We have an obsession with heroes – people who achieve amazing things – as something special, something that deserves great respect and reverence. We give them trophies, medals and awards. We write about them, follow them, interview them and have their pictures in magazines. We love winners. Winners are heroes.
But true heroes aren’t just those who take first place, nor do they have a specific appearance. True heroes live among us – they are the talented, quiet and decisive people who show up each day, committed to being their best, doing their best and bringing their best to their world. They are our parents, partners, friends or employers. They are our kids, cousins or the employees at a store. They don’t do what they do for applause or fame – they do it because they have a personal standard of excellence that compels them to be great and to connect their greatness with their world.
We each have the opportunity to be a hero in today’s world by understanding who we are, knowing what we do best, and finding a way to share these talents and strengths with the world.
Here are some of my heroes:
- My father, whose big heart always watched for those in need and was the first to find a way to help. Be it family or stranger, neighbor or employee, he was the first to raise his hand, volunteer or just show up in a way that made a difference.
- The extremely successful CEO who took me under his wing early in my career to share not only his business wisdom, but also his broad understanding of life, how to be successful and how to balance a demanding career with a demanding household. His commitment to showing up as your best self is a lesson I still remember.
- My partner, who brings a personal excellence to all he does, never swayed by what others say. He models confidence, courage and determination – always.
- The employee at the Panera store who not only took exceptional care with my order and food allergies, but gave the same level of care to everyone in line. Entry-level job, hero attitude.
How do you become a hero? Here are my thoughts:
1. Always be your best self.
You choose how you show up to every event in life. Know what you are good at and passionate about and find ways to connect these to your world. Make greatness your personal standard. Inspire others to do and be their best
2. Be there for others, honestly, and without expectation.
Heroes care about people – they care about others. Here are the four most powerful 4-word phrases we can say to another
“I am really sorry.”
“I really love you.”
“How can I help?”
“Tell me about it.”
Say things and mean them. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Care about where people are and what is going on in their lives. Really be interested, connected and supportive. There is an element of the divine in all of us – and heroes treat others as the amazing person they were born to be, even when others’ actions don’t warrant it.
3. Add value to everything you touch.
Heroes watch for ways to show up, step up and stand out in life; they are always searching for ways to add value and to make whatever they encounter better. They add value not for the praise, but because doing the amazing is how they appreciate this great thing called life.
There are heroes among us. They aren’t the celebrities, they’re the Average Joe’s who choose not be regular in how they live their lives, add value to the world and connect with others. They don’t look for fanfare or the spotlight; they just choose to make a difference in whatever way they can.
Here’s your challenge. Recognize the true heroes and try to become one by bringing your best, being there for others and adding value to everything you touch. See the impact living like a hero can make in your life and in our world.
Who are your heroes? And to whom are you a hero?