Which of these four roles do you most relate to? Are you the Victim, or perhaps the Villain? Are you the Hero, or have you become a Guide to others?
According to Donald Miller’s new book, “Hero On a Mission,” you’re likely to play all four… and at the same time! For once, I’m not going to recommend the book unless you like systems. He has a system to take control of your life on a daily basis, and he credits his system with turning his life around from victim and villain to hero and guide. Since I really don’t ‘do’ systems very well, I suspect it won’t work in that way for me but I love the concept of the four roles.
I have been a victim in my life every time I have waited for ‘rescue’ from external sources. ‘Rescue’ is not the same as ‘help’. We all need help from outside from time to time. Donald is also clear on the fact that there are genuine victims in life. The ‘Victim’ that he encourages us to move on from is the invented helplessness we can adopt when it all seems too much.
The Villain is much more dynamic. This is when we decide to punish others and the world for the way life has turned out. Again, life is something that happens to us rather than something we direct, but we take an active role in paying back pain for pain!
Since reading the beginning chapter, I’ve had pleasure in calling myself out when catching myself descending into Victim (‘poor me’) and Villain roles (‘you horrible world, I’m going to punish you’). The humour of identifying the roles and laughing at myself is helping.
Far more empowering is to take on both the Hero and the Guide roles. The mission of the Hero can be a daily one, and small: to take control of some tiny area of responsibility where our choice makes a difference. Of course, Donald has a massive, noble mission for his life, but I’m not sure I need that at the moment – a daily mini-mission will suffice!
As we get older, I believe the role of the Guide is ever-more accessible and valuable. Even if life has been a massive disappointment, we will have learned valuable lessons that we can share. In fact, it is not the successful people that have most to share as Guides but rather those with the greatest setbacks who can really throw light on better paths to follow.
For today, maybe you could catch yourself if you slide into ‘Poor me’ or ‘Bad world!’ life positions, and, instead pursue proactively a small personal change for the better, and a wise sharing of experience with another soul who could do with a guide. Writing a blog for Moodscope is a great way of offering gentle guidance that others may or may not choose to follow.
A Moodscope member.