Saturday, May 10, 2014

Why Monkey D. Luffy Should Be Your Creative Motivator

(You can skip this part if you know who Luffy is already.)
Luffy is the main character and pirate captain with super-stretch powers on an anime called One Piece. One Piece is a long-running series about a young motley band of pirates, all with incredible skills, who follow their hyperactive captain into the most dangerous seas in their world to pursue the One Piece so Luffy can become king of the pirates.

Here's why Luffy is my motivator and should be yours too. Throughout the series, Luffy and his mismatched little band faces insanely impossible and deadly odds. So many people try to kill them, torture them, hurt their friends to get to them, etc. But Luffy and his gang (literally) bounce back. They bounce because most of them are impossibly strong and have gallons of blood to lose without dying, but the key to Luffy's successful progress is his unshakable can-do attitude.

Luffy simply does not hear the words "can't" "won't" "never" or "impossible". When another character tells him he's too ____ for something, he tunes them out. When an obstacle seems too big to overcome, he makes himself bigger. When his dream, a friend, or a friend's dream is on the line, he'll scale a sheer stone wall until his fingers bleed to make it happen. It doesn't matter that someone else believes it isn't possible. He believes it is.

In spite of not being a very mature role-model, Luffy manages to inspire each member of his crew to join him on a vastly uncertain quest. The only thing he promises is that he'll make sure each and every one of their dreams come true as if they were his own. And that's the real power of Luffy. In spite of the odds, he'll do it and he'll help you do it too. That's a leader anyone would follow.

Sure, Luffy might not be all that competent. His crew has to make up for the skills he lacks. But that doesn't bother Luffy or make him feel less confident. He celebrates the teamwork, the reliance, because to him they're all aiming at the same goal. It doesn't matter who does what to help them get there.

As a writer and artist, this is why Luffy struck such a chord with me. In the quest to gain recognition, Luffy puts the dreams of his friends first, because he knows they'll support him in return. None of us is trying to be a pirate king (that I know of), but that kind of community spirit is what it takes to draw people to you, and a positive attitude is what makes them stay.

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