Want to be better? Help others win.

Everyone wants to win, but not everyone knows how.

We spend our lives trying to get ahead of neighbors, friends, and co-workers for the momentary feeling of accomplishment and victory.

We celebrate and honor heroes who rise above challenges and conquer the impossible (think - Spiderman, LeBron James, Brad Pitt). Then we move on to search for the next hero and live vicariously through their victories. We compare our successes and failures to their seemingly effortless triumphs and think, “Our lives should be that easy. If we had the opportunities they do, we’d be farther along. Right?” We dream of a life of easy triumph, like theirs.

But, we forget what is invisible.

We don’t see the hours of study to master the subject, the years of training to make one shot, the failures endured to reach the goal finally. So, we spend our time focused on moments of victory and the parts of the story that relate to us.  

What about those who dream of a life like ours?

We don’t always see the hours of those working two jobs - fighting for every opportunity to put food on the table, the years of accumulated debt because of an ill-informed decision that changed a life trajectory, or those who never-won-anything because someone else controlled their life. We’re busy chasing goals for the quarter.

But, we forget what is invisible.

We spend years doing the invisible work to achieve our personal, financial or status goals. Every goal achieved is a moment of celebration. And then we move on to search for the next mountain to climb. The cycle never ends. At work. Or home. Or anywhere else. We achieve and build. It’s what we do.

Until...

We find the opportunity to be a hero for someone else. We stumble into a unique position to be able to influence their circumstance; possibly their life. Until we genuinely invest in someone else, we can’t fully understand the unexpected consequence of cashing in on our “invisible efforts” to create the opportunity for others to change their circumstance.

It changes us. It fills a void. It interrupts the communication of the voice in our head trying to convince us we aren’t or don’t have enough. It reminds us our “invisible effort” provides the resource to matter to someone who needs a chance and the confidence to risk our comfort for their benefit.

We don’t have to be one of the Avengers, LeBron James, or Brad Pitt to make a difference. Our invisible effort becomes memorable when it’s used to lift others. History measures heroic status by the magnitude of value created for others; a value made visible from the investment of effort unseen.

Be the hero you can be. Go help somebody!