Tag Archives: superman

How The Stories You Believe Lead To The Impact You Have

A story of how my identity and perspective changed based on what I believed about myself in this talk at Abilene Christian University with my good friend Dr. Steven Moore

When I was a little kid I wanted to be Superman. Superman made an impact. He was unstoppable, invincible and incredibly powerful.

I was not.

On the contrary, I’ve always had a small frame. Skinny, scrawny, short. These were ready adjectives you could identify me with. Still can.

impact superman pinterest artwork invincible InspiraAcao

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I didn’t want to be Superman because he was the strongest dude around, could bend iron in his hand, or was faster than a speeding bullet. I wanted to be invincible. I wanted to be immune to the physical damage of bullets or baseball bats or bullies.

Suffice to say, I understood how dangerous it is to be vulnerable. I wanted to be able to create impact, but be immune from experiencing it.

Being capable of receiving pain is a human condition. It’s one I have avoided. Yet avoiding pain is not a way to grow or succeed. Therefore, I’m changing this mindset so I can grow and win.

Most of us have a real understanding of what pain is, both physical and emotional and psychological. Avoiding pain is what we’re naturally programmed for. Yet pain is a part of the human experience, and turning off our ability to receive it can cost more than the pain itself.

Where The Mindset Change Started For Me

Best selling author and life coach Tony Robbins has made a BIG impact on a lot of people. The self-help guru is an empowering teacher worth modeling after. He talks about how every decision we make is either a pursuit of pleasure, or the avoidance of pain. His book Awaken The Giant Within details how to transform your life by changing your beliefs, words, and actions to overcome the fear of pain.

Your beliefs about yourself determine the stories you tell yourself about who you are, and what you’re capable of.

This is something you might have struggled with to from a young age. You may still be struggling with avoiding pain. Pain from someone’s harsh words, or actions, or attitudes, or something else that made you feel less than and unworthy. They became the stories you adopted on your identity.

It’s our human condition to want a few specific things intrinsically. When we come out of the womb we have within us the desire to be valued, to be found worthy, and to be loved. It’s in our DNA.

Life gives us opportunities to experience this kind of love. We have friends who lift us up, encourage us, and make us feel like we’re on top of the world.

All the while there are other people we experience who do the opposite. For one reason or another, they tear down, destroy, hurt, and cause us pain with their words and actions. Try as you might, you can’t make sense of their motivation or reason. Each of us experience negativity this at some point in our lives.

The Power Of Stories On Our Understanding Of Fear And Identity

When I first experienced the pain of rejection and unworthiness from a person, it made an imprint, a story. Imprints & stories don’t go away easily.

Imprints that are negative tend to have more staying power than those that are positive, unless we’re looking for and needing that uplifting stuff. Then it’s received differently. Something that hits you and leaves a mark has a pretty strong impact on your outlook on life and yourself.

As I’ve gotten older I realize that my defense mechanisms for dealing with pain and rejection have always been faulty. An old friend once told me when we were in college that I approached people metaphorically with my arms up in defense (like a boxer).

He said I never let anyone get close enough to know me. Keeping people away from reaching in to (potentially) cause harm.

It’s hard to build community, build trust, and gain influence with people if you don’t let them in. That vulnerability thing is something we all have to deal with. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s risky. It’s dangerous. But it might just save your life.

It saved mine. But it’s also one of the most difficult things I’ve done.

When I realized that being Superman wasn’t all that great, my heart changed. How can I be understood and valued if I can’t feel or allow others to impact me in a way that leads to feelings, good or bad?

I’ve always been a pretty emotional dude, so that whole idea of being immune to feeling is a bit off. I could never pull that off anyways.

Growth Farming Creates Maximum Impact To Change The Story

We have a choice to make in our lives everyday. What will we plant within ourselves produce fruits that others experience. What we focus on, the stories we believe, determine whether we have impact on our spheres of influence, or go ignored.

I used to plant fear in my heart, and with the stories I told myself. Fear of rejection. Fear of failure. Fear of being harmed. Fear of being beat up. Fear of being found not good enough.

Turns out that fear is what I produced. Afraid of not being received and accepted by people kept the folks I wanted to connect with from wanting to engage. So I felt even more rejected and alone. It wasn’t their fault. We create the worlds we think about. We create our reality.

I would avoid people I thought might cause me harm, physical or emotional. I’d only get so close. One day I was walking around downtown Abilene and saw this dude on the other side of the road I was going to cross.

He looked kinda tough, with tattoos and baggy pants. I judged that guy right then. I thought he might try to hurt me so I turned around and went the other way to avoid him.

That’s no way to live. I can talk openly about that now because it’s not who I am anymore. I felt a little voice in my head/heart ask me, “How long are you going to live like this? How long are you going to be a scared little boy afraid of the nonexistent monster under his bed?”

This realization led to me venturing into the amateur boxing realm to overcome that perpetual fear of being harmed. I ended up joining a boxing gym run by an Air Force coach who engrained in me transformative pieces that changed my life.

I never became a good boxer. But I did lose the fear of getting hurt. Yet I learned SO much more about life, business, and success from Coach Rivas than I ever imagined.

