The movie ended, adrenaline was pumping. From the corner of my eye, a mere silhouette of something tiny, yet extremely swift, was rapidly advancing toward me. I barely had time to react before a fury of fists and feet rained wrath upon me, resulting in what one could only describe as an embarrassing display of a grown man receiving a beating from a surprisingly strong 5-year old girl. As she pinned me to the ground, she asked a question that I’ll never forget, “Daddy, can I be the Dragon Warrior?” I was pierced by the sincerity of my little girl’s simple, yet powerful question. In essence she was asking, “Can I become more than what I currently am?” You see, all of us battle with that question at some point in our lives as we struggle to understand who or what we are. The Dragon Warrior himself was no exception. Eventually, his fighting skills became the stuff of legend, but Po’s pure awesomeness sprang from much more than his abilities on the battlefield. It was his story; the story of a noodle shop nobody…a seemingly insignificant panda who would one day become the protector of China, thanks to a belief instilled in his soul that greatness can come from anyone or anywhere. Simply put, each individual has the power to change the world, regardless of station or supposed influence. Here are three lessons to help you awaken your inner Dragon Warrior, and change your world.
THERE IS NO SECRET INGREDIENT
One of the life’s greatest truths is that a simple belief can not only inspire you to change your world, but light a fire in others, so that they change it with you. Whether you’re looking to change yourself, your team, or an entire organization, belief is contagious and it spreads like wildfire. We sometimes erroneously search for a particular skill set, while neglecting attitude. While certain skills are imperative to be successful, as evidenced by Po’s mastery of Kung Fu, it was not until that fateful moment as he peered into his own reflection upon the Dragon Scroll that true change was born. The words of his father finally made perfect and absolute sense; “There is no secret ingredient. To make something special, you just have to believe it’s special.” In that moment, there were no sudden surges of power within his body…just his simple reflection that illuminated his soul to believe that he indeed was the Dragon Warrior. A true change in attitude is what leads to lasting and sustainable success. It’s that simple.
JUST BE YOU
“How do I become like you?” Po’s innocent question to his master reflected not only his own personal journey of self-discovery, but self-doubt, as he struggled to learn the secrets of Kung Fu. He desperately sought to become someone else, believing that was the only way he would ever succeed. On your own journey of self-discovery, you may mistakenly embrace the belief that you’re not good enough until you’ve become someone else. Perhaps that someone is on your team, someone you lead, or someone who leads you. Consequentially, you will no doubt experience moments of self-doubt, and may find yourself spending a lifetime imitating others, only to discover that you’ve never attained your true potential. To Po’s question the wise Shifu responded, “I’m not trying to teach you to be me. I’m trying to teach you to be you.” You won’t always do things as others would do them. Embrace your own diversity, and allow others the same privilege. Comparison can become a deadly poison that robs you of your confidence and destroys who you were meant to be. There is a wise saying, “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
VALUE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF OTHERS
Though he was the Dragon Warrior, Po realized that without the Furious Five or his fellow Pandas, he was nothing. No matter what secrets he mastered, or how powerful he became, they were his heroes. He never ceased to be inspired by them, and it was his unwavering devotion, respect, and honor for them that led to his truly mastering of Chi, which ultimately led to Kai’s demise. Awakening your inner Dragon Warrior, and thus your destiny for success, is not possible until you recognize and value the contribution of others. Do you see those with whom you work as heroes? Do you allow them to inspire you? If the answer is no, consider amending your attitude. As you reflect on transformations that may need to occur, personal change may well be one of your most difficult. It’s not always easy, and may even stretch you, but ferociously seek help from others. We all have something to learn from one another and though the journey is sure to be demanding, Master Oogway said it best, “If you only do what you can do, you’ll never do anything more.” So to my beautiful daughter I say, “You can be anything your heart desires. Just never lose sight of who you are and what you’re destined to become.”