It’s Not Easy Being a Superhero

Everyone loves a good story.

We’re often drawn to protagonists like Indiana Jones, Captain America, the Green Lantern, or Superman.

Why do we love characters like these? I believe it is because their story mimics our story.

Image via Creative Commons/Image by Esparta Palma

They have problems:

  • Indiana Jones faces snakes and bad guys that want the treasure he is after
  • Captain America is thrust into a world he is unfamiliar with. Years have passed by and he is unchanged. The world is not.
  • The Green Lantern is self-absorbed and given the responsibility to protect Earth. He has to learn to control his emotions.
  • Superman has his arch-nemesis Lex Luthor. He has love issues. He’s an alien.

They have weaknesses or suffered a loss:

  • Captain America has lost all he has ever known. His friends and family are either dead or old.
  • Green Lantern becomes weak in the presence of yellow.
  • Superman is crippled by kryptonite. He becomes weak, vulnerable, almost human.

Yet, even with these problems and weaknesses, they continue to fight on. They live their lives to the best of their ability. They give it their all.

This is why their stories draw us in. Stir our emotions. Make us cheer.

They’re living a great story. The best stories we sometimes say.

Quit hanging on to the handrails . . . Let go. Surrender. Go for the ride of your life. Do it every day.
— Melody Beattie, Finding Your Way Home

But you know what? Your story could be just as engaging as these superheroes.

It doesn’t require you to dress up like these guys:

Image via Creative Commons/Image by JD Harvell

But to do so requires something of you. It requires you to give your all in this life.

You must be willing to tackle the obstacles that come your way:

  • Heartbreak
  • Death
  • Job Loss
  • Physical Challenges
  • Brokenness

You will have battle wounds. You will have loss. You will feel pain.

It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

For when you overcome these situations, that is when your story shines. You will be able to:

  • Help others with the issues you have overcome
  • Share your story with those that have no idea life could be that way
  • Have companions you have shared the journey with
  • Leave a positive legacy for your family
  • Feel like you lived a great life

Take a few minutes and think about your life. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I living up to my potential?
  • Am I proud of the life I’ve lived?
  • What more could I do with my life?
  • Would anyone want to listen to a story about my life?

If you don’t like the answers, start to change your life today. Begin to craft the story you would like your life to tell.

Take the next 20-30 minutes and begin to write out the story you would like your to tell. Let your mind flow and write any ideas that come to mind. Don’t hold back!

Now, look at your list. What would it take to live the life you’ve written down?

Decide what needs to be done and start crafting your amazing story. The world NEEDS you to live the story you were created for. Stop holding back and start living your life!

“And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can’t go back to being normal; you can’t go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.”
— Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

Question: What story would you like your life to tell? Are you living that life? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • First and foremost, I want to bring glory and honor to God through my life. I’d like my life’s story to about putting others first, about STRETCHING to new heights, and living with integrity. That’s the story I’m living.

  • This statement stood out to me: “Yet, even with these problems and weaknesses, they continue to fight on.” I hadn’t considered that a superhero’s story can mimic my story. It seems that I can really identify with their weaknesses and problems, but there’s a big difference between someone like Spiderman (my personal favorite superhero) and me: Spiderman rises above his issues and becomes victorious despite them. He still has problems, but he doesn’t allow those problems to overtake what he knows is his mission in life.

    That’s where the similarities end for me. BUT that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Like Spidey, the story is still being written. There are still opportunities to fight the monsters, true love can still be found, past pain can still be dealt with, and forgiveness can still be attained.

    My story is still being written!

    Awesome post, Joe!

    • I like that you can relate to Spiderman. He deals with a lot of junk in his life. He struggles with relationships, keeping his personal life and superhero life in balance, and more. He pushes through these struggles to become the better man. And you can too Thomas!

      Your story is still being written and the great thing is you can change the direction of it! Decide today how you want your life to look by the time it is over and start crafting the story towards that direction.

  • I like the idea of conflicts in the superheroes’ lives being what draws us in. A story is boring without conflict, or tension. I hate it when I suffer (obviously), but looking back, those are the times when my story is more exciting to tell, and I become closer to who I was created to be.

    • Exactly Stephen! We try to prevent as much struggle as we can and yet that hinders our story. We need the struggles to progress, to make it exciting. I hope you’re out there crafting the best story you can.

  • The vulnerabilities of super heroes resonates as we all have flaws and struggles. This makes them real- gives them credibility. Same with all of us. When we stop focussing on the flaws and struggles we begin to unlease the superpower that is in all of us! Thanks for the post Joe!

    • You’re welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Could you imagine the power that would be unleashed if we did that? I think the world would be changed. What about you?

      • Yes!- very powerful! I try to model this as I manage by admitting my own mistakes, faults and shortcomings. As leaders, we need to lower our guard and let others in. There is certainly risk involved, however, the transparency will bind you together and strengthen your relationship AND your collective resolve for excellence. I always say that being professional is not being heartless. By admitting and exposing your shortcomings and exposing your heart you make your interaction real and personal. Thanks again for the post!