I also learned my calling. It’s bigger than music. It’s bigger than radio. It involves people and giving the thing I’ve wanted my whole life.

Transformation That Came From A Ring

I’ve always not been big on competition. Part of it was scary because it involved the possibility of losing (fear again). It also pitted people against each other, which has never been something I get excited about.

I’ve always enjoyed working with people to make something big happen. I’ve got a gift in being able to recognize people’s strengths, even those they might not know they have, and incorporating them into the mix to get the best out of a collaboration.

We naturally want to be around people who empower us, who make us feel bigger and stronger and able to do more than we believe we can do naturally. Think about the individuals in your life who give you that feeling.

Those people (and there’s probably only a handful of them that you know, they are uncommon folks) who give you the feeling of being able to tackle any giant just by being around them. They evoke a power that is transferred into your spirit. That’s a real superhero.

I no longer want to be Superman. I haven’t for sometime. Surprisingly, as much as I love Batman, I don’t want to be him either. I wish to have that kind of focus and dedication. But the skillset and methodology are too different than my inclinations.

maximum impact professor x james mcavoy patrick stewart mutant x-men movie days of future past

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44546224

I want to be Professor X. You recall him from the X-Men films, played by both Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy. In the comics, he was the founder of the X-Men and garnered an extremely loyal friendship to each of the members of the team. There’s a reason for that, and it’s not because of his mutant power.

Professor X’s real power is his ability to inspire greatness in uncommon individuals, bring them together and show them how to use their gifts to better the world. He’s a unifier. He’s a teacher. Because he believes that everyone is capable of great things if they’re just believe in themselves, they’re able to face incredible obstacles and foes.

That’s a hero worth aspiring to. That’s the kind of leader we need. That’s the kind of person who gets the best out of others, and inspires greatness.

Transformation is a process, and this is the evolution that I’m diving into. Like planting a garden, it takes time. But when the fruit is fully ripe, it will be bountiful and bless the world I’m connected with in powerful ways.

What about you? Is there a hero, fictional or real, who has inspired you to be more than you think you are? Do you know what your super-power is? Let’s talk about how you can use your super-power daily to make the world a better place. Click here to talk with me about how you can overcome your fears to achieve success and growth.

 

 

How To Reshape Our Understanding Of True Strength

What does “true strength” mean to you?

Original Superman Art by Joe Mad

Original Superman Art by Joe Mad

I used to think of most things in the context of the comic book characters whose posters and movies which would adorn my walls. I sometimes still think of athletes who can do incredible feats with their bodies. I think of inner courage, heart, and perseverance, especially in the face of near impossible odds.

I think of Bo Jackson. Self-explanatory there.

Yet when I want to look for an example that we can learn from, I spend my time searching the internet for the things I listed and come up short. Isn’t it odd, the things that I want to associate with being true strength I only half-heartedly support, instead relying on some physical example to fulfill the need to “see it” in action?

Are Superman’s limitless powers true strength? Of course, flying into the sun takes some balls. In his case, it also maxes his pedigree and bench press by doing so. Moving mountains and trains and other giant objects that weigh more than what can be defined numerically counts as strength too. It’s also impossible strength.

Moving to athletics. Bo Jackson highlight videos are illustrations of strength. As are JJ Watt and any defensive end who can push over a 300 lbs man. Finesse is also in there, and combining those two elements makes for some magical video viewing.

Rocky's true strength is physical and internal in Rocky 3

Rocky’s true strength is physical and internal in Rocky 3

True strength is harder to characterize than only in a physical embodiment. Perhaps that’s one of the draws to Rocky Balboa, despite the fact that he had a considerable physical ability. That inner voice that won’t allow you to quit, no matter what, is something that only the truly strong have.

Speaking of Rocky, it takes strength to face our fears, especially when that fear stands 6’2″, weighs 230 lbs, has a mohawk and delivers pain. Strength isn’t just a physical attribute, it’s internal too. Rocky showed me how to face and overcome fears in powerful ways.

What about Mother Teressa or Ghandi? Those two people stood up against oppressive regimes, fighting for the ignored and abandoned, and didn’t use violence as their weapons, even in the midst of violence. That takes real strength, strength that no physical attribute can grant you.
I’ve been reading the autobiography of Muhummad Ali. It shows the man’s inner strength was the real force to be reckoned with.

The most endearing attribute of Ali has more to do with how he stood up for his beliefs in the wake of the draft and the war in Vietnam than any of his championship belts. How he stood in the face of hatred from his own countrymen and women because he didn’t want to shed the blood of another man, how he was ostracized and called anti-American because he didn’t want war is incredible to conceive. Withstanding that kind of rhetoric and public sentiment while not lashing out against anyone took more strength than anything else he did in or out of the ring. And yet it’s not something we would associate with him as strength until we’re confronted with it ourselves.

In this space of growth farming, where cultivating seeds of connections with new people is the method of achieving success, it takes a different kind of strength to win. It takes inner determination, love, grace, empathy and compassion. It takes us going first, initiating the connections and doing things differently than what has come before us.

