My favourite comic when I was younger (ahem, a couple of years ago… Ed) was Spider-Man. I was, and still am, a big fan of his. The reason I liked him so much was he reminded me a lot of myself. I was a cocky little bastard growing up and often bit off more than I could chew with the school bullies. I couldn’t fight for toffee (what does that even mean?? Ed), but I’d take the piss out of them anyway. And yes, I did imagine that one day I’d have the strength to beat them down like Spidey!
Spider-Man was my inner superhero. I felt strong when I read his comics. I felt as if I could take on the world, but unfortunately I was scared of heights. I’m sure my brother doesn’t remember this, but he once tried to throw me off a balcony as a ‘joke’ and from then I couldn’t stand walking up stairs and the thought of heights made me physically ill. But what kind of wimpy Spider-Man is scared of heights?? So I convinced myself I would need to conquer this fear by getting to the top of a local tower block and standing on the roof. Did I puke when I did it? Yes. Am I afraid of heights now? No.
And, what of the power of power? I borrowed mine. I was inspired by the power of a fictional character and I made a decision to change. I’m smiling now because I suddenly realise how stupid that sounds, but I would never have had the courage to be so bold without his inspiration.
But what if we could be that inspiration for ourselves? What if we could get bitten by a radioactive spider and develop incredible power? Ok that sounds ridiculous, but if we suspend disbelief for a moment and for that moment thought about the possibility. How cool would that be?
Ok, now picture this; it’s a Monday morning. February is outside in all its frosty glory. Work is this beating sensation in the back of your brain, swallowed up by several layers of warmth you are wrapped in. It was the same yesterday. It’ll be the same tomorrow. What do you do? Do you think of a hot shower or a cup of coffee or your baby giggling as you dress him or the vacation you plan to book or your spouse kissing you as you go to work? No, you think instead of all the excuses you can tell your boss for not coming in. You begin to calculate what would be the best time to call or try to think of a lie big enough to be off for a few days, but not so big to warrant a trip to the doctor. You plot and scheme and for a microsecond you smile because you’re relishing the day off.
But you get up, turn into a robot and go throw all the machinations of preparing for work, take a deep breath and step out into the world, heading to work without a second thought. You’re a hero. Facing a day that you are dreading, mining your motivation, no matter what the driver, should be celebrated. And if you can tap into a vein of motivation on a crappy Monday morning, why can’t you do it for large scale projects? (Like leaving a job you obviously hate! Ed)
Superheroes all have one thing in common, they are driven to do good, no matter what power they possess. That is their sole consideration. For you to harness your power you need to be driven by the same goal. What is your greater good and what power do you have to obtain it?
We have many names for this power. Some call it Motivation. Others call it Passion. Some call it Drive. Some even call it Luck. I simply call it Willpower. You have to have willpower to push you throw your mental blocks, your self doubt and your debilitating beliefs.
The beauty is that all of us has willpower. We are born with it, but it’s not just shaped by the individual. It is shaped by every situation and person in their lives. If you find maths hard, you convince yourself you will never be good at maths. If your English teacher says you are dumb, you believe that you are dumb. It is often hard to find the willpower to break these beliefs.
So how do you harness this power? By being decisive. An alcoholic won’t quit booze unless they choose to. A battered spouse won’t leave their home unless they decide to. When you make a real decision to do something and commit willpower to it, you won’t fail.
The challenge is to be your own superhero. Battle the injustices you see in your life and champion the greater good. Who knows, one day you may even save the world.