Modern life can be terribly overwhelming. Even when nothing extraordinarily challenging befalls us, we still have the basic daily struggles of career and home life to content against, day in, day out. Many of us find ourselves losing our balance and seeking to regain it – but more often than not, we’re not entirely sure how that balance, also known as happiness or contentment, might look.
This is where Terrance McMahon’s work as a self-help guru comes in. A former CEO of a successful insurance firm, survivor of liver failure brought on by alcohol abuse, and now a full-time motivational speaker, McMahon’s developed his theories with his own reinvention in mind at first.
At its core, his theory is surprisingly simple: decide who you want to be, and then go be it.
We all know that in practice, it’s not as easy as that. Asked about who, ideally, we’d like ourselves to be – from our personality and behaviors to our career and personal life – most of us would find it difficult to provide an immediate answer. It’s tough to know where to start deciding on what we want, let alone figuring out ways of achieving it.
Luckily, McMahon’s best-selling book SuperHero Self lays the process out in small, organized steps – taking you all the way from identifying what your inner ‘superhero’ might look like to implementing the changes on a daily basis, all over a 12-week program.
Along the way, McMahon supports elements of his method with both personal experiences and factual information well-chosen to guide and inspire your journey. One of the most poignant examples is the domino-effect he calls upon to illustrate the immense power that even the most seemingly inconsequential action can have.
We’re all familiar with dominos – they’re meticulously lined up with specific gaps in between, and when the first one is tipped over, it makes the start of a chain reaction that theoretically – given enough dominos – can continue indefinitely. The specific alignment of dominos is the first element in McMahon’s metaphor for reinventing yourself – you must start with strategically and precisely mapping out your road towards the goal.
If the plan for your reinvention – your line of dominos – is done precisely and correctly, all it takes is the first input of energy – the tipping over of the first domino in the line – to start the chain reaction.
To highlight the immense, usually untapped and underestimated power of the human mind, body, and spirit, McMahon introduces the second metaphor: the domino vs the Empire State Building.
A pushed domino can knock down not only another domino its own size, as it turns out, but has the momentum and force to tip over something 150% times its size. In practice, this leads to the astonishing concept that if we started with a 5-milimeter domino, it would take only 29 progressively taller dominos to knock over something the size of the Empire State Building.
McMahon cleverly uses this theory as motivation for reinventing yourself and improving your life and the satisfaction you derive from it. If a half-centimeter domino has the power to destroy a 443-meter tower with the right alignment of factors, you certainly have the power to achieve all the goals that you set yourself, given enough preparation and guidance.
To get more insights directly from McMahon, we recommend reading his book, SuperHero Self.