by Niall Doherty

Think of your life as a story. One day this story will become a book and then a movie. Question: Who’s the lead character in this story? Who’s the hero?

It should be you, right? It’s your life after all. You should have the starring role.

Unfortunately, I get the impression that most people wouldn’t be the hero of their own story. Instead, they willingly give up that role to someone else. They live vicariously through celebrities and sports stars and their cool buddy with the motorcycle who gets all the chicks. For some reason, they figure they’re simply not hero material. They settle for a part as bystander number four in scene three.

Their most remarkable moment is a seven-second cameo in someone else’s movie.

In the story of my life, I try to be my own biggest hero. While I take joy in the success of others and I have an appreciation for anyone doing anything positive at a high level, I stop short of wishing that I was in their place. I remind myself that I’m fully capable of doing whatever I put my mind to, and I don’t have to settle for living vicariously through others.

How to be the hero of your own story

It’s a pretty simple, one-step formula:

  1. Do shit that scares you

That’s it. Run towards your fears instead of away from them. Simple, but not easy. It’s a constant struggle that never ends.

Note that you’re not required to go from zero to hero overnight. Living a heroic life is a marathon, not a sprint. Think habits rather than acts. You don’t have to win every battle against fear. You just have to stand up to it more often than you back down.

Also note that the best and most inspiring heroes are those who overcome the biggest obstacles. So if you find yourself struggling mightily right now, and you want everything in your life to be different, and you realize you have a shitload of work to do… be grateful.

You have a bigger opportunity than most to live a heroic life.

Ask yourself…

If I was truly the hero of my own story, what would I do?

Would I quit my job and go travel the world, or would I stick it out in this miserable 9-to-5? Would I spend all day reading about other people’s adventures on the Internet, or would I go create my own? Would I live my biggest dream or would I settle for mediocrity?

Ask yourself these questions next time you’re scared or uncertain: What would my most heroic self do? How can I be the hero of my own story here?