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15 Steps for Creating Your Hero’s Path

15 Steps for Creating Your Hero’s Path

Go ahead and peek! I won’t tell anyone! Look under your first two shirt buttons and see if there is a bright blue spandex superhero suit underneath.

You don’t see it yet? Don’t worry. You will!

Any one of us can be a hero. Let’s go even further. Any one of us can be a Super Hero. We just need to know how. The path is there but is hidden under the thick vines and thorns of false information and confusion. No problem. Follow me as we part the thorns and discover the true path hidden underneath.

1) Know who and what you are.

Superheros know that they are different. They know that they are not quite human and see things differently than many of those around them. They have a higher responsibility level than ordinary human beings because they know how powerful they are.

The first thing one must realize when one decides to assume superhero status is that there is a part of us that is flesh and bone and another part, a much more powerful but suppressed part of us that is divine. It is the breath of God. It is the life force, the Elan Vital and it is us.

One who knows this and embraces it, knows that he has a deep responsibility. I am not talking about responsibility as blame of self or others, but just plain responsibility for making things right. We have that power and if you seek super hero status, you must embrace who you really are and accept all of the power inherent in you.

2) Understand that you really do know best.

You may not want to face the truth of certain situations but on some level you KNOW what is really going on and what is the correct action.

I once heard someone say, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” If you are confused about what actions or directions are best, just be the rising tide. Lift those around you as much as you possibly can and you will be lifted.

3) Know that some of the things you are learning now may be skills needed by your future self.

Steve Jobs talked about how he learned all kinds of random skills and when he started up Apple, they all seemed to come together. I personally believe that it is our future selves talking when we have a mad desire to learn or do something new. Never stop learning! Be curious about everything! Skills have a habit of coming in handy when you least expect it.

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4) Understand what fear is.

There are two types of fear. One is fear of something that is a real threat or danger. This fear is to be heeded and acted upon to avoid catastrophe.

The other type of fear comes from past pain. Past pain is just that—PAST pain. It has no bearing on the present and has a tendency to make us shut down and back away, even if the circumstances are completely different than the circumstances surrounding the pain we once felt.

This makes us paralyzed, and some people are paralyzed to the point that they never leave their houses. This fear is not helpful in that it is way too sweeping and prohibits you from seeing things in the present. You may not see that the circumstances are different. You may not even see that your fear stems from a completely different and long forgotten situation.

If your fear is non specific and is fear of something that will not cause you imminent collapse, conquer your fear and move ahead.

You will also find that fear diminishes greatly in the face of control of a situation. Control comes from skill and knowledge.

Find out what you are really afraid of, face it and learn as much about it as you can. Then go do what you need to do.

5) Be in good communication with all aspects of your life.

Unpleasant occurrences are a lot less likely to sneak up on you if you are in communication with the people and environment around you. When you look at people and things in your present time environment, look at them in THE PRESENT.

So many times we look at situations and see them as the same as those awful ones that have occurred in the past. Whenever you start telling yourself that “this has happened before,” understand that this is not true. Situations that are in the future have not happened before. It is a new instance; try to see it as such. This does not mean that one should make the same mistakes over and over, but look at each situation newly as they rise up in front of you.

6) Understand people

People have a tendency to seem confusing, but they are not that incomprehensible. The best way to understand your fellow man is to listen to him. Everyone has a story and some are quite amazing. Listen to everyone’s story and you will start to get an idea of what even the average Joe has been through and what he is about.

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I have recently been taking part in a radio show where we have live callers. On our show we talked to a man who is now a real estate broker. We found out that he had been in wars and has traveled extensively. He has been rich and lost everything several times. He has seen some things we only dream about or have nightmares about. Yet, he walks among us as one of us. Scratch the surface of your fellows. They are really quite remarkable.

7) Keep your integrity

I wrote a recent blog on my website about the importance of integrity and how several times this life I have lost everything, but knew I was correct in walking away because I kept my integrity.

The definition of “Integrity” is twofold:

First, it is adherence to a moral or ethical code (“Moral” meaning a code that one has agreed to and “Ethical,” meaning it is what one knows inherently is right)

The second definition of “Integrity” is wholeness, or freedom from blemish.

If you look at it, the first definition is a recipe that results in the second definition. You can remain whole, unblemished and perfect if you stick like glue to your own personal ethical code.

If you have strayed and are divided against yourself, you can find your way back by outlining your ethical code and sticking to it.

