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It’s amazing how four simple words can resonate with such great intensity:

Be your own hero.

Hugh Jackman as The WolverineI tweeted those words, because they felt *solid* and *true* but without knowing why. I certainly wasn’t thinking or feeling like the Wolverine.

But as with so many other tweets, once I hit Send, the words were forgotten.

That is, until the retweets flooded in. Apparently those words felt solid and true to a number of others.

But WHY?

What does it mean to ‘Be Your Own Hero’?

That’s the question I asked myself when I saw the response to that tweet. And not in the Hollywood-action-film-hero context either. Even though that’s the first imagery that usually comes to mind.


Characters who travel the Hero’s Journey in film and fiction provide valid role models on “how to become a hero” on a number of levels.

But “being your own hero” goes deeper.

It’s not about storming the castle, taking down the evil warlord, or finding the golden fleece. In fact, the exact criteria will vary as wildly as there are people in the world.

I can’t tell you how to be your own hero. But after a much thought, I defined a list of criteria for myself…

How to ‘Be My Own Hero’ — 5 Easy Steps

  1. Take that one thing I have to accomplish or “I won’t be able to live with  myself”, and make it happen. Against all odds.
  2. Do what I’m most afraid of. Because that’s what I most need to learn.
  3. Strive for excellence. Never settle for mediocrity.
  4. Stand up for myself. But more important, stand up for those who may be weaker and need the support.
  5. Live my dream to its fullest … remaining fluid, embracing life circumstances with open arms, while still holding true to the vision. Because that’s the stuff real dreams are made of.

What’s on your “Be your own hero” list?