Monkey. D Luffy began stretching his body in 1999. He can stretch any part of his body to help him in his travels at sea. Luffy is the main character of One Piece, a Japanese graphic novel series created by Eiichiro Oda. Imagine stretching your arms to pick up an object that is far away. Imagine inflating your whole body like a balloon to break your fall or float to great heights. He has used his ability to propel himself to far distances, break his fall, and defeat his enemies. After every great adversary he defeats, he gains a new ability that helps him in his upcoming battles.
How Are We Like Luffy?
We also stretch like Luffy when we are under difficult or stressful situations. Luffy’s stretching ability is physical. Our stretching ability is more emotional and linked to will power. The more difficult a task, the more extreme his stretching abilities become.
The archaeologist in his pirate crew was, at one point, sentenced to death. This situation pushed him to unlock what he calls ‘”Second Gear.” In this mode, his stretching abilities become stronger and more accurate. After every opponent and difficulty, Luffy always returns to his normal state and continues to sail toward the next adventure, not knowing how it will cause him to use his powers next.
Our toughness is just like Luffy’s ability to stretch. We stretch ourselves in order to get through an experience as best as we can. Taking an exam, attending an interview, performing, among other things stretches us because they are stressful situation, or if they are not, they require most of our attention and focus. Most situations force us to leave our “normal state.” We are putting in effort to get a result. Once we get that result, we return to our normal state to reflect, celebrate and move on.
That Sounds Stressful Though
As Luffy continues to sail, he discovers that will power is another super power that is useful in the seas. One Piece refers to this as “Haki.” While he relies on his abilities to stretch, he slowly learns how to rely more on his will power to get him through situations. Will power increases his focus and his ability to see clearly. He begins to win battles and overcomes roadblocks without having to exert himself. We are also like that because the life lessons we learn are trying to show us ways we can stop overexerting. We do not have to “stretch ourselves thin” to get a result. Having will power and knowing how to properly stretch yourself in the right areas is what everyone, including Luffy, is trying to achieve. There should be no hesitation to stretch yourselves for friends, family, passions, morals, beliefs, and for your voice.
Luffy Should Inspire You to Be Yourself
Luffy’s body never breaks. It never snaps. It stretches for as long as he needs to, and then always returns to normal. This knowing is what gives Luffy the courage and willingness to engage in these experiences of growth. Be more like Luffy. Be willing to stretch yourself for growth, knowledge, adventure and your morals. It does not matter how far you stretch, you are always going to return to normal as a stronger person and better prepared for your next experience.
The more you stretch in one area of your life, the easier it becomes to go back to those extremes to achieve your desired results.