SuperBetter and Why I Love Dean Winchester

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For the past month or so, I've been listening to Jane McGonigal's SuperBetter during my morning commute. I've never been a huge fan of audiobooks, to be honest. I LOVE having a book in my hands, touching the pages, smelling them (especially old books). There's something special about holding a story in your hands. So I resisted the audiobook experience for a long time. Until Felicia Day's book was released, I had never listened to an audiobook. That was the first of three I have so far (my other one is Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance). 

I am enjoying and learning a lot from SuperBetter. I have begun to use it as part of my personal health journey, as well as my professional journey (I challenge myself to study for those licensing exams a bit each day!). I have had the opportunity to share some of the things I'm learning with some of the people I work with. One of the many quests in this book is to form your own secret identity, which can be based on anything and anyone at all. My first, automatic thought went to Dean Winchester. 

Of course, I am a HUGE Supernatural fan. And I've always thought the Winchesters were heroes. But I'd never thought of them as my "favorite" heroes. When I think of superheroes, I tend to think of Wonder Woman, Superman, Ms. Marvel, or the Avengers. Basically, people with powers, or people who were born "special." 

One could make the case that the Winchesters were born special. I don't think this is so. I think they were born under special circumstances, but they are definitely not gifted with supernatural powers from birth. Whatever happened to them, happened at some point in their lives. There were choices made by their parents, their grandparents, and their great-grandparents, that put Dean and Sam in the position to have to make a certain lifestyle choice. They save people and hunt things, and they are SO good at it. 

In SuperBetter, Jane McGonigal explains that we tend to look up to heroes who have some similarities with ourselves; we identify with them, and we strive to be more like them. For me, this person is definitely Dean. 



This realization came as a surprise to me. I was thinking of what superheroes I want to be more like, and I kept coming back to Dean Winchester. Then it all became clear, and it was so simple. I IDENTIFY with Dean. He has QUALITIES that I would like to have. Some of the characteristics I see in Dean that I identify with include: 

We are both the oldest children, taught that we must take care of our younger siblings. I could never join sports teams at school because I had to take care of my younger siblings. We were both taught to be responsible, and that family comes first. To be totally honest, I had feelings of guilt when I first left home to pursue higher education, as though I were leaving my family behind. For Dean, leaving and pursuing higher education was never an option. Dean is a realist, he's sensitive, and he tends to see the good in others. His mission in life is to help others. He is sarcastic, has a sense of humor, and LOVES to eat. He can also be very direct and blunt when the situation calls for it. He's a good friend, and tends to develop friendships with the most unlikely individuals. He has friends in different "cliques." He also loves anime :). 

Dean represents many qualities that I see in myself, as well as many that I may not possess but would like to develop. This is what a hero does for you; they inspire you to become a better person. Dean tends to think with his heart, although there have been MANY situations when he is in dire trouble, and he manages to stay cool-headed and find a solution. When I'm in deep trouble, I tend to panic. I get anxious, I get migraines, and I get sick. When I think of my family, or the people that I want to help, I feel stronger. I can't help but imagine that Dean's process might be similar; he gets strength from the thought of helping others and protecting his family. 

Who are YOUR heroes? Who do you strive to be more like? 

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9 comments

  1. You are right: The Winchesters can be considered as heroes. My favorite is definitely Dean because he always puts others first (especially his family). He's funny, strong and someone you can definitely rely on. He does make great friends with the unlikely creatures, though, doesn't he? Lol. But that's what makes Dean great: For all his flaws and mistakes, he is still that one guy you know has everyone's best interests at heart. :)

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    1. LOL :D He's everybody's best friend. I think it's his flaws and his mistakes that make him more relatable too!

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  2. I love Dean! Like you, I tend to relate to him more than any other character on Supernatural, and I think that's why he's my favourite. His bravery is what sets us apart though because I'm quite the wuss. I think I might have to pick up a copy of SuperBetter.

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    1. It is SUCH a good book! I've been trying quite a few of the quests outlined and they are so fun! :)

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  3. Hmmm this makes me think a lot... coz I choose villains O.o I have to re-think everything now... maybe? I love Loki xDDDDD As for SPN, I love Sam, but I find Cas and Crowley intriguing... That might explain volumes about my personality LOL

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    1. LOL I don't think there's anything particularly bad about that! Villains are fun! They are often carefree, and often feel that they have been wronged somehow. I think oftentimes they are also more "real" than the heroes because their flaws are out there, present. I find Cas and Crowley intriguing too, and their respective relationships with Dean.

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  5. Wow I would have never thought of them as superheroes more like badass boys w/ more than 9 lives and guys I Love. I love Dean to, and reading this made me realize the similarities, oldest always taking care of the fam kind of thing. this is a great post.

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    1. Thanks again!! Dean has been through a lot lately, I wonder where he will go next season.

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