  • I do not connect with these hero stories a lot (has something to do with growing up in africa where our heroes are well…different ..) 🙂 🙂

    But i definitely agree that all of us have engaging lives, lives worth sharing.

    I am a big believer in intentional living, not allowing the winds to blow you wherever they may. Life isn’t always fair but we all get to choose our attitudes.

    Great post

    • Interesting… You said your heroes in Africa are different. Would you mind expounding upon that?

      • It’s about cultures. Every culture has it’s own past, culture, beliefs, stories, “heroes”.

        I grew up in the country, no TV and such. So no much influence from TV or movie characters or certain books. Most of our “heroes” were more real life 🙂 e.g dads, famous pple in the country e.t.c. The characters you’ve mentioned are more from the west, though they are known all over, Africa included. Just that they were not common in our days (rural africa). Of course Africa cities are a different story all together, but most of Africa is still rural

        And ofcourse being a woman, certain things will not draw me as much as they would say, my brother 🙂 :). he loved superman, drew pictures of him, but no much else. Am sure now, all grown up and all, he’d be drawn to these characters/movies, even though they were not part of his life growing up.

        • Thanks for sharing that Ngina. I find it fascinating to see the differences between cultures and gender.

          I’ve noticed similar things with my wife. She grew up in the country and they didn’t have TV until she was 16 or so. Lots of things I grew up with, she had no idea about.

          • My husband is a city boy :), so it’s also interesting at our house.

            God has a delightful assortment of kids, that’s for sure. Not a dull moment in His family cos He’s created us all different.

  • I really like the comparison between super heroes and us. It shows everyone deals with lose, weaknesses, and set backs. The important is how we handle those things when they happen to us. If we give up or keep pressing forward. Each one of us can do great things if we keep moving forward no matter what happens to us.

    I would like others to see my life as being a good husband/father who desired to add value to others.

    • I like how you want others to view your life. There’s not much that is more important than how you treat your family.

  • If there’s one thing I want people to remember about me was that I served the Lord. I also want them to say that I chased my dreams and even when I fell, I got back up and kept going.

    • I can see people viewing your life that way Kimanzi. From what I’ve seen of you, you are chasing after your dreams and making progress. Keep it up!

  • I love the stories of superheros, Superman is my favorite out of all them mostly because he’s darn near indestructible until you get him around the green stuff. I’m so glad to see someone out there preaching a message about personal responsibility and tackling life to create their dreams. SUBSCRIBED!

  • I know I want to live my life so that I CAN tell the whole story… very important to remember whenever we think of how we live our life!!

  • Reminded me of a post I wrote almost two years ago.

    Love your perspective – that we can be superheroes – and thankfully, without dressing like the ones at ComicCon 😀

    • Thanks Zee! I checked out your post and it was a great read and reminder.

      So true about the ComicCon comment but I bet it could be a ton of fun!

      • Yeah – I wish we had something like that over here in Ukraine. We only got Middle Ages knights and LoTR guys conventions and that seems to be it *Sigh*

        • I see. I could see the LoTR ring conventions being fun. Not sure about the Middle Ages though. Maybe one day you’ll have to take a trip to the US and experience ComicCon or one of the other conventions.

          • Actually, the Middle Ages are more fun – men wear armor and have sword fights and women wear dresses from that time, with their hair creatively braided.

            • Cool! I guess I’m not up on what goes on at the Middle Ages conventions. But that does sound like fun.

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  • My boys love Spiderman and think they are superheros 🙂 This is an excellent post, it really made me think. Thank you for the encouragement.

    • That’s awesome Pilar. I love to see little kids believe that they’re able to do amazing things. Hope they’re able to keep that going throughout their lives.

  • jeff

    It seems kind of cliche, but there’s something about living an athletic life that I am drawn to.  I’ve been doing various kinds of athletic activities in the past, but there was always a sense, “This is not just a way to maintain my health.  I feel like there’s more to my athletic activities than this.”

    • That’s good Jeff. Do you think it could be a field you would want to move into career wise? There’s plenty of different ways to move into the athletic arena. Maybe start to think of some ideas and act on them.

  • LadyGrace

    I want my life to tell others that a life that is “lost in Jesus” will be the best life they will ever find! That they CAN walk on water, that they CAN go beyond their hang ups, that they CAN make a difference, although that difference may not be shouted from the television or internet, it will be lauded and known in Heaven and in the lives that they touch. That our lives are a Love Song from Heaven to Earth, and we each have our own part to play in this wonderful, beautiful melody. I have lived this life to a degree, but seem stuck and stagnant at the moment… perhaps it is a pause or rest in the music. One thing I do know, the music isn’t over yet.

    • I love the way you’re looking at this time in your life LadyGrace. It’s not over. Keep pushing forward and showing the love of Christ to others. Help people to find out that being “Lost in Jesus” is the best thing they can do.