Several weeks ago, I had the chance to see the author of this book, Noah Blumenthal, deliver a keynote speech for a local professional organization. The presentation was so funny, so captivating, and most of all, so uplifting, that I couldn’t help but pick up a copy of his book and see if his powerful message translated well into written form.
Be The Hero didn’t disappoint — and most of all, it’s a terrific book for our times. Easily digestible at 126 pages in length, the essential idea behind the book is that people can either act like victims, powerless to change the world around them, or they can choose to think or respond heroicly to the circumstances they find themselves in. To illustrate his points, the author has crafted a semi-fictional story about a man named Jeff who hates his job, resents his marital situation, and is miserable about pretty much every aspect of his life. Jeff then meets up with an old friend named Martin who takes him under his wing and teaches him three positive techniques he can use to reframe his self-defeating view of the world, all of which involve altering the underlying “stories” he is unconsciously telling himself about his life and the all of the various characters in it.
For some, this book may seem a bit idealistic or miss the mark. In one sense, the message could largely be boiled down to “always keep things in perspective” or “try to see the positive in every situation.” Fans of the self-help genre, however, will most likely enjoy this book immensely, especially if they have appreciated books like Who Moved My Cheese? or The Secret in the past that pass along their wisdom via entertaining fictional allegories. And Mr. Blumenthal does a great job of sharing his lessons in a way appropriate to our times, since all of us will likely recognize shades of ourselves in “Jeff” and the challenges he seems to be encountering in his busy, fast-paced, stressful professional life.
So if you’re looking for a dose of inspiration, and a book that will help you summon your “inner hero” and respond more positively in the face of adversity, Be the Hero would be a great place to start. And if you really buy into the author’s teachings, you’ll even find a section at the back containing a password that will allow you to access a whole bunch of additional resources via the author’s website. Nice touch!