Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to Become a Superhero

If you’re struggling with motivation, or you’re just getting started on your quest to level up and you’re intimidated, building a superhero version of yourself could be the jump start you need. Here’s why:


Whether they’re in video games, comic books, or movies, superheroes are so awesome because they can do the impossible, giving us a chance to escape the real world and live vicariously through them. They’re lighting fast, incredibly strong, and invincible; they can fly, stop bullets, and scale buildings. They’re brave as hell and enjoy walking into dire situations with a giant smile. They beat the crap out of any adversary, save the girl/world/dog from certain death, and then brush it off with some witty double entendre.

I saw the superhero movie, 'Kick-Ass', about two months ago and it raised an intriguing question – "Just because we're not superhuman, can we lead a super heroic life?" I believe the answer is YES! I also believe that we can become our own superhero in 5 easy steps! (Okay, they're not super easy, but anyone can do it.) No rippling muscles, awesome brain power, or fancy gadgets needed. The only ingredients needed are a dedicated mindset and the will to COMMIT and take ACTION!

Superheroes are bad-ass mofos, and it’s time for you to become one too!

1. Decide what you want to accomplish - You might be overweight, out of shape, scared to leave your house, and embarrassed about your life. However, you can create an alter ego that is the exact opposite of those things, and that’s the person that will turn things around. Just think of all of the scenarios that play out in your quest to get in shape:
  • You might give up two miles into a race because you’re tired. Your alter ego would push through the pain and finish.
  • You might quit your weight-lifting session early because you had a rough day at the office. Your alter ego would get angry (and you wouldn’t like him/her when he/she is angry), get motivated, and power through the rest of the workout.
  • You might be incredibly self-conscious. Your alter ego isn’t self-conscious in the slightest, thanks to a “costume” and persona that is different from how you normally dress and act. If people can’t recognize you, there’s no need to be self-conscious, right?

Make the superhero version of yourself do all of the things that you’re afraid of or struggling with. Why? Because superheroes attack problems in way different ways than a normal cube-farm dweller. That’s why they exist – to do stuff that ordinary people can’t.

2) Determine your persona - I usually spend my time working on fitness related materials – blogging, developing fitness programs, reading books, answering emails, writing articles, and updating my Facebook page. I’m always really happy, easy going and smiling. However, things change whenever I go to the gym.

I throw on my uniform - a workout t-shirt, shorts, cross-trainer shoes, ball cap, and a permanent scowl. I throw on my headphones, I jump around between sets to pump myself up, and get this crazy look in my eyes before every set. I become a much stronger, fierce and more determined version of me, and it WORKS! This is the time to take care of business and get it done!

What about you? Some superheroes have elaborate costumes to hide their identity. Others like Superman simply remove their glasses and throw on some spandex and suddenly nobody can recognize them. Some people become funny and confident when they transform; others become more business-like and hardcore. Some like to work together in groups. Others like to work alone.

Your alter ego can be whatever you want it to be, so dream big, and reach for the sky. Each day, as you shed your shirt, tie, or skirt and high heels from the office, you’re transforming. As you start to put on your workout clothes, your daily worries, troubles at home, and anxiety about tomorrow’s presentation cease to exist for the time being – you’re now a superhero and you have bigger fish to fry.

As you’re getting prepped and ready, imagine your pre-workout ritual being filmed with dramatic camera angles and inspiring music playing. If Tony Stark (Ironman) can have a montage, why can you?

3) Pick a theme song - While transitioning from my normal self to my Super Self, I always turn on music to get fired up. My songs of choice are something along the lines of Alice In Chains, Deftones, Sevendust or some other rock band/music - it puts me in the right frame of mind to get me amped up, get my game-face on and go kick some ass!

Get yourself a montage pump-up song. After that, make sure you have some other songs that can be used for the other super dramatic or action-filled moments of your super hero life.

4) Decide what you stand for - What are you fighting for? Superman adheres to a strict moral code when dealing with crime, fighting to protect Lois Lane and save Earth. Batman does everything in his power to clean up the streets of Gotham, striking fear in the hearts of would-be criminals and thieves.

Whenever I lift weights, the “Fitness Rebellion” is in the front of my mind. I exercise to inspire and motivate, because you inspire and motivate me. It’s easy to fight with conviction when you have something worth fighting for.

We’re all different, we all have unique talents and abilities, and we’re all dealing with our own 'Kryptonite' – things which I define as being toxic to our overall well being. We’re also all fighting for the same cause: to become better people, to help those around us, and to leave the world a better place for our kids. We have certain standards that we must live up to, and we know that with each others’ support we can create a movement that is more powerful than anything this world has seen.

We’re the good guys, and we want you on our side!

5) Live the code - The superhero code is pretty simple, though it trips a lot of us up. It basically tells us to not be bad guys. Superheroes sacrifice to protect others. They use their powers for good. They don't cheat or lie (maliciously) or steal or take advantage of people. They are good role models, and they do the right things, even when no one is watching.

Again, nobody's perfect, but our choices in life become far simpler when we set the standards for our own character and engage the daily struggle not to violate them. Gossip about my neighbor? I don't think so. Let a friend down who's counting on me? I'd have to have a very good reason. Cheat on my taxes? Of course not. Leave a cat in a tree? How tall is the tree?! No....wait....heck no! I'd at least call somebody.

There are, obviously, other super heroic steps we can take, but these are the 'Fantastic 5' you might start with. Take them out for a spin and see how high you can fly.

I challenge you to create an alter ego for yourself. Think up a cool name, pick a theme song, pick your uniform, and pick your special power.

Now…let’s do this!

-AR (which not signify my initials, but I’m ‘Always Ready’ for action!)

P.S. If you’re interested in attaining a ‘Superhero Manual’ to get things started in the right direction, then you need to check out Nate Green’s site -www.thenategreenexperience.com. Click HERE to get your FREE copy of his “Hero Handbook”.

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