Becoming a superhero

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASuperheroes traditionally dominate the blockbuster motion picture ratings each summer and this one is no exception. These larger-than-life characters appeal to our kids, who idolize them and aspire to become all-powerful too. I recall a favorite summertime activity in my own childhood – sitting on the floor in the corner of our local drug store reading the latest edition of all the action comic books, especially Wonder Woman.

Their personas provide a sense of possibility for adults as well, encouraging us to dream of what we might become. With their straightforward representation of good overcoming evil, they acknowledge and celebrate excellence, honor and integrity. It may be an unrealistic depiction but we are carried away by the sheer conviction of their beliefs. The selflessness of these superheroes can motivate us to take stock of our actions and choose to become more altruistic ourselves.

You don’t need to dress up with your kids or don 3-D glasses in a movie theater to learn from these role models. Consider these 5 qualities they share and begin to apply them in your own life:

Superheroes hone their craft. Even with special abilities, it takes hard work to develop talents. Setting goals and a series of objectives to reach them provide the structure for your efforts as you strive to achieve your personal best.

Superheroes know how to manage stress. Saving the world often requires some downtime provided by personal tension relievers. Discover which relaxation techniques work best for you – exercise, deep breathing, laughter – and draw on the knowledge that preparation creates a calm approach to problem solving.

Superheroes believe in themselves. Self-confidence is a hallmark of action heroes as they rely on their superior powers to save the day. Trust yourself to build on your own assets and character strengths. Be a role model for others by the manner you morally cope with adversity.

Superheroes utilize teamwork. When out of the ‘loner’ costumes masking their secret identities, these champions often turn to friends and family for support. Know how to express your gratitude and say thank you with empathy for the joint efforts of your own network of loyal helpers.

Superheroes can have setbacks. Even with nagging self-doubt, what sets them apart is that they don’t give up. While we may not be susceptible to Kryptonite, we are all vulnerable in certain ways. Our effectiveness in overcoming obstacles depends on the decision to keep on trying and find meaning in our endeavors. Having a plan B and an optimistic attitude can help you face challenges.

Whether you find your role models on the big screen, in graphic novels or in your own backyard, these traits are ones to emulate, helping you become your own superhero.

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