No one is too far gone to heal himself. Ever.

8) Respect yourself as much or more than the person you respect the most in your life.

When one is given respect, unless one is very confused, one strives to be worthy of respect. Respect yourself. Stand up for yourself. Defend yourself as you would someone you dearly love. Never say anything to yourself you would even think about saying to someone you love.

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One of the biggest scams going in society today is the idea that you have to be “humble” by putting yourself down. You can’t “show off” your talents. I completely disagree. You damage yourself by making yourself smaller and the only ones you please are those who profit by your small stature. Grow into a giant. Encourage others to grow into giants. We need way more giants than weak men right now.  Only the weakest among us will try to keep you small.

9) Be compassionate with those in pain but never let them be victims.

This world is a harsh place. There is no disguising that fact. We all get knocked down and knocked down hard. We all deserve compassion and a helping hand when we need it.

that said, we do a disservice to those who spend their lives being victimized. What they are saying is that they are too small, too weak and too degraded to survive on their own. Anyone, in their eyes is better than they  are. If you agree with them that they are helpless, you convince them that it is so.

Look at kids who have had everything given to them. Most of them are manifesting incompetence in life. They feel that they cannot contribute because they have not learned how. Then look at those who have worked for what they have. They have learned to be resourceful. They have self respect and know they can get by on their own. They better understand their personal value.

There are some unfortunate people who have been hit very hard by life to the point that they feel they will never recover. When you meet someone like that, by all means help them and provide support, but find out what they can do and invite them to do it, even if it is a tiny thing.

It is a horrible awful thing when one loses his self respect and decides that he is no use to anyone. Help him get back his self respect and see that he has value. We inherently equate our value with what we can contribute to others. If we feel that we can contribute nothing, well, that is a very painful place to live.

10) Never give up no matter what.

The only winners are those who never give up. When hit with adversity, decide whether you need to change your game plan, but don’t give up your goal. Those who stand with you are your friends. Those who try to sow doubts about yourself are not.

11) Always have a goal even a small one.

Your goals in life are the things that move you forward in the time stream toward a better life for yourself and others. Don’t let past experiences shape you; let future experiences that you, yourself have placed in the future, shape you. You will be a lot happier and healthier.

12) Always have dreams, lots of dreams, no matter how old you are.

Our futures and those of others around us are created in the form of dreams. You never know when the opportunity might arise to make one or more come true.

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13) Be willing to change.

It does not make you wrong if you change.  If you decide that your entire life is not what you want it to be for whatever reason, it does not mean that your current or past life was invalid, wrong or not what you wanted at that time. A certain amount of volatility is inherent in us, and there is nothing wrong with a high level of volatility when it is accompanied by a high level of responsibility.

14) Explore alternate viewpoints.

There is nothing more interesting to me than other people’s universes. The way they have constructed their lives, who they are, what they have been through and how they have crafted their views is my fascination. When you view these things objectively and without prejudice, you learn about people and about yourself. Don’t be afraid to find out.

15) Understand that failure is not failing.

It is extremely rare for a person who is trying something entirely new to succeed on the first try, or the second, or the third. This is not failure. Failure is giving up in disgust and taking your ball and going home. The people at the top of their fields worked hard, lost ground, gained it back and lost it again before finally arriving where they are. Failure is only and ever what you decide it to be and if you decide it doesn’t exist, that is legitimate too.

A final word of advice.

Once you have decided to be whatever type of hero you want to be, you must embrace this path wholeheartedly. Your purpose in life is so important that it cannot be halfway accepted for you to be well and happy.

I have personal experience with this. I have had many different careers in my life. Some have aligned pretty well with my true purpose, which is to ally myself with the heroes I see who really want to change this world and make it better, and to reach all the people of earth and help in whatever way I can, to bring them up to a much higher level of survival. Other careers I have had have been wildly off track.

Until I found and embraced who I really was and the correct method in fulfilling my purpose, I was dissatisfied, tired, and to some degree, jaded.

I had to stop hiding and agreeing with people who felt that I must be limited. It was a huge responsibility and a giant amount of wor,k but I have found that it is the only way I can be happy.

Look carefully. Find out what your TRUE purpose is. It may be huge and if so, don’t back away. Embrace it for all the amazing future wins, possible losses and scary situations it contains. When you find it and when you embrace it, you will be solidly on the hero’s path and nothing can strike you off.

Good luck. Please write me from time to time on your journeys and tell me how it is going!

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Chris Ellis

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

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Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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