“The heroes are the ones that are still changing, while the villains are locked and petrified into what they are.” – Akira Kurosawa
Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa knew a thing or two about heroes and villains. What’s interesting, is that his observations about film characters and storylines make sense to ordinary people in real life. The heroes are the ones who often adapt to the circumstances they find themselves in and find a way to overcome whatever drama surrounds them, whereas the villains often remain predictably villainous, unable or unwilling to change track or break out of destructive patterns of behaviour. So, which part are you playing in your life: hero or villain?
Heroes adapt; heroes find themselves in challenging situations and adapt their thinking and consequent actions accordingly. Do you do the same? You see, you don’t need to be a film star to be a hero. The world is constantly changing, and the heroes in everyday life are those that change with it.
Of course, not every action the hero in the film takes leads to instant success, right? Things inevitably don’t go to plan, creating more opportunities for the hero to shine and eventually save the day. Think about it for a moment: you may not be facing Hollywood-style dramas and plot twists in your world, but if you’re not finding a way to adapt and get through the everyday challenges you face, you’re in danger of getting stuck where you are. Life is constant change.
Victor v Victim
Heroes are not afraid to make changes. When things are not going to plan, they’re not afraid to try a different approach. They accept there’s no guarantee of success, and that failure is an option, and then choose to go ahead anyway, taking responsibility for their thoughts, actions, and consequent outcomes. When things don’t work out, they take what they’ve learned from the experience forwards with them. They move on.
Villains, on the other hand, often choose not to take responsibility for their lot in life, blaming others for the way they are instead. By making it about someone or something else, they become victims, choosing to see their problems as something beyond their control.
It’s true that not every happening in life is within your control, but you always have control over how you choose to respond to each happening.
Kurosawa was startlingly accurate when he said the heroes are the ones that are still changing. Still is the key word. Success in life is a choice and it’s a choice you need to keep taking. If you choose to get stuck in a place of past happenings and wrong doings, then you’re choosing to see your world as it was… not necessarily as it is.
The bottom line is that problems can become the things we choose to cling on to because they give us a sense of identity.
Is it time to let go and become the hero in your life story?
Don MacNaughton is a High-Performance Coach.
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