Hero Training 101

Happy New Year! While I believe in setting and reaching goals throughout the year, there’s something about January 1st that reminds me to give goal setting extra thought and focus. One of the ways we do this with our Performing Arts Academy students is by providing them with Hero Training.

Hero Training is an idea I learned from Brian Johnson (check him out!). His focus is personal growth, and his work has inspired me to share what I’ve learned with our Academy students. We want them to not only learn the art of performing, but more importantly, to learn the art of life. We’re teaching them more than acting, dancing, and singing. We’re leading them to figure out how they can make the world a better place.

We teach our students that they don’t need someone else to be their hero. Instead, we give them the tools to become that hero themselves. And by hero, we don’t mean “killer of bad guys.” Our students discover that hero means “protector.” A hero leads with love, compassion, and empathy and has a personal mission to make the world a better place. He or she is committed to something so much bigger than himself that he MUST include other people.

I love how Brian Johnson puts it:

“Heroes can look at someone and say, “I’m part of this world, and you’re part of this world, so I care about you, and I will do whatever it takes to protect both of us—to protect ALL of us, because we’re all a part of the same thing.”

We teach our students that it’s not about how much you can do to help, because no one can do everything. But if we all do what we are each called to do, then we all, as a collective, can improve the world for everyone. And when our students do that–live for something bigger than themselves–then yes, they are training to be a hero. This is what gets me excited!

I love the arts; it’s a perfect vehicle to the bigger picture. But what I love most is recognizing the unique gifts that each student shows up with everyday and helping them hone those gifts so that they may live in integrity with their highest ideals. My vision is to empower our future leaders to include everyone in their sphere of love and service and to inspire them to live out their ideals in the moment-to-moment experiences that make up our lives and determine our futures.