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Inspiration from Christopher Reeve

Estimated Lesson Time: 2 minutes

Christopher Reeve (1952–2004) was an actor (Superman), director, writer, and role model for countless people around the world.

Success is being a kid at heart. Reeve credits his acting success to his ability to remain youthful in his thinking. “The ability to retain at least some of this childhood innocence is essential to fine acting.”

Success is multi-tasking. After graduating high school, Reeve toured the country as Celeste Holm’s leading man in The Irregular Verb to Love, then went on to pursue a college education while working simultaneously as a professional actor.

Success is taking action. Acting jobs did not come to Reeve; he had to find them. This meant frequent auditions. Reeve eventually auditioned and successfully screen tested for the 1978 movie Superman, which launched him to “super” stardom.

Success is challenging yourself. Rather than limit himself to the heroic roles for which he seemed so well suited, Reeve frequently sought after the challenging parts that cast him against his type—playing characters that were gay, sociopathic, or villainous.

Success is progress. Reeve believed that progress in one’s life comes from setting one’s own challenges and then doing the best one possibly can to succeed.

Success is overcoming adversity. In 1995, in a tragic horse-riding accident, Reeve was thrown from his horse and instantly paralyzed from the neck down and unable to breathe. Reeve had spent six long months in painful rehabilitation before he was able to return to his home. Since that tragic day, and until the time of his death, Reeve had been living his life unable to move from the shoulders down and unable to breathe on his own.

Success is not quitting. Less than a year after his injury, Reeve began to accept invitations for speaking engagements, despite his extreme difficulty with traveling. Reeve became a best-selling author. Reeve also continued acting by narrating, hosting and even accepting major roles in films. Reeve made his directorial debut with the critically acclaimed HBO film In the Gloaming.

Success is doing your part to make the world a better place. Reeve was a supporter of The Foundation for a Better Life, which creates public service campaigns to communicate the values that make a difference in our market segments—values such as honesty, caring, optimism, hard work, and helping others.

[Sources: http://www.christopherreeve.org, http://www.chrisreevehomepage.com]

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 Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):

  • Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
  • Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
  • What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)
    From the Course:
    Personal Development
    Year To Success
    Bo Bennett, PhD

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    Personal Development : Personal Transformation
    Offered by VirversitY
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