Editors note: This is a guest post from Mitch Wright of Home Fitness Manual.
Greatness is a skill.
It can be taught. It can be repeated.
If you’re bold enough you can reach it consistently.
Of course luck, talent and hard work all play a factor when you’re trying to hone Superhero-like abilities. Even if one of these elements isn’t one of your strengths, it’s okay. There are a few steps that can be taken to transform you into something greater than your potential.
As I use the term “Superhero” it’s meant as a way to improve your being (mind and body), and not about strapping a cape to your back while leaping out of windows to battle villains.
A real-life Superhero is someone who’s all about reaching and maintaining goals while also achieving a balance in the everyday happenings. Conviction and drive are monumental character traits.
Possessing Superhero abilities is not about accomplishing the “easy”. It’s all about accepting the opposite and relishing in the “hard”.
This is the divide.
Tackling a challenge shouldn’t be surrounded in fear.
It’s about elevating your goals and reach a tipping point in your personal development.
Jedi Mind Tricks and Other Superhero Abilities
When was the last time you had a brush with Greatness?
Go on…think back. Was it yesterday? The day before that? I hope you don’t have to shoot through too many memories just to come away with the last time you were in a moment of triumph.
When you have very little reference points to reflect on, understanding how Greatness actually works can be challenging.
You don’t have to posses Jedi mind tricks to become a Superhero. It’s not about learning the art of persuasion. Rather, the true goal is to take one of your weaknesses and raise it up.
The true test is being able to gain the ability to head into a tough situation and do what’s needed. The type of situation doesn’t really matter. Here are a few examples of what I mean:
- If your job requires you to talk down jumpers from a ledge, you’re expected to keep cool under pressure.
- Your boss relies on you to walk into a business proposal and land an account, so you’ve got to know how to connect with clients every time.
- The game-winning basket is in your hands as the seconds tick down. You need pull up, shoot and simply be “clutch” in your performance.
Each of the three examples really defines the first step to possessing Superhero abilities. It’s all about learning how to be consistent, and not hold anything back.
This sounds simple. However, it takes plenty preparation for both the mind and body so you can come away with the kind of clarity that’s needed to keep forging ahead, even when the pressure’s on.
Become Great by Honing Your Superhero Mind
Who’s the greatest Superheroes of all time? I’ll give you a hint: All you have to do is crack open a History book.
When I think about the people who have shaped the world, while also finding a way to inspire generations long after, here are the names that inspire me: Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway. (This is just a small fraction of the list I originally wrote down.)
Each of those names were respected in their day for not only possessing a commanding physical presence, but also a commanding mind. Even today their achievements are still celebrated.
Now, what if we through your name in there?
What Superheros do is influence. The greatest muscle each of us has is our mind. So it’s important to learn how to develop it in a way to spot opportunities, create goals, and master situations.
The usual thing is to simple layout a few steps for you to take. I’m not going to do that here. Breaking down the steps you need to take as you transform yourself into a Superhero is sorta like cheating, right? It’s just not the Superhero way. So, instead of giving you the answers I’m going to list a few questions for you to digest.
Your answers will guide you to what you need to foster.
1. Are you willing to accept change? Not owning your destiny is a big mistake.
It’s easy to get trapped into thinking that if you simply stick to a plan, you’ll reap major benefits. Sure, you might come see some headway towards the path you want to take. But when you find that progress slowing down, do you keep plugging ahead, or will change-up the game plan?
Being adaptable is paramount to survival. If you can adjust, react and settle in on a task you’re closer than most other people.
2. Can you be fearless? This isn’t the same thing as not being afraid. It’s rooted more in your ability to be vulnerable, dedicated and able to deal with success.
Sometimes the fear of succeeding is a much heavier burden than facing a moment of failure. When you’re not in the spotlight, you’re just like everyone else. You can retain your anonymity. You’re able to blend in. You can simply be.
When you win, there’s attention that goes with it. And not everyone is really prepared for this. So, this question isn’t one to simply to shy off.
3. Are you willing to sacrifice your life? I hope this question piqued a bit of outrage in you. If scaling up some volcano just to throw yourself into the lava may have popped in your mind, this isn’t where I’m trying to take you. What I’m proposing is more about killing the life you’re living right now.
At this moment, do you really need to turn on the T.V. or click over to YouTube?
