Each one of us has at least one person whom we admire to a high degree.

We call them our heroes because they’re a jewel and gem to society. We hold their success in high admiration, or maybe because they’re the epitome of wisdom.

For the most part, their lives are a huge reflection of what we’d love ours to be. It’s no wonder we spend hours watching them, savoring every drop of insight that comes out of their mouths and shaping our lives around that.

“How do they do that? Why are they so smart?” we ponder within ourselves.  We wonder why we aren’t like them, why we weren’t born in their country. When we’re done poking through the rabbit hole and can’t come up with an answer, we throw our hands in the air and say, “I guess they are just better than me.”

 

While it’s a fact that we all glide into the world with different advantages and circumstances, sometimes we give them too much power. We do this when we dig up reasons why we’re not like our heroes and then set camp around them. Allowing our inadequacies to paint us into a corner while we move through life feeling as if fate handed us the short end of the stick.

Then one day, something happens.

You cross paths with someone who refuses to flinch beneath the shadows of their misfortunes and disadvantages—one who’s made incredible progress in their life with less than half of what you have.

Far fewer opportunities. Little or no privileges at all.  Perhaps with little education, low economic background, less IQ, and dysfunctional childhood.

It makes you feel a bit confused. Because you can feel your narrative coming unraveled. Like sidewalk weeds out the crack, you start to get a glimpse of the real truth – not the one braided in your imagination – but the real deal.

You realize that the hero you spent years worshiping and admiring as if they were a golden child isn’t that much different from you after all.  That a fantastic life isn’t reserved for a select few. Or for the golden child.  You and I can create an amazing life.

This is how to go about it:

Ask yourself, “How can I make myself better?”

Your hero got to where they are today because they figured out a way to get there. That’s all you need to know.

I get it.

It’s easier said than done, and at times, even the slightest progress can feel like a steep climb. The key is to start. Anywhere, with what you have at hand. Even if you still haven’t figured everything out yet. When you step out, you’ll always find a way.

Need more financial freedom? Send out your resume.

Don’t like the body you’re in? Eat less, move more.

Want to write a book? Write 500 words per day.

Want to run a marathon? Run a kilometer a day.

Then work your way up.

 

Warm-Up to Lady Failure.

Why are we so fixated with our heroes? One word. Success.

But here’s the thing: Real Success isn’t success unless it’s preceded by failure. This explains why most of us aren’t drawn to people of wealthy backgrounds. At least not many of us anyway. Most of us love the grit and perseverance of individuals born into failure or have failed many times over. Those who are damaged good and who still end up slaying dragons.

 

Failure is like two parts of a moving body. It can open new doors for you. Or leave you incapacitated in a heap of broken dreams.

But for new doors to open, you need to get comfortable enough to lay in bed with the stench of failure.  When you get to that point, you’ve hit the jackpot because you now understand what failure really is: Feedback.

Have the last two relationships failed? Figure out what’s your love language.

Have you lost your business? Strategize a new approach.

Have you flopped at your final exam? Put in an extra hour every day.

 

Become a Life-Long Sophomore.

There’s more than enough information out there if you wanted to create your own version of a heroic life. There’s only one problem. Most of us are consuming the wrong stuff.

Opting to spend endless hours on the couch scrolling through pictures of places they’ll never go. Or double-tapping images of women they’ll never date.

And we wonder why many are stressed and anxious. How can they not? All their mental energy is expended not on building their lives but on folks they don’t even know. They are religiously analyzing lives they don’t even want in the first place.

Thank goodness you’re not one of them.

You’re smart, and you’ll become a hero of your life is when you dig deep into yourself and unearth your skills and talents. Develop, sharpen and polish them.

Sit at the feet of heroes. See what they can teach you. From there, do some reverse engineering.

 

To create a life that makes you a hero, you’ve got to push yourself outside your comfort zone. Of course, you’ll be rejected. Of course, you’ll want to throw your hands in the air and walk way, never to look back.

But conquering will require you to throw many punches. Colonel Sanders knew this. To conquer his dream of a special recipe for fried chicken, he knocked on many doors. They slammed the doors right back. He threw in another punch. He knocked on the next door. And the next.

Final Thoughts:

Becoming a hero doesn’t necessarily mean you have to find a cure for cancer- although that would be beyond fantastic – or achieve high accolades on the red carpet.

That might not be the life you want anyway. Instead, you rise to a hero when you push yourself and create a life you’re deeply in love with—one of purpose, meaning, and adventure.

This way, in the sunset of your life, as you watch the sun fading into the horizon from your balcony, sipping a warm cup of hot chocolate with a blanket wrapped around your shoulders, you can take a walk into the annals of your memories and whisper to yourself. “I did good. I became my own hero.”