GoodMenProject – Adam Hartley

Ask a child, “Who is your hero?”

What do you think they will say?

We ask this when working with youth in our hero training sessions. The young heroes in training often name professional athletes, movie stars, and iconic historical heroes such as Martin Luther King as their heroes. Isn’t that what we have been programmed to believe in our society? Hero’s make a lot of money (i.e. LeBron James), hero’s do amazing things on the movie screen (i.e. Captain America), and hero’s are people that take on issues on a global scale (i.e. MLK). All of these examples, in most of our minds, are unattainable to our friends and us. We are often reminded by society of the statistics showing many of us will never be a millionaire, we will never star in a blockbuster movie, and we will never have the opportunity to do what MLK did to change people’s lives. We are conditioned to believe that our lives are what they are, never to be changed. The bad news is we often believe the statistics and look at heroism as a state of bliss, never to be reached by common folk like us.

Here is the good news, we can leave our mundane world of the status quo and all have the opportunity be heroic. In order to do this, we must first understand the steps it takes to be a hero. We must be aware of the barriers and challenges that we will be confronted with and have a set of tools to assist us in conquering our fears and removing these barriers. Villains come in all shapes and sizes. A playground bully, the boss you detest, an addiction, a fear, any negative thought or action in your life can be the villain you seek to conquer.

I have identified 5 steps throughout my reading and my own journey in helping build a heroic culture in the Flint area that I hope will help you change your perceptions and attitude toward the status quo.

If we can all create the reality that statistics are just numbers, simply helping society keep us in our place we will be more willing to leave our status quo and experience a heroic journey.

I have changed my perspective on heroism and now believe the heroic journey is truly the only way to sustain positive change within our communities and ultimately help change the word around us.

Think of these 5 steps as the beginning actions we must take in order to change the culture of your community, school, or business. I say beginning because as I read more, experience more, and reflect more, I now know this is not a simple journey. It is, however, a journey worth taking.

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