For those of you who have been paying attention, and those of you who haven’t, things are looking up. It is a new day inside and out (well, metaphorically speaking in some places), but the doldrums of the past few years are melting away. If you are feeling the resurgent optimism, keep riding the wave. If not, maybe you just need a little help, and that’s what I’m writing about today. Here are four tips you can to bring out your Inner Hero:
Tip #1: Focus on Your Process
One of the best ways to maintain an optimistic view of yourself and your path is to focus on the fact that you have a path. The truth is, we live in a results-obsessed world where people often use their ends to justify their means, this can lead to all sorts of bad outcomes. Instead of focusing exclusively on the results, focus on your journey. We are all people in process. None of us stands still. We are always moving towards something and when we take the time to remember that, it helps us accept the parts of ourselves that we want to develop further.
There is inspiration everywhere to remind us of our possibilities. I personally like to read the inspiring quotes tweeted by @yourpocketguru @BigDreamFuel and @RockChristopher on Twitter. But if quotes aren’t your thing, just look around you for inspiration. If you live in a place where there is a lot of nature this is easy, but even if you live in the urban jungle like me, there is inspiration in the concrete and stone. Sometimes when I walk to work I like to think about the people who carved the details of the stone gargoyles on the buildings, just to appreciate the care and effort they must have put into their craft.
This is actually two tips in one -- a bonus tip!
Part 1: Act Decisively
The first part of moving like you mean it involves moving decisively. Many of us deliberate about decisions ad infinitum as though the world was hinging on it. More often than not, what we decide is not as significant as we think it will be. There are few decisions in this life that are unchangeable (though they do exist) and even fewer that rise to the level of code red emergencies. Try to remember this because when you get in the habit of making decisions and executing you will, by definition, spend more of your life in a state of action, and action is good.
Part 2: Use your Body to Improve your Mood and Confidence
This is one of these easy to do things that really works, yet very few people actually do it. In fact, this simple strategy, long known by research psychologists has begun to catch on in the mainstream. A new book (a very optimistic book I might add) out by J.J. Ramberg and her colleagues at MSNBC’s Your Business, called It’s Your Business suggests that when you are feeling less confident you can move your body is certain ways to help you feel better. Ramberg suggests that readers try poses that take up a lot of physical space and sit behind the desk with their legs up “CEO Style” to help feel more confident, especially before high-pressure meetings or presentations.
Giving of yourself is one of the best things you can do to find your inner hero. Giving is a form of charity—and charity is an absolute good. You can give charity for noble reasons or less lofty aims, but it doesn’t really matter. Charity is a good. Period. Full stop. It doesn’t matter why you do it, it only matters that you do it. Giving is an act of heroism but I will share a couple of other reasons to give freely of yourself to others:
First, donating a part of yourself forges a connection between you and those around you. It creates positive energy—the type of energy that helps get you unstuck and moving forward in your life.
Second, giving of yourself will set an example for other people, who appreciate your generous and noble gesture. Their vision of you can become an inspiration for a new vision of yourself. When others see you as larger than yourself you will begin to do so too, and a positive cycle has begun.