Can Spiderman’s Struggle With Identity Teach Me About Success?
I finally broke down and let my kiddos watch the Spiderman movies starring Tobey Maguire; so yes, from over 10 years ago! My boys are at the age where superheroes invade their thoughts and imaginations. So, after months and months of asking, we finally watched it with them. In the second movie, Spiderman begins to lose some of his powers – his web doesn’t shoot and he falls to the ground, he can’t scale a building are the beginnings of the downhill spiral for him. The rest of the movie is about Peter Parker struggling between being a superhero who misses out on everyday life events or setting aside his gifts so that he can be dependable and have the things he sees others getting in life.
In the car a few days ago, my five-year-old son was talking about how Spiderman didn’t become Spiderman until the end of this movie, but it was the second Spiderman movie. In talking to him, it occurred to me that this movie reflects the choice that all of us must make in our lives. And of course, as a parent, it was an amazing moment to teach my son about how each of us is uniquely gifted to change the world around us, but in embracing those gifts, it may require us to sacrifice the norm. You and I have gifts and talents given to us to use to change the world around us – to make it a better place than before we lived our lives. We are taught by our parents at a young age that we can be anything we want to be, but as we get older, that teaching is replaced with “responsible living.” We learn a trade. Get a job. Get married. Start a family. Be the best parent we can be. And for many of us, even the idea of retiring is more of a dream that a part of the norm.
I don’t believe this is all that life is meant to be. Even as we tackle the daily tasks of life, and as people teach us what they think our lives should look like or be like, I believe that we have the choice to use our gifts to change the world! So, now we, like Spiderman, become faced with a choice – do we want what is a normal life or do we want to live a life that inspires others? We don’t have to save life’s by swinging down at the right moment like Spiderman. But, we can look at our gifts and talents and use them to be successful in whatever direction we have chosen to take in life – or even to pursue something we have been too afraid to do before! I think that when we live a successful life infused with actively using our gifts and talents, we become a person that inspires others to be able to break free from the norm and live a bigger life. That is what I want to do! And that is what I want to encourage you to do. Choose to live a different life. Choose to embrace the superhero within you. Choose to inspire others to see their gifts and talents and to embrace the life they could live working those!
As soon as Spiderman realized being a superhero was truly greater than being normal, he found out how many people truly supported him AND, in accepting his destiny, he was able to allow others into his life that celebrated his uniqueness! You and I can have that too!! Be courageous! You were meant to be so much more!!