Five Rules for Being a Hero

I have certain weird fascinations that no normal guy should have. I like going to the hospital and eating in the cafeteria, I look forward to watching romcoms with my wife, I’ve watched a show on the CW and liked it, and going to the library makes it a good day.

Today is a good day. Several checked out books and an hour later, I arrived home from the library pumped over the new material to read. It did not disappoint. The first book I started reading was Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki. It’s well worth the time spent already, but my favorite part of it so far was just him quoting another author. He quotes these guys who wrote a book on heroism. Zeno Franco and Philip Zimbardo give five rules of heroism. Very cool stuff and here they are with my commentary attached. Think about these within a Becoming Last/Christian context.

  1. Maintain constant vigilance for situations that require heroic action – I love this one. Christians typically live very placid lives. For the most part, we just go about living until something comes up or until something offends us. What if we lived lives of constant vigilance? What if we diligently sought after ways to love, serve, and help people? We don’t need to develop a hero complex, but Christ came healing, serving, and sacrificing. If we’re to be Christ-like, I think this is a point to consider.
  2. Learn not to fear conflict because you took a stand – I hate conflict so I avoid it as much as possible. But there comes a time when one must make a stand or your beliefs aren’t worth much. We should not seek out conflict, but there may come times when we must not afraid to stand for something. Whether this be in a friendship, an ethical dilemma at work, or a political/religious issue, know there will inevitably be conflict. However, please be wary that our conflicts are not due to the way we act rather than the issue itself.
  3. Imagine alternative future scenarios beyond the present moment – Think eternally. We get so caught up in the now that we lose sight of proper perspective. This goes back to rule number one. We have so many things consuming our lives that it makes it impossible to maintain vigilance. As you make decisions about how you spend your time and your money, how you deal with conflict, or any other dilemma, remember to keep an eternal perspective.
  4. Resist the urge to rationalize and justify inaction – Think of any New Year’s Resolution you’ve made. Maybe it’s eating better. You start off strong. Then, you hit a week where you are struggling. You begin making excuses. “Well, I’ll just break it tonight.” “I had one last night. I’ll just start back next week.” “Yikes. I gained some weight. Maybe I’m not good at this. I’ll wait until a better time.” Instead of looking for reasons not to take action, make an effort to look for reasons to take action. Take some risks. Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of failure. Let’s stop being chained by our excuses and experience the freedom in serving and giving love to people unconditionally.
  5. Trust that people will appreciate heroic (and frequently unpopular) actions – This one I have a little harder time with. In the context of a business, this book is a business book, it makes sense. In Becoming Last, I’m not sure. We definitely don’t need to be bound by people’s opinions. However, some folks thrive on that. They think their heroic simply because the majority disagrees with them. My thought is: Live for an audience of One. That one being God, not yourself.  It’s such an easy thing to say, “Oh yeah, I live for God.” But, do we really? Spend some time in serious thought/prayer, read Scripture, and see if your life matches what God calls us to. I’m not saying it won’t. Just don’t assume it does.

I found these guys to be extremely insightful. They may not have spoken in a Christian context, but we could certainly learn from them.

So what do you think? Like their five rules? Would you add others?



Filed under Books, christian, Excuses, purpose, Realizations

8 responses to “Five Rules for Being a Hero

  1. My favorite is “resist the urge to justify inaction”. Faith without works is dead. How many times do I justify my inaction in all aspects of life?!

  2. Yeah. i think that one or #1 is my favorite.

  3. Great post and I couldn’t agree more. For #1, I think we are called to live that way, “making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”

    I’ve always said that many Christians live like Clark Kent if he never knew he was Superman. All that power inside but no outlet. God “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the POWER THAT WORKS WITHIN US.” (Eph. 3:20) The life of God is inside us so we should live like heroes!

    • Wow. Great example Jason. The verse is also one of my favorites because I believe earlier in Ephesians it speaks of the same power that raised Christ from the dead. The Superman example is pretty accurate there.

  4. Sharon

    Great common sense with a liturgical twist.

  5. Matt

    I had the same reaction when I first read the blog post that Kawasaki wrote about these ideas.

    I’m working with Phil and Zeno on getting this message into schools. Check out my Hero Construction Company site if you’re interested in seeing more. I’m always happy to talk heroes…

  6. Very cool Matt. Seems like you guys do some good work with kids. Good to hear from you!

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