7 Ways to Become the Hero of Your Own Life Story

Nela Canovic
7 min readSep 19, 2022
Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

Be honest. Are you a casual observer of events happening around you, or an active participant who chooses next steps with purpose?

There’s nothing wrong with being a casual observer of things. I like to stay on top of daily news from around the world, I tune into my favorite Netflix shows in the evening, and I try to be a good listener as friends share the latest plot twist from work or their personal lives. The only problem is that in these instances I don’t get a say in what happens; I am there merely to observe, listen, and think about the new information that is being presented to me.

Things get much more exciting and interesting when I am in a position to be an active participant in something. When I’m writing, I get to choose the theme and sentence structure; I brainstorm and select words I think will best fit the story. In conversations at work or in my circle of friends, I will share my opinion, ask questions, seek or give advice if it’s needed. If there’s a group decision to be made, I will point out the advantages of an option I feel will work best for everyone involved. And if it’s one of those situations where I am setting a personal goal, then I am the one who creates a plan of action to reach by a certain date.

Being an active participant has many advantages, but the biggest one is this — it puts us in the driver’s seat. It requires genuine interest and curiosity on our part (because if it sounds dull and useless, we won’t be sold on the idea, whatever that may be), a significant investment of time (because good things cannot be achieved overnight), a ton of patience (because let’s face it, we will make a lot of mistakes on the way), and a strong dose of self-discipline. While most of us will be curious and interested in figuring out what needs to be done, it’s far less interesting to be committed to the self-discipline part of the equation. And that’s a real shame because self-discipline gets a bad rap. It’s almost something we want to avoid at all costs.

Why?

I think that for most of us the word discipline reminds us of childhood and being punished by parents for breaking things in the house, not cleaning up our room, getting a bad grade in school, and so on. If you were to ask many parents, in this “traditional” sense they…

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Nela Canovic

Growth mindset hacker, writer, Silicon Valley entrepreneur.