As a child my superhero was superman and in my view Christopher Reeve encapsulated superman. In 1995 he  became a quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition.  The tragic horse-riding accident that left him paralyzed also gave him wings to soar above his physical limitations.  That’s not to say that it wasn’t difficult for him.  He even contemplated suicide at one point. He went on to found the Christopher Reeve Foundation  and co-founding the Reeve-Irvine Research Centre. So it made me think, what characteristics did he have that made him so strong?

Courage.  Most of us shy away from a challenge.  Maybe we don’t like confrontation, or maybe we just want to take the path of least resistance.  But there comes a time when we, individually, must face our deepest fears.  It could be accepting a job that moves you half way across the country.  Or walking out on a relationship that should have ended ten years ago.  Whatever is keeping you from enjoying your life needs to be examined, evaluated, and executed.  No one’s going to do it for you.  Be brave.

Optimism.  Ever hear the old saying “glass half full/half empty”?  Well, it’s true.  You have a 50/50 chance of being positive or negative.  Which side do you find yourself on most of the time?  Negative thinking can be a very hard habit to break.  But the good thing is, it is easily remedied.  How?  Speak positively.  Act positively.  Replace negative self-talk with uplifting messages that you tape to your mirror or on the fridge door.  And before you know it, you will think positively.  Action precedes attitude.  A good attitude is contagious, so surround yourself with people who are upbeat and encouraging.

Self-determination.  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  10 years?  A person without a goal is like a bus without a driver.  Don’t let limitations, either real or perceived, keep you from your objective.  And don’t listen to negative people, even if at times you think they must be right.  If something is important to you, stick with it.  You will be amazed at what you can do.

There is a bit of a superhero in all of us.  Sometimes, it takes an unexpected event to bring that hero out.  And sometimes, we can help someone else see that hero in themselves.

The Facts;

  • A smile is a universal expression of happiness and recognised as such by all cultures
  • A smile is the most frequently used facial expression It takes as few as five pairs of facial muscles and as many as all 53 to smile
  • Regardless of the precise number of muscles used, smiling causes far fewer muscles to contract and expand than frowning
  • Smiling releases endorphin and makes us feel better
  • Even ‘faking’ a smile can lead to feeling happier
  • People are born with the ability to smile (They don’t copy the expression, even babies who are born blind, smile)
  • Babies reserve special smiles (Duchenne smiles of joy and happiness) for their loved ones
  • A newborn shows a preference for a smiling face over a non-smiling face
  • Women smile more than men
  • Younger people smile more than older people. American males with high testosterone smile least of all.
  • There are 18 different kinds of smile used in a variety of social situations
  • Human beings can differentiate between the ‘felt’ (Duchenne) smile (of joy and happiness) and the social smile – ‘it’s in the eyes’ (literally)
  • A smiling person is judged to be more pleasant, attractive, sincere, sociable, and competent than a non-smiling person
  • A person who studies laughter is called a ‘gelotologist’ 



Can smiling help you to move forward? Are you lacking in confidence and afraid to be noticed? Practice smiling. Think of what you can ask people about themselves and jot down some notes. Try it out on a family member, friend or a colleague that you trust. Think about those people who seem to always have a smile and a word for others. How do they make you feel? You can be like that too.

You can choose to be permanently grumpy or you can choose to cheer up and smile! Have you been putting off the smiles? By smiling you will be releasing endorphin in your brain which will make you feel better. You can even trick your brain into believing you feel good by getting that smile on your face, even if you don’t feel like it yet. Do it long enough and you won’t have to fake it.

Many of us, whether we know it or not, live within a prison of our own making. This prison has no metal bars, nor can its walls be seen by the naked eye; however, it is every bit as effective in keeping us from our freedom as a real prison cell. It’s called our comfort zone 

Comfort zones can take on a variety of different forms, from the area in which you live and the circle of people with whom you socialise, to the amount of money you earn.

The primary force that keeps you living within your zone is your fear-based belief about what will happen if you move outside it.

Regardless of how ridiculous or unrealistic that belief may be, you will accept it as truth depending on the level of certainty you feel.

Your comfort zone is not really comfortable at all, but is really a virtual prison that keeps you from evolving and growing as a human being.

Continue reading “Why You Never Get What You Truly Want”