As young children we idolize our heroes and look to them as examples of how and who we would like to be. They are among our earliest role-models, but we shouldn’t dismiss choosing new heroes as we get older.
As children we see nothing wrong in pretending to be super-heroes or characters from TV shows and movies for playground games. However, as we grow up, we realize that our chances of actually being a Superman or women are just the stuff of fantasy, and with that many of us start to dismiss such hero-worship as childish.
At the same time, as we become adolescents, we begin to look more to our peers as we shape our personalities. Fitting in becomes important and, once more, our early heroes take a back-seat. That is not to say that we don’t choose role-models; except they become musicians and movie-stars (rather than the characters they portray).
In adulthood, we tend to get wrapped up in our lives and finally forget all about picking our heroes. Except, that is not quite 100% true.
Just look at the success of the many super-hero based movies that have been released in the last ten years (and before!), the enduring popularity of the Star Wars franchise, and other cinematic tales of heroism, like the many James Bond films. Clearly, we all enjoy moments when we can escape from our realities and sink back into our child-like fantasies. The question, however, is, how can we use this in our ‘real’ lives?
When it comes to picking our role-models as adults, it is unlikely that we will be looking at emulating a cape-wearing man (or woman) of steel. Instead, we look at more down-to-earth examples. If you want to run a successful business, then you should look at emulating a successful business-person. The key is in picking the right people to look up to. Look for success and see how it was achieved; it will save you lots of heart-ache as you push for your own success.
As adults we should also be able to recognize that our role models are not infallible, but are just human and are prone to mistakes of their own. Therefore, be sure to pick aspects of a personality rather than blindly following a certain persona. In fact, there is no reason why you can’t cherry-pick from a variety of role-models to inspire you in your own life. Your role models don’t even need to be the most famous or successful people either; perhaps, there is someone inspiring in your own community (even role-models have to live somewhere)?
Far from being child’s play, well-chosen heroes can act as important inspiration for achieving our own goals. Plus, if kept in perspective, they can even be beneficial to our well-being by bringing us a positive attitude and showing that our dreams can be achieved.