Remember that heart-warming movie “Toy Story”?
You know, the classic animated tale about the secret life of toys.
Well, there’s a powerful message woven into that script. Buzz Lightyear, the space-travelling superhero action figure, is convinced that he’s a real space ranger, not just a toy. But when he tries to fly out of the window, he falls and breaks his arm.
This sends Buzz into a deep depression. He is really just a toy.
But soon enough, Woody, a floppy pull-string cowboy doll and the leader of the toys, convinces him that this is not a problem, and encourages him to try again. The next time Buzz tries to fly, and fails, he calls it “falling with style”.
And that is the message right there.
How to “Fall With Style”
Buzz finally came to terms with the fact that he was just a toy and he learned to “fall with style”.
Sometimes you have to take that leap of faith. But gravity is real and it’s going to affect you, no matter what. So, instead of being defeated when you hit the ground, use the experience as an opportunity to learn and grow as you try to fly again.
We Are All “Just” Toys
When you believe, like Buzz, that you’re something you’re not, you have a tendency to overestimate your skills and shoot for the stars, sometimes ignoring reality. Big goals and healthy optimism are essential to success, but self-delusion is certainly not. You must recognise that you are human and failure is always possible.
Those who win at life are the ones who remain calm and centred in defeat. They frame failure as a “learning opportunity”, not something that defines who they are.
Identifying and focusing on your strengths, while understanding and admitting your weaknesses are the first steps in this direction.
To Infinity and Beyond
Though we may have our limitations, the truth is we all have a superpower.
Do you know what yours is?
Steven Kotler, author of The New York Times bestseller “The Rise Of Superman”, has created a method for finding your “sweet spot of life” — that is, your superpower.
Here’s what he suggests:
Write down a list of 20 things that you love to do and that bring you a feeling of joy.
Then, list 15 things that you are curious about.
And finally, list 10 problems that you would like to solve or improve.
Examine your lists and you should find points where three or more of your curiosities match at least one problem or area you’d like to improve, and at least one thing that you love to do.
Then, go deep.
Invest as much time and energy as you can into expanding upon these areas and using them as a force of creation in your life. This is your superpower. Use it wisely.
And as Buzz would say, “To infinity and beyond!”