In our lives we help people – as parents, as people, as employees. And hopefully we reap a benefit beyond money. We’re satisfied, appreciated, certain we’re doing good in the world. If we’re not getting these emotional payoffs, then something’s out of whack, even if it’s your paid work. As you choose where to invest your love, support and skills, ask yourself: Who do you want to be a hero to?
Who do you want to be a hero to?
This is the question I presented in a chapter called “Who do you want to be a hero to?” in the new book: Why Study Creativity?, coming out in Fall 2015, from ICSC Press. Here’s an excerpt from the chapter I authored:
Who do you want to be a hero to? I’m going to be working night and day, talking at conventions and social gatherings about who I help and why. This work – even more than a job – will blend with my identity. So, it came down to, who did I want to be a hero to? In the helping professions, this is a critical question. You’re giving with your whole heart, so you want to make sure you’re giving in such a way as to help the world become what you want to see. When giving is your profession, then let that burst of energy serve your greater life’s purpose so it gives back to you, refills your well.
When I asked myself: Who do you want to be a hero to? The answer was easy. It was not diet Coke, or American Express or HBO, all former clients of mine. I want to be a hero to people like myself who have great creativity, but never read the owner’s manual. They needed their own creativity decoded. They could be more effective, productive and satisfied if they were coached by me. They could gain their own superpowers by understanding their creative thinking preferences and how that interacts with their creative process. They could have their own treasure map, in the form of the CPS process model. And they could end their own agonies as they self-coached using tools for each phase of the process.
As I was their hero by phone, they would express themselves with more daring, more power and more effect in the real world. They would become the superheroes of our society – the creative people who are willing to state the less obvious, able to make connections and draw our attention to things that need seeing. I believe the world would be a better place if creative people were enabled, turned on, united and empowered.
Wonder Woman was famously advised by the Amazon women who raised her: Remember, only use your powers for good. If you stop and think who you care about helping, you’ll see how your skillset can be of service. (And btw, you’ll probably make a better living, since you’re following your bliss.)