Steal My Thunder

Do you ever hear a figure of speech and think, “On what planet does that make sense?”

I do. All the time.

One of them is “steal my thunder.”

Originally uttered four centuries ago by the English playwright John Dennis, he was pissed off that his new method of simulating the sound of thunder in a theater was stolen.

As an unsuccessful critic and creator of his own plays, the story goes he found out a production of Macbeth was using his method and he shouted:

Damn them! They will not let my play run, but they steal my thunder!

Now-a-days, “steal my thunder” is commonly meant to suggest a number of things like:

  • To upstage someone's special event by having a special event of your own.
  • To take attention from someone else's accomplishments for your own advantage.
  • To lessen the impact or authority of someone's announcement.

This figure of speech is symptomatic of people constantly trying to one-up each other or being terrified that their actions might one-up someone.

The drive to steal someone's thunder or avoid stealing it is the opposite of the simplicity we seek.

Because of this, I've developed a foolproof system to guard against anyone stealing my thunder. And I've come up with a simple way for you to create an unlimited supply of your own thunder, impervious to anyone's attempts to capture it.

Groovy, eh?

Why You Can't Steal My Thunder

First, I want to declare that thunder is really shorthand for words like happiness or achievement.

Most people believe these things are in short supply and the potential sources of them are limited.

That's not true!

The transfer of thunder from one person to another only exists in our heads. And the transfer only occurs if we mistakenly convince ourselves that thunder is restricted in some way. The basis for these statements comes from a friend and tremendous writer.

In Raam Dev's free email series, he explains how we all can adopt an abundance mindset and combat the thunder-stealing mentality.

The reason it's so important to develop an abundance mindset is because before we can be satisfied with less of anything, we need to understand the reason we don't need to hoard it in the first place. The way you value things is based entirely on your perspective of what you already have, be it money, relationships, objects, experiences, knowledge or anything else. This is entirely a mental process and it applies universally to everyone.  If you're a billionaire, it's unlikely that a hundred dollars has the same value to you as it does to someone with an empty bank and thirty thousand dollars in debt.

Think about this for a moment: If the value of everything can be changed solely by changing your perspective, wouldn't it make the most sense to focus on developing a perspective that maximizes the value of everything?  The abundance mindset does exactly that. You maximize the value of everything around you by recognizing that nothing is scarce; nothing is lacking, limited, or in short supply. Attempting to hoard or take possession of anything creates a sense of scarcity — it devalues everything around you.

Although I've used the words of someone wiser and more eloquent to prove my point, I don't think Raam would mind. He's the kind of guy who freely shares any thunder he has if it means people are helped in the process.

I've adopted this abundance mindset and it's the primary reason why you can't steal my thunder. You can't swipe what I freely give away.

How to Create Your Own Unlimited Supply

There are other ways than an abundance mindset to create an unlimited supply of your own thunder. Eliminating competition with your co-workers is one. Stopping the comparison with everyone else between what you have and want is another.

But here's a great way not to do it.

I have a friend who announced his engagement shortly after his sister announced hers. She was hurt by the timing on his announcement and thought it would detract from her planning, happiness, and enjoyment of the wedding itself.

As a result, she got mad, caused a big rift in their relationship, and took years to heal from this “injustice” she suffered at the hands of her own brother.

Pardon my rare judgment of someone else, but this is not the path to a simple life. When you're always protecting your thunder and worrying about everyone else's thunder, you create complicated emotions that shouldn't exist.

We can simplify by acknowledging only each of us can determine the amount of thunder to be harnessed. And if someone wants to use it at the same time, wonderful! Competing for thunder is like competing for happiness. Only you get to determine if there is a cap and how much of it you have.

Life's not a contest folks. Don't blame someone else for taking something only you have the ability to give away.

Have Abundance

I want you to plan your wedding regardless of who else is planning theirs at when. Launch your business product or service without worrying if your friend is launching theirs too.

Have a birthday party for your kid without fearing the timing is too close to the party of the kid down the block. Tell people you're pregnant without worrying about what special event they may have coming up as well.

If you're looking for permission to do all these things and more, you have it. You can grant it for yourself.

Harness your own unlimited supply of thunder with a simple mindset shift. It's there for the taking … and the sharing.


If you want permission to have more thunder, simplicity, and community – plus some free tools to get those things – subscribe to my newsletter and join 1,000s of people on a journey like yours.

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Photo credit: gr8dnes and incurable_hippie