Rise Of Superman
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Howard Thurman
Do you ever read something or hear something that literally changes your life? When I read this quote about five years ago, it changed me. It was exactly what I needed to hear in exactly the moment I needed to hear it. I often felt like I was stepping into my own and had a lot to share, but at times felt guilty for sharing, guilty for being happy, energetic and loving my life and what I do.
Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to help others. My parents often remind me of a family trip we took to Mexico when I was probably about five years old. My brother and I were each given $10 to get a souvenir. I instantly knew what I wanted to do with my money. I wanted to go back and give it to all the moms and babies that I saw on the street begging for money.
For as long as I can remember, I have been an empath and literally feel the pain of others. I do believe this is a good quality and yet I know it has caused me more pain than necessary. Quite often I would hear myself say “I feel bad for….” Words are powerful, but that affirmation—“I feel bad”— didn’t help me or them. Feeling pain for others doesn’t help anyone and isn’t all that effective really. Serving others, however, is effective and we can serve others at a very high level without feeling pain. Hearing this quote helped me realize that I can help others by helping myself. By doing what I love and showing up every day as the best version of myself, I am a better mother, friend, doctor, daughter and more.
And this is one of the main values I want to impart to our children. The world needs more people who have found their purpose, who do what they love and create balance in their lives by working hard for something they believe in and doing things that make them happy. They can surround themselves with positive, like-minded people who help them grow. We don’t deserve any less.
So often in our lives, it’s not the darkness that scares us most. It’s our light. It’s our powerful light that we all have inside of us that scares us. It’s the “big ass goals” that we are sometimes too afraid to say out loud because we want them so badly, but don’t want to set ourselves up for failure. I want our kids to shine their lights. I want them to have those big ass goals that are so big and so scary, that they make you shake with fear and excitement all at the same time. Those are the things that make life an adventure. Those are the things that make life worth living.
I’m not saying our kids are superhuman or better than anyone else. No way. Not even close to what I mean. What I am saying is I want them to know that with enough heart and commitment they can do anything they dream of (within reason).
Levi, who is getting really into running, wants to break speed records. Whether he will or not, who am I to get in his way? I tell him often that nobody thought it was humanly possible to break the four-minute mile until Roger Bannister did it and led the way for countless others. Evel Knievel was the first person crazy (or brave) enough to jump a motorcycle over a line of buses. Now that feat is achieved all over the country every day. I’m not advocating that our kids attempt dangerous stunts like that, but I want them to see that these people had the guts to push the limits and do what nobody thought possible. They wanted to accomplish something, but had been told hundreds of times it wasn’t possible. Guess what, it was very possible. They had the heart and determination to make it happen. We are capable of so much more than we realize.
If we can teach our kids one thing, one overarching lifelong principle that guides their life decisions, it would be this:
Go out and shine your light. The world needs you. The world is ready for you.
If we all did that, unapologetically, this world would be a better place.