What the Man of Steel Taught Me About Overcoming Big Challenges

man of steel

“The world’s too big, Mom.”

“Then make it small…”


This line is spoken by a young Clark Kent as he is experiencing the development of his powers that will one day define him as Superman…it stuck with me for the rest of the film.

Are you facing a challenge that seems too big? Have you felt the weight of the world on your shoulders, or maybe you have assumed that you cannot make a difference?

Maybe you have read the story about the Starfish that has been circling the interwebs for the past couple decades (my first reading was back when AOL was cool, and 56k modems were super fast!)

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. 

  Approaching the boy, he asked, What are you doing?
The youth replied, Throwing starfish back into the ocean. 

The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.

Son, the man said, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?
You can’t make a difference!

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said
I made a difference for that one.

This story is actually an adaptation of an essay by Loren Eiseley, called The Star Thrower.

This message, like the struggle Clark Kent faced, reveals that we can always make a difference, with the first step often being to shrink the problem.

How do you shrink the problem?

Dan Heath, co-author of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard gives a really practical example of how you can get started doing this today:

So now that you know that you can make a difference, and you are equipped with a tool to help you shrink the challenge, what are you going to make happen?

Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear how you are making the world a better place.