I was in a Reno airport when I first heard the news. I had an immediate gut reaction. Looking at the newspapers I saw the headlines announcing Superman was dead. He was a great actor. He was of my generation, and he was important to us. And then there’s something else, he was my exact age. The shocking headline read, “Man Of Steel Dead At 52!”

Some years earlier this model of masculinity, a superb athlete, even doing his own film stunts, met with a tragic horsing accident, and in a millisecond, the virile, flying man of steel plummeted to a wracked quadriplegic.

In the early moments he once suggested to his wife, “Maybe we should just let me go.” In his condition, who would point fingers? Or who would criticize if he just withered away the last days of his life? But ever a super hero, the same devastating day that thought rose, bolstered by an equally heroic wife who assured him he should stay, and that she loved him, not who he wasn’t, or the image of any roles he might have played prior, Christopher Reeve made a decision that further displayed his heroic spirit and further forged the legacy he left.

The subject of checking out never came up again. He decided there was some good he yet could do, no matter the circumstances he was surrounded with. He became a lobbyist for those with spinal cord injuries. Ooooh yes, at great expense, and suffering great stress. The Christopher Reeve Foundation continues to this day, though he and his wife, who helped him through it all, are now many years gone.

He was interviewed on 20/20 by Barbara Walters, he gave awards at the Academy Awards, he hosted the Para Olympics. He spoke at the Democratic National Convention. He spoke at events all over the country, and at university after university. And much, much more.

Ultimately he raised $55 million in research grants, and seven million actual cash contributions to non-profits. Wow! All as a quadriplegic. He did more than millions of other able-bodied people put together.

If anyone could ever stand as an authentic testimony that it is not the circumstances you find yourself in, but rather what you choose to make of them that counts, Christopher Reeve is that person.

So what is the difference between him and them? It has to do with how he defined this “tragic event.” He took upon himself a reason greater than himself to live for. He adopted a cause. He made a proactive decision that he was going to help people with spinal cord injuries. That’s what he did.

I suggest there’s some important lessons in there he boldly displays for us!

Next time you’re hit with the belligerent criticism, “Come on! Thinking can’t make any difference!” I suggest you think about the crippled Superman.

What showed him even greater in his days of adversity can be traced back to intangible things. Volitional acts, to be sure, but thought-acts. Acts in the intangible realm of consciousness, not matter. He made a decision. He adopted a cause. Just thinking.

Life did not get easier for Christopher Reeve after he adopted his mission. I saw him make several appearances on TV, and it was agonizing to watch the struggle and stress he was going through. It was difficult to understand him without focusing intently, which attention he commanded everywhere he went. He attended a sporting event and cheered his young son the day he died.

Adopt a cause. Attach compelling importance to the work you invest your lifeblood into. Live for something beyond yourself. That, as it did for Christopher Reeve, will give you the energy and the enthusiasm to push on despite all obstacles, and leave a legacy worthy of a truly noble soul. Become heroic yourself.

Superman did it with a decision, which you yourself can do this moment.

The word fits him well: superman.

Author's Bio: 

Ted Ciuba, world’s top quantum achievement trainer, a sales & marketing ace, former professor of business communications at California State U, original founder of World Internet Summit - the largest & longest running entrepreneurial Internet Marketing training organization in the world, author of 101 Quantum Success Secrets, bestselling The New Think & Grow Rich & The Sub 4 Minute Extra Mile Series, reminds us a quantum leap is a phenomenon of Nature in which one makes explosive personal & professional performance gains without passing through all the incremental steps in-between. Free report “How To Cause Your Own Quantum Leap” at http://ThinkRich.com