Everyone is a superhero.
But as we step out of our cozy homes into the ‘real world’ of school desks, work cubicles, and coffee shops, not everyone stands tall, cape blowing in the wind. Not everyone is a benevolent spandex-wearing fighter of crime, tearing through the night to rid our world of evil.
Yet, we grow up with Disney, Dr. Seuss, and Mom & Dad telling us to do what we love. Prompted with the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up” used to spur little kid dreams of Operation buzzes, pitching for a major league team, or winning gold at the olympics. But if we don’t fit into the costumes of our world’s conventional superheros, our dreams get pushed to the side. The dust settles, and we look back to see our souls traded for a paycheck or degree. A few ticks of the clock of life, sacrificed for a token of success that we don’t particularly care about.
It hurts me that the #1 regret of the dying is that they wished they would have been more true to themselves and followed what they loved. Yes, they wished they’d spent more time with loved ones. Yes, they regretted working so much too. But on their deathbed, the #1 thing people expressed deep remorse for was not the hardships of life, it was simply to have set their own compass and follow it. I can’t imagine sitting on my deathbed and thinking,
I wish I’d had the courage to live a live true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
That scares the shit out of me – and it’s incredible that despite this, so many people seem to repress their big or small dreams to conform to everyone else. The nurse who wrote a book on this subject followed this by saying:
This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
We live in a world of zombies.
Fear and a culture of conformity have smashed the dreams we once held so dear. We’ve confined ourselves to think that conventional lives are the only option on the table – and being adventurous and reflective enough to find a life we love just isn’t conventional. This vicious cycle kills that little kid inside of us, awaking our inner desire to ‘do what’s right’. But I don’t believe in sitting on my deathbed and regretting anything.
You’ve seen the victims…
They’re some of our bankers and baristas, our friends and our family. They sit next to us in class or on the bus whining and complaining, not satisfied reporting to duty every day for a life they don’t love. They’re students and they make 6 figures. They bag our groceries and drive BMWs. They’re all around us. The scary thing is, these zombies desperately want us to join them.
They swear that once we have the job or money that defines success, we’ll be happy. Follow our tried and true prescription! It’s simple. Work hard, go to college, get a well paying job, marry, move to the suburbs, have 2.5 kids, retire at 55, then go on vacation and do all those things we’ve spent our lives dreaming about. Easy.
That’s what makes people happy, right?
For some people, cheerfully following this path like a how-to guide (hopefully +/- .5 kids) will lead them to bliss, and if that’s what truly makes them happy, that’s beautiful. But cubicles scare the shit out of me.
Everyone has something unique that lights them on fire – and it might not conform to the conventional definition of success that drives most people. This uncertainty that inherently comes with an unconventional path is scary, but we would be lying to ourselves if we don’t try to do what we love every damn day.
Life’s more fun with a cape.
The Alternative: Define our own success.
Wake up fired up, put those sexy spandex pants on, be proud of your cape, and get your benevolent ass to work doing what you love. Stop letting fear and expectations dictate to you the life others want you to live. Find what makes you come alive and go do that, because whatever dreams have been occupying the cobwebs of your mind will always tug at your heart until you dig those bad boys up and start doing what makes you happy.
If we care about our lives, we must become responsible for cultivating a life we love. That means defining out own version of success that might or might not be ‘normal’ to those around us. Once we become responsible for what we love, we must find a way to do it no matter how impossible it may seem.
It’s scary. It scares me to say this. But what experiment is more worthy?
I say this because of a simple belief: Everyone is a superhero. We all have superpowers inside of us that light us on fire and do good in the world. It’s our job to find what those superpowers are and go fight crime every damn day. If we’re not doing what we love and making other people’s lives a little better, we’re not living.
But we don’t do this just for us. Living the best damn life we can is a benevolent act, because when we let the superheroes inside of us out of their cages, people start to believe that a life doing what they love might be possible for them too. Yes, a few people look at our daily wardrobe of tight spandex and vibrant colors with confusion. They might even tell us that it’s wrong. That’s ok. The world needs more superheroes, and it’s not going to wait for the critics to stop and agree with us.
So put a cape on, do what you love, and show everyone that the impossible is possible. Live a life fired up everyday and join our movement. We’re here to help you.
One small thing… We have a dress code.
PS: If your bedsheet looks better waving with the wind on your back than on your bed, join our tribe of superheroes to the right!!
Written with love,