You Don’t Choose Your Heroes

I was on my phone, which I am a lot more lately and my wife was cooking. As she cooked she watched a movie and mentioned how sad it is to see Robin Williams in a movie. He is the only celebrity when I heard of his death I cried like I lost someone close to me. His movies, his work, his personality brought so much more life to my life, without realizing it he wasn’t just an entertainer to me, he was a hero.

That got me thinking. So on Twitter, I asked out loud some question and then spread it around.

Heroes are not mentors. Not that they can’t be but most of the time they symbolize who and what we want to be. We can say to ourselves what would so and so do in this situation. But they are in general are not there to guide us, they are not there to help us through or give us insight to see things differently. They are living out a life we admire or want for ourselves. Heroes don’t have to be larger than life. A boy can have his father be his hero, a soldier his commander, a girl her mother, and a woman anyone she looks up to.

I am going to let you in on a little known fact about me. Around the age of eight, I resolved to have no heroes. I learned they are flawed and will let you down. I learned it from one of my favorite cartoons, Brave Star. So, I refused to look up to people I didn’t look for a hero, a leader, a role model, I knew they were all flawed. But the funny thing is I still had heroes. There were people doing and making things that I would have loved to do. Had I not learned the lesson from Brave Star, I might have said I want to be _____ and pursued that as a dream.

There are remarkable people in every industry. People who are drawn to those industries are also drawn to the heroes in them. We can’t help it; someone wants to be like Albert Einstein, while another person wants to be like Steve Jobs, and another wants to be like Micheal Jordan and another Maya Angelou. There are kids who dream of being astronauts and pastors who want to be the next Billy Grahm. What these heroes do for us is give us an amazing gift with their lives, they show us our dreams are possible. Often they show us our flaws don’t hold us back from going for it, most succeed in spite of them. They give us hope.

There is something more though. What struck me hard last night is the last question, “If you could be your hero would you still have the same dreams and goals?”

Without knowing it we can look at our heroes and get a sense of who we want to be, what we want to do and what kind of work we want to be doing. As an adult, I have many heroes, but I have ignored their lives as a true guiding post as to what I want to be when I grow up; until last night. Last night the question made me stop.

Heroes, real heroes exist in context. They are not separate from their world, they are not separate from our world. They had struggles, maybe rivels, and failures. The hero’s journey is the same for everyone unending, and always presenting another obstacle or chance to climb to greater heights on higher mountain tops. The work we choose to do is our climb and our gift to the world. We all are on a hero’s journey. Even if the only person who might find you a hero is your kid or a close friend who watched the struggle and grit. Sometimes we don’t understand hitting bottom. The harsh rock bottom is the bedrock for our journey. It is the story we begin to tell about our climb up the mountain. The danger we face is are we on the right mountain. The work we pursue can be down the wrong path and that is why we are at the bottom. Our heroes might be on one mountain top and we are looking at them as we climb another. We might be climbing a mountain that we are not equipped to climb. We might be climbing a mountain that we have no desire to see from. We might die on the side of a mountain that brought us no joy along the way. We might have watched our heroes climb a different mountain and imagine the climb is the same for every mountain and that is not true. You cannot climb Steve Jobs’ mountain and want to be like Jim Carrey.

History is full of admirable people, but not all of them will be our heroes. Robin Williams is one of my heroes. His voice and resonated through the work he did, it made me want to be like him. Funny, loving, strong, caring, and making people laugh, touching the heart of others during the hard times. He was smart, quick, outrageous and as far as I can tell; he didn’t care what people thought about him, not enough to stop him from doing what he wanted. As far as I can tell all of my heroes worked in entertainment. All of them had inspired others and brought joy, humor, and creativity into the world. I hope to do the same. At the least inspire others. I am still thinking about this but thought it was worth the share.

Later Gator.

Your friend,

Nino.

Introverted Thinking

Being yourself is hard when you don’t know who you are. I am not talking about your likes or dislikes. I am not talking about your sense of humor or taste in fashion. I am talking about how you interpret the world. On the Myers-Briggs personality types. Taking a test like this gives you insight into how you see, think, and interpret the world.

I am an INTP. The first letter is either an I or an E, standing for introvert or extrovert. What is missed is this is how we think, not how we act in the world. Okay, it is how we act in the world because of how we think. But it is the one I would like to focus on. Extroverted thinking takes data from the outside, it thinks loudly. Introverted thinks from the inside, it looks inward for answers.

The differences between these two types of thinking and being in the world can determine success or failure. What has surprised me in the last couple of weeks is my seeing my own setbacks as an INTP personality type, especially in the way I see things. I want to think about it, figure it out, understand it before I commit to doing something by then the problem has changed, most of the time for the worst. Why does this happen? Because the problem moves from the real world to my head and quits being a real problem to me. Now that is just one way it happens. The other is the solution isn’t tested and it becomes a practice of imaginary goal setting, with made-up metrics and a lot of what if’s. The solution. Stop thinking and start doing. Here is the thing I have consumed enough information most of us had to get some really cool shit done. The problem is getting out of our head and into the real world, where we can fail. Because until we fail we won’t really figure out how to succeed. Introverted thinking will demand we figured out what happened and why we failed, so we can try again.

I have to wrap this up. I feel like I am just getting started. Sorry.

Introverted thinking is the way we think. It can’t be changed. We don’t have to overcome it, we have to direct it. Time alone thinking is easy and natural to us. We will seek it out and make time to get our shit together, it is a matter of being ready to just do something when the time is now. My mindset as of lately is I will see what will happen and then I will think about it. I don’t have to figure it out.

Gotta go!

Later Gator.

Your friend,

Nino.

You Can Do More

We have a tendency to think that we do a lot or that what we do actually fills the day. Yesterday I spent it doing stuff and just putting out content. For some people, the content I put out was more than they put out all of last year. The problem isn’t that they don’t put out content (which is basically their lives) it is that they consume content as if they have nothing to contribute. Social media is best when you have friends there posting, sharing, and laughing together. It is worse when you are consumed by it and live through other people’s (famous people’s) lives. Or when you get sucked into the political drama or some stupid argument.

I have a lot of social media accounts as me. I have a Facebook fan page and a personal page. The personal page is for family and friends. It is where I post about family fun-times, down-times, and some drunken thoughts that I think are funny. Posting there is to keep connected with the few family members and friends who use it. Now, here is what I know. Your frequency of posting if it is regularly will give the consumer a feeling of connection with you. You don’t have to knock it out of the park with what you post. One post a day is actually enough. When I post personally my family and friends feel connected to me and my family. They also get to feel in sync with what is happening in real-time.

What I learned posting yesterday by increasing my posts was I can do more. I didn’t set aside anytime to create anything I did. I had a moment I sat down I made something and I could have made more. It wasn’t hard. The thing is I believe you can do more too. You can give your art a little bit more of a push into the world. You can let your voice be heard. You can share, create, document the ordinary and add to your experience of life. Here is the thing when you post you are not the only person posting online. You are adding a verity and spice to the daily mix of media consumption. By sharing we are giving ourselves another outlet to connect with others. Being human is about being in relationships. We find our tribe, we enjoy our time, we journey through life together.

Gotta Go.

Later Gator.

Your friend,

Nino.

P.S. You can find me on damn near all social media sights feel free to connect with me there too.