Be the Hero
By Noah Blumenthal
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009
[powerpress: http://gsbm-med.pepperdine.edu/gbr/audio/summer2010/Book Corner/Hero.mp3]
“Perception is reality” comes to mind when reading this book. Perception is a powerful influencer of how we see others, situations, and ourselves.
Author Noah Blumenthal uses a parable of an average guy who is struggling with purpose in his life, to guide the reader on a path of revelation and understanding of how we can use our own perception to paint ourselves and others as victims, villains, or heroes. He shows how perception is something that we can control and therefore, we influence the outcomes of how we interact with others. Blumenthal also offers insight into how to deal with our own demons.
The book is a short 137 pages, of which the first 120 tells the story and the remainder provides a resource guide. This little book is full of insights into how people perceive others, situations and themselves. It contends that we view each of these to paint others and ourselves as a victim, villain, or hero. In almost every instance, though, we have the choice on which one will apply.
The main characters in the book include Jeff, a generally good guy that is struggling in his work and home life and Martin, an old high school friend and management coach. They spend a few days together in which they have several discussions over lunch, about how people tell themselves stories regarding other people, situations and themselves. Martin guides Jeff to alternative views of the situations, his boss, and himself that lead to a better relationship—not by changing the situation, but by changing how Jeff chooses to look at it. Martin uses examples from his life and some “heroes” that he has met along the way to help Jeff understand how people create and control their reality to the benefit of a more fulfilling life.
The heroes in life see and deal with things with an attitude that helps them overcome adversity and enjoy the gifts of life. A wise man once told me that attitude is one of the few things we can control in life. This book provides a model of how to recognize that and, more importantly, how to do something about it.