Campbell says:
"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are."
So this begs the question: "Who are you?"
Are you aware of your inner 'hero's journey' that's mapping itself throughout your life - whether you notice it or not?
Or are you ambling along waiting to meet an 'everyday hero' to see what's possible for you?
To see someone who inspires enthusiasm, passion and purpose all while 'doing the everyday'?
An unplanned life is still planned - you're just not planning it.
And you'll still reach a destination - it just may not be the one you would have planned (or desired) if you'd put some energy towards it.
Why? Because we each are on a 'hero's journey'.
We each have a role to fulfill.
And often times it's about 'getting out of your own way' that initially can be the biggest lesson to learn.
So what is a hero's journey?
One where moving from the 'ordinary world' - the everyday ho-hum - takes you to meeting a mentor (think an everyday hero) and in the process prepares you to square your shoulders to face challenges so you can rise up and be the hero you need to be.
- Perhaps to your children.
- Perhaps to your parents.
- Perhaps at work.
Maybe even to fight the bully who constantly wears you down.
One where you'll cross a threshold and finally step into the 'hero' you need to be.
You can begin today, start here.
So, is it time to begin your own hero's journey and step up to be all you can?
“The journey of the hero is about the courage to seek the depths; the image of creative rebirth; the eternal cycle of change within us; the uncanny discovery that the seeker is the mystery which the seeker seeks to know. The hero journey is a symbol that binds, in the original sense of the word, two distant ideas, the spiritual quest of the ancients with the modern search for identity, always the one, shape-shifting yet marvelously constant story that we find.”
― Phil Cousineau
Over to you - what are your thoughts on becoming 'an everyday hero'? Who are you an everyday hero for in your life? When my son was younger - he was my focus - the reason to be the best person I could be. Today, while family is still important to me - my work brings me to people who need hope and courage in their lives. I want to be a person who shows them this is possible. What about you? Leave a comment below - and of course, let me know if you'd like more posts like this by clicking 'like'. :)