The adage: “You are what you eat” is the perfect example for what I’m trying to get at. I’ll tweak it a bit to fit what I’d like you to ruminate on:
“You are how you live.”
If you want to live near the cusp of your greatest abilities, on a consistent basis, then taking action and shelving inaction is what you need to do. It might mean giving up your favorite sitcom. Or, you may need to lift some weights instead of hanging at a bar with your friends on the weekends.
These are choices. Albeit, they may appear small when thinking about all the other decisions we’re faced each day. But the thing that is really important and should be kept in mind here is to create habits that will help drive you in the direction you want to go.
So, if you like to snack when you get home from work, or zone out on the couch, what is that doing for you at the end of the day? Are you becoming the person you want to be?
It’s the steps you take in the right direction that will lead you to your destination.
4. Can you hang while riding the wave? To become greater than you currently are isn’t about what you do when your life is going great, but how you react during times of struggle. While the details of this question might be one of the shortest, it’s also one you won’t be able to answer right off the bat.
Time and progress will give you enough insight to answer this one appropriately.
Strength and The Superhero Body
The putting your mental game together is a much more difficult task than building a body that can handle almost anything.
This is good news for those who need to give their bodies a bit of love.
There are a slew of approaches to help anyone strengthen the body, or simply build it into looking like it’s strong. Some of the best tips I can share with you aren’t detailing how many reps and sets you need to stick with when taxing your muscles.†In fact, you should really be interested in sticking to a few key points that will help you build a functional body.
If you want to perform like you have Superhero abilities and look totally bad ass as a result, then make these tips the foundation of your program:
1. Start eating real food. No amount of training will rid your body of toxins being put in through your mouth. If you’re expected to think out side of the box, shouldn’t your diet follow suit?
It’s important to know your macros when on any kind of diet. Protein should generally be the largest portion on your plate, followed by a lowered amount of carbs and fats.
2. Opt for building strength and reducing your body fat first. If you want huge muscles, you’ll naturally look “swole” when you’re carrying around less fat. When the muscles get showcased they will appear larger. You can pretty much look even more ripped when you’ve developed a leaner physique.
The way to do this is through resistance training. It’s more important than stepping up to a treadmill to burn calories. If you want to train at home bodyweight exercises are a great starting point. If you’re heading to a gym, yes, you’re actually expected to lift some heavy weights. No milling around and chatting your time away.
3. Specialize each workout based on your weak spots. This is where a lot of beginners fail to see progress is because they train the entire body, all of the time. Starting out, it might be necessary to prep every muscle group. But as time goes by this practice becomes less important.
The trick is to log every workout so you can spot which muscles need more attention over the others. When you’ve spotted your body’s imbalances it’ll be easy to reduce the slack on certain muscles, and ramp up the effort on others.
4. Always learn new exercises and patterns. Nothing slows down progress like playing to the same old workout and the same old exercises. Adapting new movements and changing up your routines is meant to be a skill worth pursuing.
There isn’t one plan or program that’s going to push your to your genetic abilities. The only thing that can propel you is to make exercise a habit.
The person who struggles to stay on track might not get stronger the fastest, nor would they drop the most fat in a short span of time.†But the person who’s always forging ahead will be one to outlast the others, when they’ve given up out of boredom, frustration, or the combination of the two.
What does it take to be the real-life embodiment of a Superhero? Are uncanny abilities simply the result of hard work or smart work?
Lifting yourself up to a point where you can consistently reach Greatness is a remarkable feat. But as you strive to become greater than your potential you need to be prepared for it. If you’re not, it’ll overwhelm you.
So if you think you need to be all-knowing, you’re missing the point. Unless your goal is to be the most winning-est contestant on Jeopardy, all you have to be is†just honest and truthful with yourself. That’s really the first step to gain a Superhero state of mind and body.
I want to leave you with a single thought that was spoken over a century ago:
To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence. ~ Mark Twain
Now I’ll pass it to you. What do you think you need to transform yourself into the Superhero you were born to be?†I’d love to hear your comments below.
Mitch Wright runs the popular blog Home Fitness Manual. He’s the author of The Bodyweight Advantage, and he’s proud to spend his time between being a dad, husband and a writer on all things to do with exercising-from-home (because he simply got tired of shelling out a fee just to stay in shape).
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