It takes us finding that we’re made of more than just what we think. Inside you and I are what looks like the muscle-bound warriors whose physical appearance gives us inspiration. Yet that need for leadership, courage, risk-taking, vulnerability, and perseverance are the true measures of strength that draws our tribe in.

It’s actually these qualities that make us grow, because that’s the change that we all want to see in the world. Your heart makes you strong. What you put into it is what fruits will come out from it, and what will draw others to you.

 

The Power Of A Super Fan For Your Music

When you think of one of your Super Fan, who comes to mind? Are there attributes of this person that you can identify?

It’s important to recognize one very important characteristic to this person so that you can fully appreciate the impact they have on your music. It has everything to do with choice, selection and discerning through the myriad of options to choose one particular thing.

 

I like illustrating with pictures and images, so watch this video to see my point:

You may be thinking: “What does Superman have to do with what you’re talking about? You really think someone who simply enjoys my music to the point of being what you call a “super fan” is a super hero?”

When that enjoyment is more than just enjoyment but passionate following to the point of supporting your artistry it’s quite different than just being a fan of someone. A super fan doesn’t just enjoy your music. For them it has so much more meaning. Yes I do think a super fan is like a super hero, because the passion that they has for your art is really, really powerful stuff. Beyond that, it’s also not as common. Super fans are not your ordinary followers.

Benji Rogers, founder of Pledge Music, is a music Super-fan. He’s also a big proponent of Super Fans and the value they bring to artists who really want to do amazing things with their music. Pledge Music is built around the experience of direct-to-fan presentation of music by artists who are conscious of the real process of great art. As my DIY Artist Route & You podcast series continues later this week, Benji will be my guest for a deeper discussion on the value of Super-Fans and how you can build powerful projects with them.

There are countless bands and musicians out there, all making great art. Some musicians are  just creating noise. Your super fan base has very selective hearing, and has discerned through every other sound to find you and choose you.

movies-man-of-steel-henry-cavillCan you honestly tell me there’s not a powerful feeling that comes from knowing you’ve been chosen among other possibilities? What this feeling should do is allow you to be more appreciative of these very unique individuals and the love they have for your art.

Reward this passion and see it spread. You’ll find yourself among more super powered fans and followers than you imagined, and more success with your music.

What Seinfeld Teaches Us About Super-Fans

SeinfeldSupermanJerry Seinfeld is quite a character. The stand-up comedic icon who changed network TV success with “a show about nothing” has also pioneered another brand of media stardom: the online video platform.

Seinfeld’s hit Crackle series Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee has not only put him back on many people’s radar, but it’s also one of the most watched video channels in an age dominated by subscription services like Netflix and Hulu.

Jerry knows quite a bit about the DIY route of carving your own unique path, very similar to what artists and entrepreneurs do with their craft. While he may be a prominent entertainment figure, Seinfeld started from the ground up in New York, working comedy clubs until he made it with features on late night TV shows, leading up to his monumental network show Seinfeld.

The new online series showcases some of America’s greatest entertainers and comedians, and does so in a new light. Instead of illustrating their latest project, movie, tour or book, the whole episode is geared towards shining a light on personal communication and interaction. Jerry and his guest drive around in a car (usually a historic or premium vehicle) and chat about the current state of comedy, the country, and some of their pet peeves. Then they go get coffee. If anything, the series is a subliminal ad for coffee with nicely done cutaways that should make you want a cup of Joe at some point in the episode.

This is Super-Fan-dom at its best. Seinfeld isn’t just a comedian who has found success. He’s a student of the game, and his studies involve sitting down with others to find what makes them tick, what brings a laugh out of them. Most of the conversations and interactions are enlightening in some capacity, with standouts including Kevin Hart, Alec Baldwin, Jon Stewart, and Amy Schumer of the latest season. Seriously, you need to watch this series for more than just a good laugh. Jerry is a comedy super-fan and his interest in the field is a part of everything he does.

There are plenty of things we as artists, entrepreneurs, and even coaches can learn from one of the world’s most humorous people. What shouldn’t go unnoticed is the power of Jerry as a super-fan, not just an entertainer.

Fans and viewers of Seinfeld the show have to acknowledge the strategic placement of one particular fictional icon in each episode: Superman. It’s no secret that Seinfeld has a bit of a man-crush on the world’s first comic book hero. He also did a brief series of web ads for American Express featuring a cartoon version of Superman that was voiced by Patrick Warburton (David Putty in Seinfeld).

The point of illustrating the power of a Seinfeld super-fandom is to illustrate how the super-fan mind works. A super-fan will incorporate the work, creation, imagery, and representation of the ones they are following into their personal and professional work. Their love and super-fan following becomes a part of who they are, what they are drawn to. Showcasing that love and appreciation is just a way for them to celebrate life.

Who wouldn’t want one of entertainment’s greatest stars to be so in love with their work that they showcase it in some form or fashion in a product that is beloved and known the world over? This is the connection that can be made by nurturing a core group of your audience base. Their support of your work isn’t something you ask of them, it’s something they do on their own accord.

Everyone benefits from this kind of support.