“Pursuing my dreams has shown me that too many people don’t.” ~Matt Langdon

The Renegade Spotlight on DaveUrsillo.com is a new feature that showcases the biographies and real-life stories of everyday “Renegades” — men and women who, while brandishing a defiantly positive and determined mindset, are pursuing their dreams in spite of criticism, cynicism, and being misunderstood by those around them.

Today, I’d like you to meet my friend Matt Langdon, an early connection that I met on Twitter and who I came to quickly admire for his awesome and admirable work inspiring school children in Michigan to embody heroism in very creative ways. Matt’s Hero Construction Company teaches school-aged kids to mimic their favorite superhero characters, uses popular culture stories as examples for being heroes, and teaches ever-important lessons like standing up to bullies and to understand the dangers of indifference.

Matt also contributed a great essay on heroism in our free e-book that we and eight other Twitter-based authors collaborated, The Happiness Catalyst (download it now for free).

Together on DaveUrsillo.com, we are building an inspired community of genuine dream-pursuers — the Ranks of the Renegades — who are striving to change the world. We are the Renegades. Are you among our ranks?

1.) Introduce yourself!

I’m Matt Langdon. I teach people to be heroes. I’m an Australian living in America with a wonderful wife and daughter. I came to Michigan to spend three months working at a summer camp as part of a self-enforced break from university. That was in 1994 and I’m still here. I now run a program in schools called The Hero Construction Company — we build heroes.

2.) What dreams are you pursuing?

Thankfully, I’ve had a lot of my dreams come true already, so it’s easy to visualize more. I experienced thirteen lives’ worth of experiences in my thirteen years at camp and since leaving have married an abnormally gifted kindergarten teacher and had an abnormally adorable daughter. My work allows me to spend most of my time with both of them.

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3.) What effects have these pursuits had on your life?

I am planning to publish a book that I’m working on at theherohandbook.com. I also dream of running trips for teenagers to Europe where they’ll experience their own hero’s journey.

4.) What has pursuing your dreams taught you about yourself? About others? About life?

Pursuing my dreams has shown me that too many people don’t. It all comes down to fear, I guess, but the fear manifests itself in many ways. I am now more aware of people who have taken risks with their dreams and have had big payoffs. The evidence is right there for people, but the fear trumps it: fear of failure, fear of mockery, and low self-confidence all change the game. You have to throw your fears out the window to open the door to your dreams.

5.) Do you have any special methods or practices that help you along the way? What are your sources of inspiration?

It’s easy to get overloaded with things to do. I read the book One Bird At A Time early on and it has helped often. Just line the things up that you need to do and do them.

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6.) Do cynics, doubters and pessimists affect you and your pursuits? If so, how? If not, do you avoid them, tune them out, use them to your advantage, etc.?

I had a few buzz killers in the first year and they can definitely hurt your confidence. My best advice is to avoid them when you can and ignore them when you can’t. Their buzz killing comes from their own fears — just remember that. They wish they could be doing what you’re doing. Be proud that you’re a source of jealousy.

— Matt

For more information, visit The Hero Construction Company (originally, the Hero Workshop), The Gallery of Heroes, and The Hero Handbook, a guide for heroic living. Be sure to follow Matt on Twitter and join his Facebook Page!

Are you or is someone you know a genuine Renegade? Your story can be here on DaveUrsillo.com in the new Renegade Spotlight feature! Send me an email! Tell the world your story, inspire hundreds of men and women, and get your name and face known by thousands of fellow Renegades across the world!