Zimmerman’s Challenge: Be A Super Hero For A Day
As a child I used to like dressing up as Batman. I had Batman pajamas that served perfectly as the ultimate Dark Knight suit complete with utility belt!
Then I grew up and as the Days of Make Believe faded to mere dots in the rear view mirror, the oncoming future presented me with a constant threat of another 365 days of This is Your Life:
wake up too early, cling to morning talk radio, go to work, wonder why I wasn’t saving the world yet, skip lunch, stay late, and get home just in time to have a stiff drink and a microwave dinner before lying in bed for 2 hours pandering over why my girlfriend left me and scalding myself for not getting enough sleep.
I still liked to dress up though. I liked going to theme parties—the kind where everyone is in costume and you’re granted a one-time-only free pass to be someone else. It was an opportunity to escape the monotonous existence of my day job and explore some new reality—a Road Warrior wasteland, or a naughty college party, or a world where everyone is some furry animal or a super hero.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s still fun to pretend.
And then one day I asked, “Who needs a theme party to do this? Why not be a super hero at the local dive pub down the street instead?”
So I took the red pill and hit the town decked out as Morpheus from the Matrix, complete with long trench coat and steam-punk sunglasses. I dropped my first name and went by my middle name instead: Zimmerman. Every super hero needs an alter ego right?
That night something changed…I felt kind of invincible. I had no fear talking to strangers or pulling off incredibly embarrassing dance moves because Morpheus had no fear. I could run through walls and dodge bullets if I wanted to so approaching a girl that was out of my league was child’s play. I didn’t have time for insecurity; I had a world to save! It was like a switch had gone off in my brain that said “you can do whatever you want.” I felt like a kid again.
Now before you go walking down Main Street in unflattering baby blue tights and a red cape, maybe a super hero is a bit of a stretch to start off with. Why not try being a rock star or an undercover detective or a superstar athlete? If you don’t think you have the nerve to do this, then just try pretending to be confident for a night.
We all used to make-believe as children and there was nothing dishonest or deceptive about it. We weren’t trying to escape some meaningless existence. We weren’t trying to impress anyone. We did it for the sheer enjoyment of imagining that you came from Krypton and at some point you might be called upon to rescue a 747 barreling down from the sky because it was important to realize that in some capacity, you actually could do that if you wanted to. Imagination was proof that any and everything was possible.
So why give that up? What’s so “real” about our lives that we can’t make-believe any more? All our memories, our remembrances, our hopes and dreams, all these “reality” things are just personally selected fictions. We’ve chosen a set of experiences to serve as the emblem of the past and likewise envisioned a set of dreams to forecast the future and in between are simply the things that happen to us. So why not take an active role and wield the imaginative pen to write a new screenplay?
SO TODAY, I WILL PRETEND TO BE A SUPER HERO: a SUPER hero who isn’t afraid of failure; a SUPER hero who has no fear of rejection; a SUPER hero who is confident, and positive, and unstoppable and charming; a SUPER hero who’s creative and successful and loves his job; a SUPER hero who makes leaps of faith for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; a SUPER hero who always gets the girl and vanquishes evil; a SUPER hero who leaps out of bed every morning and shouts “DAMN I CAN’T WAIT TO SAVE THE WORLD!”
You see, I can do this because all those things are already inside of me.
And they are inside of you too just waiting to be written back into your life.
So today, I challenge you to be a super hero. Just make-believe for a little bit. Who says rock stars are the only ones who get to dress like Picasso paintings and wear sunglasses at night? I promise you will discover something amazing about yourself that you forget you were capable of.
And when you do, I want to hear about it!