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Here’s How To Be The Superhero Of Your Story

Here’s How To Be The Superhero Of Your Story

Superman, Batman, Spiderman … what do these superheroes have in common? Well, for one they have superhuman powers we can only dream of.

However, while we may never have the ability to fly, see through walls, or shoot lasers out of our eyes, each of us has our own set of powers that are uniquely human and just as amazing. When you learn to harness them, you can create the life you’ve always dreamed of. Here’s how to be the hero of your story, starting today.

1. Stand up to the bad guys.

Superheroes all must face their fears at some point, and same goes for us. Take a stand against injustice, even if it doesn’t affect you. Stick up for the little guys, the underdogs, the bullied.

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2. Make the choice to take action.

Superheroes are often faced with tough choices. The easiest thing to do is often nothing. That’s why you need to consciously decide you’re taking action, right here, right now. Then—

3. Actually take action.

The first step is often the hardest but it’s also the most important, especially if you have big dreams for your life. Stop thinking so much and start doing. Focus on the small wins.

4. Spend your time wisely.

You don’t need to be a superhero to realize time is the most valuable asset in the world. So ask yourself: are you making good use of your time? Most people aren’t. We watch too much TV, spend too much time on Facebook and don’t understand the difference between “busy” and productive. Here’s a hint: if your busywork isn’t netting you results, it’s not productive.

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5. Ignore the haters.

In every superhero’s story, there’s always the inevitable naysayers. Want to know the best way to defeat the villains in your life? Stop paying attention to them. Look them in the eye, tell them you have other plans and get to work chasing your dreams.

6. Sacrifice your own needs once in a while.

Heroes are selfless. They look out for others first. You might want to think about doing the same. Why? Because when you put others first it feels good. And good stuff will happen to you in turn. So do a good deed today.

7. Let your alter-ego chill for some downtime.

Listen, Superman needs to wind down and just be Clark Kent sometimes. Relaxation is absolutely vital to living a healthy, balanced life. Make time for reflection and meditation. Try doing a little yoga; it has amazing health benefits.

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8. Form a team of other superheroes.

Most superheroes rely on a sidekick at some point to get them through tough times and you should too. If your goal is to lose weight, for example, research shows having a support network can make you more likely to achieve your goals. Likewise, if you want to go places in your career, networking is crucial. Start reaching out to successful people you respect and asking questions. What’s the worst that can happen?

9. Let love conquer all.

Every superhero is smitten by love at some point. This is not a weakness. Quite the contrary, actually. Love makes you stronger. If you haven’t found that special someone, keep searching. You will. If you have, don’t ever take that person for granted. Tell them you love them every day.

10. Be humble.

Humility is one of the most admirable qualities of heroes. Allow others on your team to be the stars of the show. Superheroes don’t crave the spotlight or demand attention. They sit quietly behind the scenes and allow others to shine. That’s the mark of a true hero.

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That’s how to be a hero. Now it’s time to go rewrite your story.

Featured photo credit: Eneas via flickr.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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