Do you ever look up to someone great and think, “I wish I could be more like her?” Or do you wonder how your hero does it all? How can you be more like your hero?
Well, first of all, it’s important to remember each of us has unique strengths and qualities we bring to the table. We may look to someone else we’d like to emulate, only to later discover their life isn’t all the glamour we imagined. Looking up to your hero isn’t about jealousy, comparison, or FOMO.
No, looking up to someone you admire is about discovering the principles that drive them. It’s about learning and using those principles as part of our own growth and development. How do they live a principled life, how can we emulate those principles, and live a principled life of our own?
The term hero is used to describe anyone we admire: sports heroes, superheroes, celebrities, or even friends we look up to. Usually, when we think of a hero, we think of someone who lives to a higher standard. We think of someone who is great. We think of someone who’s in the top of their field, or who pushes their own limits.
When we talk about principles, we’re referring to the guidelines we use to live—our moral compass, or personal mantra, the values that shape who we are and what we do. All of us are living according to certain principles.
We may live by the principle of intent, or we may live by the principle of victimhood.
We may live by the principle of responsibility or the principle of blame.
Do we see ourselves as the creator of our life experience or are we simply reacting to the experiences as they come along?
Look around at your friends, loved ones, and allies in your life. What principles do they embody? For example, I’ve always felt Bob embodies the principle of truth. He’s honest about his feelings and opinions in all situations. He holds to his personal truths and uses them to guide all his decisions.
As we discover these qualities in those around us, we may realize we’re surrounded by many heroes! Not only that—but we can all be more like our heroes and become heroes in our own right as well. Each of us possesses many heroic traits we can choose to discover, enhance and use to drive ourselves toward a life of greater purpose and enjoyment. If you want to be more like your hero, look at the traits you admire, the principles that drive him or her, and work toward embracing those principles in your own life.
Did you know aliveness itself is a principle? Each day we can choose to live with more “aliveness,” more connections and more engagement. It may sound funny to think of living with more “aliveness” but how many days do we simply go through the motions? How often do we dull our senses, find ways to zone out, or waste time using soft addictions?
Instead, when we live with aliveness, we start to tune into the world around us. We open up, the lights go on. In each and every moment we strive to be more of who we are. We choose to engage with those around us: to connect, to listen, and to share. At each moment we can choose to embrace our emotions—joy, fear, anger, sadness, and hurt. We can orient toward our feelings or shy away from them.
Hand in hand with the principle of aliveness is the principle of play. Now many of us may think of play as “kid stuff” but it’s within each of us to embrace play in our day to day lives. When we play, we’re more alive and present. We’re nourished. We’re enlivened and open to new experiences.
Watch little kids at play. They take it very seriously. They take risks. They experiment. They beg you to push them higher on the swing set or to “do it again!” They aren’t afraid to get creative, to use their imagination, and to pretend. They aren’t self-conscious. They go all in.
These elements of play should be incorporated into our own lives. Even the staunchest CEO or most analytical computer programmer can add an element of play to every action they undertake.
When we talk of principles we often think of a stoic, reverent, “principled” person. Yet, the principles of aliveness, of play and living in the here and now are equally as important. Of course, principles like truth, responsibility, and choice are also key. We may see many of these qualities in the heroes we admire as well. A principled person holds to these high standards—they embody and emulate positive principles.
So if you want to become more like your hero, take a look at his or her qualities. Many heroes operate from a place of love, truth, faith, abundance, and responsibility. They believe they’re in control of their lives, choose who they want to be, and decide what they want to do. They don’t blame others. They don’t pass the buck or shirk responsibility. They own up to mistakes and use those mistakes as opportunities for growth.
We can each become the hero of our own life adventure. Think of the hero qualities you would like to embody in your life. If you were someone else’s hero, what would you want them to say about you?
She embraces life with joy?
He’s engaged and exuberant?
She lives life fully with no excuses?
He always accepts his responsibilities and gains strength from setbacks?
Discover what principles are most important to you in your life and make them part of your personal values. We can each live a heroic life!
For more on discovering a life you love, visit the Wright Foundation. Join us for an upcoming networking and learning event. Download one of our great courses at a special introductory price. We have all the resources you need to uncover your purpose and live a life of more!
Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.
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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.