In the Walt Disney film adaptation of C.S. Lewis classic The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the Beavers explain to the Pevensie children why they have come to Narnia and what their destiny is. Incredulous at the Beavers’ insistence that they are somehow the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, Peter Pevensie (William Moseley) tells the Beavers, “I think you’ve made a mistake. We’re not heroes.” Despite his protests to the contrary, the Beavers remain convinced that the Pevensies are indeed the warriors who will save all of Narnia and one day become its rulers.
Just like Peter Pevensie, in any situation we face, we feel we know ourselves. But in fact, we may know ourselves too well. Like Peter, we think we know who we are. When opportunities for greatness appear, we feel we are not qualified. When the hero’s entrance is announced, we look for someone else. We don’t suppose that it could actually be ourselves.
But Peter’s confession is the seed of true greatness. When we admit that we’re not heroes, we aren’t trying to fool ourselves into believing that we are better than we are. At the same time, we cannot disqualify ourselves from the assignment God has prepared for us. We should admit that we’re not heroes, but we should also believe that God could use us to be more than we believed possible. In other words, it’s fine to say, “We’re not heroes,” but we should also be willing to become heroes.
Becoming a hero is easier than being a hero. But it requires intentional thinking to know where you’re headed. Ask yourself these questions to focus your mind on the direction you want to go.
“Who do you aspire to be?”
First, you need to have a mental picture of the person that you would want to be. The clearer the image of the person you want to be, the easier it will be for you to become like that person.
Think back through your life to the significant role models that you have had. Think through the people who have made you better than you were. Those who challenged you to dig deep into yourself. To find who you could be. To summon the courage you didn’t’ think you had. To work harder that you thought you could. To care more deeply than you than you realized you did.
Create a composite of those people in your mind. Put those attributes into one person. And then think what kind of person they are like. So you can think through what kind of person you want to be like.
“What would you do as that person?”
Once you have a clear picture in your head of what this person looks like, it is important to think through what this person acts like. Start a practice of thinking what this person—this hero—would do.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation when you are not sure what you should do, ask yourself, “What would this person do right now?” The more you ask yourself that question, the more you will know what you should do.
“Why would you be willing to do what they would do?”
Even heroes can grow weary in doing good. It’s important to know why you are willing to become like your hero. Otherwise it’s easy to slip back into old ways.
Take the time to figure out why you would want to be like your hero. Do you want to be remembered well by others? Do you want to pass on a legacy to your children? Do you want to be more like Jesus?
Whatever your reason, it’s essential that you know what it is. There will be times that you want to respond to people in the heat of the moment the way your old self would respond. If you don’t have that reason ready in your head to help you refocus, then you will likely do something that you will regret later.
Even when we fall down, it’s never too late to start over. Especially since others are counting on you. They want someone to emulate. They want you to be the hero.
You can become like the Pevensies. And in the process, you can become someone else’s hero.
This article echoes themes from my second international bestseller, Dear Employee: What Your Boss Wishes You Knew.
To find out more about Dear Employee, or to purchase a copy of the book, click here.