Once upon a time, there was a heroic warrior who set out to Seize the Day! Cue the trumpets and roll out the red carpet. It’s time for the hero to enter the arena!
Fairy tales are full of handsome Heroes who always save the day. Disney’s gotten the hint in recent years that we would rather watch a Damsel save herself. Their princesses have evolved from simpering idiots into Carpe diem type of gals.
It’s about time.
A Hero doesn’t wait to solve their challenging problems they simply seize the day. They don’t wait around complaining when the economy takes a nosedive. They create change and take action. They go back to school or start a business. They take responsibility for both success and failure.
And never wait around for someone else to fix their problems.
They draw their swords and slay the beast. Sure they fall down a few times and stumble upon a ton of obstacles. But they don’t stop trying until they succeed and overcome.
They seize the day – no matter what.
Seize the Day and Flip the Script
I was once a Damsel in Distress. I waited and waited for someone else to change my circumstances.
But I flipped the script.
I stopped blaming everyone else for my lack of success. I stopped complaining and started a business. I created new profit streams, changed directions, made mistakes, and evolved. I took responsibility and created a new path. I seized the day! I haven’t reached all my goals yet, but I’m working on it every day.
Because at the end of the day, I’m the only one responsible for me. No one is coming to save me. And no one is coming to save you either. Whatever challenge you are facing, take action today. Find a solution, create a plan, and make necessary changes. Seize the day. Your success completely depends on your mindset.
So kill the Rapunzel mindset, seize the day, and become a Hero.
And Not Just Any Hero – Be an Action Hero
Words are incredibly useless sometimes.
Not these words, of course. But lots of phrases can be a complete waste of breath. Here are a few that have the potential for being empty promises:
I’m going to lose weight.
I’m going to quit my job.
I’m going to meditate more.
I’m going to keep the house clean.
I’m going back to church.
I’m going to start yoga classes.
I’m going to start a business.
I want to go to college.
We all say a bunch of stuff we don’t mean. Maybe losing weight isn’t really a priority for you, so you make this bold statement about losing weight and you just don’t care enough to follow through. That makes it an empty promise. There’s a difference between making empty promises in conversation and stating a dream that you really want to accomplish.
If you want to go back to college, figure out how to make that happen. It’s not making the statement “I want to go to college”. That’s just a phrase. The essence of “seize the day” is figuring out steps that take you from potential student to actual student.
The only difference is action.
Seize the Day
I want you to have the right mindset. I want you to completely slaughter the Rapunzel mindset and evolve into something more. But switching mindsets is really only the first step. Having a Hero mindset is taking actionable steps towards your goals. It’s picking up the phone and making the phone call. It’s doing research and being open to trying new things. It’s making sacrifices to find time to for your new goal.
It’s not about making empty promises and never following through.
Think about the old Rapunzel character. In the old fairy tale, Rapunzel is an entirely passive character. She doesn’t make anything happen, and the story unfolds around her. She has the opposite of the seize the day mindset. Anyone could be Rapunzel – a jump rope could play the same part. Being a passive bystander in your own life’s story isn’t the way to any real or true happiness. It’s allowing life to happen to you, instead of choosing the life you want.
On the flip side, taking action can be incredibly scary. We know it’s filled with failure and mistakes. That’s just a given. We know we may fall flat on our faces, and we’ll have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and try again. And again. Until we get the results we want.
I get that taking action is scary. It’s stepping into the unknown and leaving the comfort of your sheltered existence. It’s trying something that you’ve never done before. It can fill you with anxiety, fear, frustration, and the feeling of being completely overwhelmed. But failure isn’t the only thing that may happen if you’re courageous enough to take action today.
What if you didn’t focus on your potential failure, but focused on your eventual success?
Yes, you may make a few wrong turns. That’s just the way it is – everyone fails or makes a few mistakes. I just don’t care that much about failures. I learn from failures and mistakes, so I don’t fear them. They are a valuable learning tool. They tell me how to improve and how to make things better.
We know Rapunzel is a passive character. So let’s take a look at the Hero in the old fairy tales. The Hero always goes through trials and tribulations. The Hero usually stumbles a few times, and almost fails. In a lot of old stories the Hero is actually quite reluctant to start his quest (always a “he” in the old stories!). However, after being pushed into action, the Hero takes up the reigns and slays the villain. He becomes the Hero Prince, winning the adoration of his passive love interest and lives happily ever after.
So what’s our takeaway from the Hero’s story? It doesn’t matter if he’s reluctant or doesn’t believe he can accomplish his quest in the beginning. He OVERCOMES his fears, DOESN’T QUIT when he stumbles and SEIZES THE DAY! This is the essence of becoming a Hero.
Let It Go (and yeah, you can sing while you’re doing it!)
This is hard stuff, and you’ve got a lifetime of baggage to deal with. But drop your baggage at the door and don’t bring it along on this particular journey. Because we’ve been talking about fairy tales, let’s take a minute to discuss Frozen. It’s wildly popular (and wildly unpopular in certain circles – but this isn’t about that!).
In the story, the Heroes are two sisters, who ultimately save themselves (yeah Disney!). And if you’re living under a rock and haven’t heard the song “Let it Go,” it’s about letting go of your fears and hesitations and taking control of your life. Now that’s exactly the kind of lesson we all need!
Since I’ve reduced our lives to fairy tale characters anyway, why not learn a thing or two from Elsa and Anna. Learn to let your old fears go. Don’t let anything or anyone control your future. Don’t put limits on yourself. Take action! If you’re reading these words right this second, I know you want to move forward in your life. You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t want to move forward right this minute.
Choose the character you want to be. I want you to be the Action Hero, not the Damsel in Distress. And I know deep down you do too.
You’ve got this.
Side note for those stuck in a dark place:
I don’t know you and you don’t know me. But I know dark places. If you’re in a dark place and you need help, get it. Call your doctor and figure out how to climb out of your dark place. Or find another supportive person/place/organization that can help you. You can’t become a Hero when you’re not taking care of yourself. You have to be healthy to be a Hero. Take whatever steps you need to take to get yourself back on track.
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