It seems that in these days of war, conflict, and challenge there are those that emerge as heroes. They give or risk their careers, their families and even their lives in the service of others.
It is humbling and inspiring - all in the same moment. We eulogize them and honor them, but at the same time they leave questions in our own minds. 'Would I be as brave?' 'Would I sacrifice myself in the heat of battle to save others or would I be looking to cover my own behind?'
The thing about heroes is that they set high standards for the rest of us. Do they do it consciously? I don't know. But I do know that each person responds, in the heat of pressure, based upon how they have been conditioned, drilled, and disciplined. I maintain that every single person reading this has a hero inside them. A hero to your team, to your community, to your kids... a hero to yourself. If and when it ever shows up is a giant question mark.
In the Line of Fire
Do you have to give your life in order to exercise that strength? No!
But you do have to position yourself to be in the line of fire in whatever your endeavors are. It could be driving your business to a bigger game. It could be making a presentation that has more on the line than ever before. It could be intervening with the school in order to protect and maximize the education of your kids. It is NOT about 'getting by' or striving for comfort.
There are two parts to being a hero. The first is putting yourself in the line of fire. The second is conditioning yourself for that day when you will be called upon to step up to the plate. You have been spending your whole life training for something! What is it? In my work over the years, I have found that the challenge and moment of greatness sometimes shows up when you least expect it. Whether or not you seize that moment depends upon what you have done up to that point.
Can You Seize the Moment?
Have you practiced your presentations, drilled the tough objections, worked out at the gym? Have you diligently driven your standards higher and demanded better team players along the way...or have you been "nice" to yourself and those around you and allowed what was "okay" before to be "okay" now - and in the future?
I work with so many people who have great aspirations. But they don't realize them for a couple reasons. The usual reasons are what I call the "Three Cs": No credibility, no cash, and no confidence. The real issue is the third "C" - Confidence. And that is really simple. Confidence comes from tons of repetition.
You can try to kid yourself... and try to pump yourself up, but that will fade quickly in the eye of the storm. It is truly the repetition of the critical skills and disciplines that will allow you to automatically step up to the plate when your opportunity calls.
Believe in Yourself
At some point in your career you must believe that there IS a hero inside of you. You would not be inspired by others if they didn't tickle a place inside of you that vibrates to the same vibration as they do. In the last two-day program that we did, I literally watched as the hero inside of each person ultimately mustered the courage to step up and actually experience the greatness inside them if even for a few moments. The good news is that they will never go back. To command bigger checks, it requires greater confidence and courage.
Most of those folks have already experienced bigger checks, greater receptivity, bigger games, and - most of all - the incredible power inside them.
Born to Be Great
Heroes touch us because they remind us of who we could be. We are inspired by them because they pose questions to all of us. "Who could I be?" You were born to be great. It's not about being splashed on the front page of the paper. It's about what you do in your very next breathing moment. It's either preparing like you have never prepared before or it's about stepping into the line of fire. Mostly, it's about doing it for the betterment of others: your family, your business, your market, and in some way for humanity. At the minimum it sets an example for others to follow.
Nearly every evening for the last couple of years, before my eight year-old goes to bed I tell him a story about a "hero." Each night the tale is different. Each night he asks me the name of the hero. I always tell him that when I tell the last story, I will tell him. He begs for those stories every night. They are stories of valor, overcoming unbelievable challenge, supporting others selflessly, respect and mostly how those feats are accomplished through great practice and preparation. Some are based on real stories of real people and tons of them are made up.
But when I leave the house before he wakes up and leave him a note to be a great "hero" today... he knows exactly what I mean. Do you?
It's in you...it's your choice, Right now!