Superheroes can teach us to become successful

Chris Hemsworth

There is no denying that Chris Hemsworth has been super successful since landing the role of Thor in the eponymous film of 2011.

He earned more than A$107 million (US$76.4 million) last year, has been the face of Australian Tourism, lives in idyllic Byron Bay, had the power to convince Marvel to make Thor: Ragnarok in his home country, and prioritises family, friends and passions to maintain life balance.

Chris Hemsworth is happy to admit he was not the first pick to play Thor. In fact, Chris Hemsworth was close to giving up on his acting dreams because he felt like his big break was never going to come. Things could have ended very differently for him had he believed the fake news about not being good enough to make it.

Business transformation specialist Gary Waldon (pictured above), author of Sort Your Sh!t Out, is an avid fan of superhero movies.

“As business transformation specialist, I believe there is a strong appeal in the modern offering of superhero stories. These stories closely map with not only Chris Hemsworth’s real-life story, but also most of our own life experiences. If we are completely honest with ourselves, we would admit that no one sets out to become mediocre. We all dream about being successful,” said Waldon.

“To identify the secrets to being super successful, let’s take a look at the superhero model to pinpoint the key steps needed. Firstly, everyone knows that superhero origin stories start with a super talented being travelling on an upward trajectory to achieving greatness, only to be brought back to earth by circumstances that batter their self-confidence and ambition.

“Following these defeats, they retreat to regroup and reflect on their back story. Self-reflection allows them to identify and own those things that have been holding them back and they realise their past self-perceptions and measures of success were flawed. This leads to some kind of epiphany, and they sort their sh!t out to bounce back to fight evil.”

The lessons mere mortals can learn from their favourite superheros are, according to Waldron:

  1. Realise that everyone has their issues and accept we have some of our own. We alone have the power to either control it or let it control us. The first step to being super successful is committing to sorting it out.
  2. Know what we are dealing with. This means unpacking our lives and our past to get a clear picture of why we are the way we are. All too often as leaders we believe our own internal PR (our very own fake news), we believe we must be right because otherwise we wouldn’t believe it. We need to be aware that our opinions, beliefs, values are all a result of our past. These experiences influence the way we process stuff that happens to us, including how we interact with our loved ones and colleagues. Unfortunately, all too often we are our own worst enemy. We can sabotage our success because our fear of failure or being exposed as a fraud affects our ability to be a truly authentic leader. Recognition of these causes of self-doubt and the resulting negative feelings help us take back control.
  3. Take our fake thoughts to task and call bull on them! Remember, this is only possible if we are willing to own our stuff. Many people can survive and succeed without ever truly facing their demons; however, super successful people strive to be content at all levels of their measures of success. Jim Carey was quoted as saying “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer”. This contentment does not just include the materialistic trophies others may admire such as the flashy cars, but also extends to helping others and being fully present in all interactions both personally and professionally.
  4. Start doing things differently. There’s a great saying I use in my transformation work that says “if nothing changes, nothing changes”. To become super successful we need to not only deal with the issues that’s been holding us back, but also embark on a program to become more resilient. We need to train our minds to think differently so we are less likely to be distracted, defeated or self-sabotage our success. The world will continue to happen around us, throwing both good and bad stuff our way. By continuing to maintain on top of it, we can stay in control of our negative thoughts, fears and feelings that have limited our success in the past.
  5. Chris Hemsworth, Gary Waldon,

“The secret to becoming super successful is training ourselves. Consistently using our drive, tools and commitment to break old habits and create new habits which will support our quest for super success,” said Waldon.

Waldon works with people at all levels from CEOs, business leaders and professional athletes through to teachers and retirees to help them take back control of the things that matter to them.

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