i need a hero.
so i've been feeling pretty....flat lately, really unsatisfied with my job, unable to get my creative mojo on, as well as suffering from some mild depression, complicated by some fairly consistent anxiety issues, etc.
lately i keep on having all of these mini-epiphanies about what my damage is and what needs to change (in my life and my approach to the world), but i can't seem to get the motivation up to do it. i know therapy would help, and meds have worked before, but for financial and political/health reasons (re: meds), these aren't an option for me.
so i was thinking maybe i could use a hero. someone whose life and world view is inspiring, who has mojo in spades, maybe despite some roadblocks like depression or even something completely different.
do you guys have heroes? or have you read a totally inspiring auto/biography you can recommend? and what are your thoughts on this whole hero thing - i've never really had one before so this is a new idea to me, that the story of someone else's life could energize my own - is that a crazy notion?
03-02-2006 12:08 PM
My hero when I was 16 or 17 was the Homeless to Harvard girl, since I could relate to her story a lot.
Now, though, I don't really look for success stories like that when I'm looking for a hero. I just find people who deal with their life really well, who don't feel sorry for themselves, and never complain. I don't know of any famous examples, but I know a couple in real life. Those are who I look up to and try to emulate.
there are people i look up to, but i don't think it's possible (for me, anyways) to change my own life just by thinking about someone else's. i actually have to DO the things i need to do to make myself happy/healthy/sane.
I think that a basic belief that if you work at something you will better yourself is something tht you have to actively cultivate. From and conditional to that belief comes a willingness to actually GET BUSY DOING IT.
For me, finding ONE hero is not really the answer... I always find that reading biographies of different people who have made something of themselves having come from disadvantaged backgrounds are inspiring and give me courage to follow my dreams. Once I'm 'bucked up' by their stories I do what I've always known needs to get taken care of... there's no ONE person because everyone deals with different shit, and I take lessons a bit from everyone.
i have an affirmation in the front of my planner/ calendar that i found and loved and fit my sensibilites and feelings. it reads:
I will become my own role model.
i really liked it because it reminds me to ammulate all the traits i admire in people. and it makes me think why those traits are admirable and worth having. it's making me feel positive and happy just thinking about it.
i hear what you're all saying - basically that this kind of change has to come from within and that i shouldn't look to external forces as a guide/energy source. and i buy that.
but i think this idea, that i could be energized by someone else's mojo stems from the fact that i am a fairly extreme extrovert - as in i get my energy, my mood, my inspiration from other people vs. being self-contained. it's been a problem for me on a number of levels, and i'm always fighting it, but it's fairly core to who i am and how i live and i'm not sure if denying it is a solution. so i wouldn't mind trying this whole hero thing out just to see how it works. maybe not as *the* solution, or a single hero, but as one source of potential motivation - a "bucking up" as mlle emily puts it.
to be honest i can't think of that many people around me that inspire me re: how they live. not that i don't love my peeps, but they are just so different from me and have different priorities, so it's hard to relate to most on that level...so maybe that's why i'm looking further afield for this kind of "role model".
i don't think you should fight the way you are. you should work with it. i look at people who have qualities that i admire and i think about why are they good qualities, why or how does that person have that quality, how must it effect him/her and those around him/her. Then if i feel like it's a quality i'd like to nurture in myself i try to adapt it to my life. sometimes it's a big challenge. patience for instance comes hard to me, but i've worked for a long long time to keep my patience and at this point in my life it's something i have that i don't have to think about most of the time.
maybe getting out and trying new things will help. the more people you know the better in my opinion. i love to learn from people, have fun with them, etc. they more people you know the better chances you have of making new peeps. the more likely there will be heroes in your personal life.
MlleEmily had a great idea of reading people's bios for inspiration.
hmmm...how did you adopt patience (that sounds hard!)? how do you go about assimilating a quality that is counterintuitive? i know i've done it before (because i'm compulsively self-analytical and i've changed over time in a number of ways), but i feel like i am lacking these kind of strategies right now.
re: the bio suggestion - that was actually one of the things i was seeking in my initial post - recommendations for inspiring biographies or autobiographies. any ideas?
thanks for everyone's words, btw!
you don't just put "patience" on like it's a bunny suit. you PRACTICE patience, and work patience, and fuck up and bite someone's head off and apologize, then practice being patient some more.
i am strongly of the opinion that you can't just decide to have a quality, and then bam, you live that quality. if that were possible, i would decide to be happy instead of depressed, and i would be happy. but we all know that's not how it works, right?
learning new skills (whether it's ping pong or patience) is all about practicing, failing, and practicing more.
on that note, i highly recommend anything by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Go to your library and look for "A Prince Of Our Disorder" by John Mack. It's the best biography (in my opinion) of T.E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia. He was an incredible human being. Reading this book changed my life and made me a lot less critical of myself and put me on the path to get my shit together. I've gone on to collect lots of books about Lawrence and at one time I got to rub elbows with some other Lawrence scholars. I picked up the book recently again, I think I may need a booster shot. :-)
What are you into? Music, architecture, painting, dance? Find some bios of people you admire from those fields, whatever they are.