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Barack, Change and Spiderman

Barack, Change and Spiderman

Marvel comics - Superheroic fist bump: Barack Obama and Spider-Man.

    I’m a lot like Obama.

    Well, now I think about it, I’m not that much like him.  In fact, about the only 2 things we have in common is our love for good pizza and being big fans of Spiderman.

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    I’ve been a superhero nut forever, and just love the fact that Obama is too.  As far as I’m concerned, that means he understands some fundamental principles about life and courage –

    With great power comes great responsibility…” – Uncle Ben

    That Uncle Ben was a smart cookie, and that famous quotation sums up what I love about superhero mythos.

    The thought that people are walking among us doing amazing things every single day, by using their power responsibly to help other people and add value to mankind, is one that makes me grin from ear to ear.  The fact that they get to wear cool outfits, fly and shoot laser beams out of their eyes is even cooler.

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    When Stan Lee first created Marvel Comics, he did so with the aim of creating fantastic characters, but characters who are also wonderfully and tragically human.  He populated his comics with characters we can all relate to – people with fears, hopes, anxieties and a whole load of contradictions.

    Here’s another line, this time from the movie Spiderman 2:

    “Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them, cheer them, scream their names. And years later, they’ll tell how they stood in the rain for hours just to get a glimpse of the one who taught them to hold on a second longer.

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    I believe there’s a hero in all of us. That keeps us honest. Gives us strength. Makes us noble.” – Aunt May

    Aunt May rocks just as much as Uncle Ben, and she hit the nail on the head.

    We’ve all had people who’ve inspired us, touched us or taught us something important. Someone who gave us the strength to keep going or hold on a second longer. A teacher, a parent, a friend, whoever.

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    But more than that, there IS a hero in all of us.

    There is a piece of ourselves that’s honest, strong and noble.

    There’s a part of ourselves that knows what we need to do, not just for ourselves but for the greater good. There is a piece of ourselves that can make incredible things happen.

    That’s how amazing things happen in the world, and that’s how real, positive change happens – by being confident enough to tap into that piece of yourself and apply it out there in the world.

    That’s why I love that Obama’s a Spiderman fan, because it tells me that he understands.

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    Last Updated on September 20, 2018

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

    Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

    If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

    1. Breathe

    The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

    • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
    • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
    • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

    Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

    2. Loosen up

    After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

    Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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    3. Chew slowly

    Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

    Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

    Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

    4. Let go

    Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

    The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

    It’s not. Promise.

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    Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

    Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

    21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

    5. Enjoy the journey

    Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

    Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

    6. Look at the big picture

    The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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    Will this matter to me…

    • Next week?
    • Next month?
    • Next year?
    • In 10 years?

    Hint: No, it won’t.

    I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

    Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

    7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

    You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

    Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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    8. Practice patience every day

    Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

    • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
    • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
    • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

    Final thoughts

    Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

    Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

    Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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