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The Hero Within the Hero

reflection Today we wrap up our 3-part series on heroes. We started by discussing what makes a hero a hero. Last time, we looked at the heroes behind us, where we played off the Bette Midler song “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Well … the only way we could get that song out of our heads was to talk about another one. So today we’re going to look at Mariah Carey’s Hero.



We love lyrics and Mariah Carey certainly has strung together some powerful words in this song. It’s particularly appropriate in the tough times we face right now.

We’ve all heard the song, but you may not have really thought about the words. So here we go …

Who are you?

It starts off …

“There's a hero if you look inside your heart
You don't have to be afraid of what you are”

We may feel a fear that if we show people our true selves they won’t like us. They won’t accept us. We might be embarrassed because we won’t succeed.

It’s ironic … in many cases, it’s this fear that keeps us from succeeding. Because each of us has something very unique to offer the world. It’s born in us. It’s our duty to develop it. To show the world our authentic selves.

The promise

The verse continues …

“There's an answer if you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know will melt away”

We just love this. There’s a promise if we reach within ourselves. We can do it. You can do it! Makes you think of an Adam Sandler movie, doesn’t it? We won’t go there!

You can find the answer to whatever problem you are facing. You and you alone have the solution.

Love begins with you

Then we come to the 2nd verse…

“It's a long road when you face the world alone
No one reaches out a hand for you to hold
You can find love if you search within yourself
and the emptiness you felt will disappear”

We’ve talked about this before. It is impossible to truly love other people if you don’t love yourself. Love begins inside each of us. If we can’t see the beauty within us, we’ll never experience the beauty around us.

Finding the way

Now we come to the final verse …

“Lord knows dreams are hard to follow but don't let anyone tear them away
Hold on, there will be tomorrow, in time you'll find the way”

We have to stay true to our dreams even when they’re tested. We have to hold on. Martin Luther King had a dream. We’ve recently witnessed what happened!

We have to keep searching for the answer. But we know we will find it and we will achieve our dreams.

It starts with an attitude

Because when all of this is going on, when your problems seem insurmountable, when the world around you is nothing like the world you envisioned … 

“… then a hero comes along with the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside and you know you can survive”

It all starts with an attitude. You have to look within yourself – deep within yourself – with the confidence that you will find the answer. You know you’ll come back strong. You know you will survive.

Cue Gloria Gaynor? No, we’ll pass on that!


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A final thought

In a world that is looking for heroes, in a time when people are fearful and pessimistic, what should our response be?

“… when you feel like hope is gone look inside you and be strong
And you'll finally see the truth – that a hero lies in you”

We’re so grateful that you read our post today. Join us next time when we look at what to do if your employer stops matching your 401(k) contributions. Until then, here’s to your bigg success! 


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(Image in today's post by cabalero)

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The Hero Behind the Hero

eagle Today we continue our series on heroes. Last time we talked about what makes a hero a hero.



Captain Chesley Sullenberger (Sully as we’ve come to know him) inspired this series. He is, of course, the pilot who landed his plane in the Hudson River to ultimately save over 150 lives.

But we haven’t heard much about the co-pilot on that fateful flight – Jeffrey Skiles. He, much like Sully, was a veteran of the industry as well. And let’s not forget the flight crew and also the passengers who stepped up to the challenge. The news coverage has largely ignored them too.

Heroes aren’t alone

We love our heroes. They are usually a single person. But a person usually doesn’t become a hero by themselves.

Which got us thinking about the Wind Beneath My Wings. Doesn’t that song seem particularly appropriate when thinking about heroes and airplanes? Pun fully intended!


On the show, I had to try hard not to cry as we talked about the lyrics of this song.



georgeI tried not to admit that I’m a huge Bette Midler fan! But so was Johnny Carson … so I guess I’m in good company.


Unsung heroes

The song starts …

“It must have been cold there in my shadow, to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way. You always walked a step behind.”

This is the case with many heroes. There are the heroes we see. And for every hero that we see, there are many unsung heroes, working behind the scenes, that we never see.


marylynnWhen I was in radio, I did a segment called “Superstar Employee of the Month,” where people could nominate their co-workers. The nominations were always so heartfelt and touching. People often recognized those co-workers who seldom got any credit.


Plenty of work, very little credit

The song continues …

“So I was the one with all the glory, while you were the one with all the strain.”


georgeThis reminds me of something I heard my dad say a number of times about the employees of his business. “They do all the work and I get all the credit.” This is so true for many leaders. At least he recognized it!


We all have people behind us that help us succeed. And they often don’t get the credit they deserve. Just like the co-pilot and crew of US Airways Flight 1549.

Lifting us up

These unsung heroes, who do so much work for so little credit do much more than just support us.


marylynnMy favorite line of this song is in the chorus, “I can fly higher than an eagle, for you are the wind beneath my wings.” It shows how important some people are to us. They lift us up to heights we can’t achieve on our own, to levels we can hardly imagine.


A hero’s response


georgeWhen my dad passed away unexpectedly, I kept a journal for awhile. The chorus to this song was the feature of the very first entry. There wasn’t much left unsaid between the two of us. We had a great relationship, but I’m not sure that I ever told him that he was a hero to me. I think he knew, but I sure wish I had said it explicitly.


The song closes with the appropriate response of a hero …

“Thank you, thank you, thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings”.

Whether we feel like a hero or not, it’s important to understand that any success we achieve isn’t reached alone. There are people lifting us up every step of the way.

Don’t just think about how much you appreciate them. Tell them. To go back to the song one more time, it says it explicitly …

“It might have appeared to go unnoticed, but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.”

We should do the same!


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Do you have any idea how much we appreciate that you are part of our community? Well, let us just say, it means more to us than words can say. But we’ll try anyway:

You lift us up! Thank you, thank you … 

Join us next time as we wrap up this series by discussing the hero within the hero. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!


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