#1619 Areté +1° #81: Targeted Thinking (Part II)

How to Move from Victim to Hero

Hi, this is Brian.

Welcome back to another Areté +1°, a micro-chapter from Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential.

451 micro-chapters like this.


One of the best little books you’ve probably never heard of is called The Power of TED* by David Emerald.

It’s a little fable with some big wisdom.

The basic idea goes something like this: There are two primary orientations with which we can show up in the world: as a Victim or as a Creator.

If you’re a Victim, you perceive life’s challenges (and challengers) as “Persecutors.” Then you look for “Rescuers” to save you from life’s challenges. David calls that the “Dreaded Drama Triangle” or “DDT” for short.


We ALL spend WAY more time in that triad than we’d like to admit.

The other orientation? You can be a Creator.

When you’re living from a Creator orientation, you see those very same challenges (and challengers) for what they are: “Challengers.” Rather than try to get rescued (by someone or some addictive behavior), you seek “Coaches” who can support you in creating the life you want.

David calls that triad “The Empowerment Dynamic,” or “TED” for short.

We could talk about that for a very long time.

For now, I want to focus on the ONE QUESTION that helps us IMMEDIATELY (!) move from Victim to Creator.

It’s surprisingly simple and equally powerful.

Here it is: “What do I want?”

The Victim complains and complains and complains (and criticizes and blames and gossips and whines and…).

The Creator cuts through all that nonsense and asks: “WHAT DO I WANT?”

That’s how we make the shift from Victim to Creator.

To go from Victim to Creator to HERO, we need to add a follow-up question.

Here it is: “Now what needs to be done?”

Put those two questions together and we have what I call Targeted Thinking.

Question #1: “What do I want?”

Question #2: “Now what needs to be done?”

Those two questions help us move from Victim to Creator to Hero while remaining grounded in reality AND getting us ready to focus on what needs to get done.

To recap: When facing ANY and EVERY challenge (that tempts you to get negative and start complaining, etc.), the first question to ask is: “What do I want?”

That provides a TARGET for our minds. When we get clarity on that target, the next question is simple and brings us to the task at hand: “Now what needs to be done?”

Life is challenging us? Perfect.

“What do I want?” Target set.

“Now what needs to be done?” Aim taken.

Then, most importantly, go do what needs to be done.

Targeted Thinking. Try it. It works.

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