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5 Valuable Lessons Only Learned From Comic Books

5 Valuable Lessons Only Learned From Comic Books

I love comic books. I’ve loved them since I was five years old. Over the years, I have often wondered what it is about them that I enjoy so much. I have thought about it for days, weeks, and months without ever finding the answer. Recently, I sat down to read one of my favorites, and while I was reading, it hit me. Suddenly, I knew exactly what it is that I enjoy so much. To my surprise, there isn’t any one character or theme that explains it. It is actually because of the subliminal messages that can be found buried in their pages.

Tough topics

Topics like racism, drug and alcohol abuse, and sexism are too often considered taboo. In that case, is a person who suffers from any one of these meant to suffer alone? The comic industry doesn’t think so, and over the years it has done an admirable job of speaking up. They have created entire story arcs designed help raise awareness for each of the above problems.

Because of the unique platform comic books have, you and I are able to see life from different viewpoints.

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Real-world issues

Comic books have become an outlet for writers and artists to get their opinions into the market. Real-world issues are highlighted throughout their pages, and it is the comic books that aren’t afraid of these topics that have become the most sought after and memorable comics in history. Just off the top of my head, I can think of references in comic books to the Suez crisis, PETA, buried landmines, world hunger, safe sex, and feminism.

Comics do what most of the world can’t. While the world struggles to find a politically correct way to bring these issues to the forefront, comic book writers are thinking of the next topic to highlight. Unlike most platforms, the comic industry does not fear the implications of its actions, and so comic books say what the world needs to hear.

Take note and don’t be afraid to speak up.

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Everybody has problems

On your worst day, you aren’t the only one struggling. Peter Parker is a teenager trying to find his place in the world, all while dealing with the everyday crises that are involved in being Spider-Man. Clark Kent is a man with two very different identities. As Superman, he must cope with being the epitome of all that is good, while as Clark, he juggles his normal life.

Just like Peter and Clark, you are forced to juggle two very different worlds: your professional life and your personal life. Yes, it is hard and yes, it can be overwhelming. Remember this: people all over this planet live on next to nothing, barely able to scrape by. They sometimes go days without water and even longer without food.

No matter how hard you perceive your life to be, someone, somewhere is much worse off.

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You can make a difference

We all want to change the world, but so very few of us do. While most think that changing the world is impossible, the ones who actually create change understand that anything is possible. The question is, “How?”

Take some time to figure out what your definition of “world” is. Is it your street? Neighborhood? City? Country? The entire planet? And what change do you want to create? Whatever it is, define it. Write it down, and repeat it to yourself daily. From there, equip yourself with the knowledge, people, and resources to make it happen. It isn’t as hard as you might think.

If Superman can make Metropolis a better place, you can make your world a better place too.

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Never give up

C.S. Lewis famously said, “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” Comic book heroes suffer hardships more than any other characters in history. They lose allies, battles, and their health, all while creating a better world. Heed that lesson. Learn from it. A future… your future is worth fighting for.

When life knocks you down, get right back up and continue moving.

Featured photo credit: Flickr.com via flickr.com

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Joel a Scott

Writer/Blogger

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnancy in life, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help.

Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

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1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths.

Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation.

What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem.

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If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave.

Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future.

These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

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4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’re 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward.

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Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years.

On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

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Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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