When our hero wins without being tested, nothing in that story is interesting. A journey must be difficult and filled with snarling impediments in order to be relatable. Our hero must fail. Sometimes, she must suffer. Because all of that is what makes winning worth it in the end – every time she tripped and fell and skinned her shin was one more lesson learned, one more thing we, as fallible and jittery creatures, can connect with and appreciate.
I’m saying this because maybe you feel you are only part way through your hero’s journey. Maybe you’ve been struggling. Maybe you even feel you’ve finally come to that All Is Lost Moment. If so, pay attention. Because that’s when everything can turn around.
But in order for a hero (you) to start on the upswing that hero needs a mentor/master/coach. You need to be approached by someone, or approach them, and ask for or be offered help. Like in Kill Bill. At first, you might not take it. But eventually you do. And then it’s on.
I write this blog today so you can be the hero of your own story. To get the body you want (or build the business) and beat the bad guy. What bad guy? Well, what about, for one, that daunting, ferocious, internal force whose sole purpose it is to get in the way of everything we do? All of us at one point or another go through a period of not believing in ourselves, granting the idea not all bad guys are external. Our biggest foes are often within.
How to Beat The Bad Guy
You know one part of what makes a story great is the villain having a brilliant, convincing speech, like Michael Douglas in Wall Street (“Greed is Good”). For us, in our own lives, that villainous speech is all the negative talk we endure throughout the day. It’s often logical and convincing and is always leading us into temptation.
That speech is there to make us sympathize with the devil. To get us to bite into the apple from the tree of knowledge, grab another bag of Cooler Ranch, skip working out, and so on. In short, to take the easy way instead of the long way.
We begin to overcome this as soon as we realize we don’t have to listen to all that repetitive nonsense. It can still be there – we don’t have to beat the villain just yet. (Rocky didn’t, not in the first movie, anyway.) We only have to be willing to stand up to him or her, and say, you know what, I’ve had enough. That’s the turning point. That’s when Sly landed those first few, devastating blows on Carl Weathers’s chin; when Sam threw Bilbo over his shoulders and committed to the seemingly impossible task of hiking up Mount Doom.
Write The End To Your Own Story
You’re in charge of writing the end to your own story. You may not have had a lot of input at the start, but you have all the creative authority now. You earned that by just surviving the first act. Now go, and write the second, reminded by all the heroes who’ve been through this, who’ve had their stories written and told all of us it gets tougher before it gets easier, darker before it gets brighter, as you walk into the sunset, with the night beyond it.