As you may recall, somewhat surprisingly (at least to me!) was the fact that he didn’t tell us to study the lives of saints so we could soak in their natural-born awesomeness per se.
He told us to study the lives of saints so we can see JUST HOW HARD THEY HAD TO WORK TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES THEY ALL FACED.
(Goosebumps as I typed that.)
Here’s what’s interesting.
That’s EXACTLY what I see when I look most deeply at the Heroic portraits on my wall.
Yes, I find all of my Heroes and who they became in service to the world deeply inspiring.
What hits me MOST powerfully (ESPECIALLY when the Heroic gods are having an especially good time pushing me!), is to feel JUST HOW HARD THEY HAD TO WORK TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES THEY ALL FACED.
Viktor Frankl overcame and Heroically alchemized the horrors of the holocaust to bring us his wisdom. Epictetus overcame slavery and being partially crippled to bring us his wisdom. Aurelius endured interminable wars and challenges to play his role well and bring us his wisdom.
Abraham Lincoln endured the horrors of the Civil War to preserve our union. Abraham Maslow cooked his hero bars while Mister Rogers experienced his tortures of the damned. And, so did Eleanor Roosevelt—who used the same intense language to describe her battles with fear. Churchill endured his darkest hours and NEVER GAVE IN.
All that to say…
It’s easy to look at our heroes and see perfection.
It’s also super-unhealthy to stop there.
Donald Robertson and I talked about this in a recent Heroic Chat with Masters.
He told us that “mastery modeling” (in which you focus on how great someone is and how not-so-great you are!) can lead to despair at the idea you can never be like them.
“Coping modeling” in which you (goosebumps) see JUST HOW HARD THEY HAD TO WORK TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES THEY ALL FACED is super-empowering.
That’s Today’s +1.
Think of your heroes.
Think of JUST HOW HARD THEY HAD TO WORK TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGES THEY ALL FACED.
Then know that if they can conquer their obstacles, SO CAN YOU.
Then let’s commit to working JUST AS HARD as we cultivate OUR Heroic strength for two and give the world all we’ve got.