Una's Blog


66 An everyday hero is harder to be

graphic-6by Una Hearne.

In one sense it’s easy to be a hero in a war – just turn up. (No, I’m not saying war is easy I’m saying in an emergency doing anything makes you a hero automatically!)

It’s a lot harder to feel like a hero if your life seems ordinary to you. This is not because you are not a hero, this is simply because we don’t give medals to ordinary people or celebrate our ordinary lives.

Being an everyday hero often means not being noticed, or being taken for granted – by ourselves as well as by others. Examples of everyday heroics are:

  • Doing your job well, no matter what that job is.
  • Being a good parent / friend / colleague – being the best you can in every role in your life.
  • Treating everyone with respect and kindness.
  • Helping others when they ask for your help and it is appropriate for you.
  • Looking after yourself properly, developing as a person.
  • Making the world a little better for having you in it.

It does not mean doing any of these perfectly, we are not meant to achieve perfection except maybe once in a lifetime.

If you are happy with your life and how you are living it, if you already have a positive influence on people around you – there is no need for change. Carry on and enjoy. In fact, give yourself a medal. If you are not happy with some aspect, or all of your life, then it is worth looking at what you could change.

And this is where it gets a little tricky. Change in everyday life is challenging. We somehow think it ‘should’ be easy to change daily habits or introduce something new or get rid of something unhelpful. We think we ‘should’ be able to simply make a better choice or be different in some way and because it is good for us it ‘should’ happen for us. There are a few things that will help it – we need a clear goal or vision or what we want, we need to want it badly enough to put in the effort to make it happen, we need a plan and we need to face and overcome any obstacles along the way. I talk all the time about these things.

But there is something else that affects us all to varying degrees and if you are not aware of it, it can scupper your plans without you knowing what is going on. It is inertia. Here is the dictionary definition:

Tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest or a body in straight line motion to stay in motion in a straight line unless acted on by an outside force; The resistance of a body to changes in motion. Resistance or disinclination to motion, action or change.

If you are in a routine, settled in your life and not miserable to have to change, it takes a lot of energy to change a habit or a direction. If you are aware of the inertia you will realise that a lot of what we put down to laziness or procrastination is actually inertia. Once you are aware then you can figure out a way to break free of it which will work for you. Sorry, I’ve just removed a whole set of excuses for inaction haven’t I? Ooopss!


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