Getting to Know Your Heroes

When was the last time you let yourself admire somebody? When was the last time that you let yourself imagine that you were someone you looked up to? I'm not talking about envy. Think back to when you were a kid. You probably had a few people you liked to pretend you were. Remember how much fun it was to pretend to be the great explorer or sports figure? Although it's not universal, we tend to forget our heroes as we get older. We are told to "Grow Up" and ignore the world within us and pay attention only to what is around us. Instead of taking the view that it's foolishness, I believe that remembering and emulating our heroes can be a source of great strength.

Emulation for your mind. This concept isn't new at all. You see this in the realm of computers all the time. If you have an old program designed to work on Windows 98, and you're running WindowsXP, you're using emulation.

The same can be said if you're running an old Mac application on OSX or if you're using any kind of "virtual computer" setup. The principle remains the same: One computer can act like another. Given that computers are built based on how the human mind works, it is logical that we can do what they can do.

What's really interesting is that you see examples of this every day if you keep your eyes open. How many people do you see with "WWJD" or "LiveStrong" bracelets. In both of these cases, the person wearing the bracelet is trying to integrate the virtues of their hero into their day-to-day lives. Like many such techniques, with some intelligent and deliberate application, you can get much greater results than what you are currently experiencing.

Some of us like to have a step-by-step guide, but some of us like to explore on their own. I will offer some ideas here, but don't be limited by my suggestions. Finding your hero.

Before we get going we need to select someone to act as your model. This can be someone historically factual, someone fictional, or someone in-between. If you're just starting to explore this process, I'd begin by going back to when you were a kid and looking at your hero(ine) and admiring them. Remember how you learned everything about them: Their habits, their methods, their tendencies and triumphs. Remember their good times and bad times. Keep going until you know that person as well as possible.

If you have a current hero you're adopting, the process is the same. Read their work. Listen to what they say. Watch what they do and how they do it. Where do they blaze ahead where you don't? What enables them to do that? How do they think? Becoming Your Hero. Now that we have identified and studied a hero, it's time to become the hero.

This can be done in many different ways. If you know your dominant sense, then that will be of some help here. If you are a visual person, imagine that you are putting on your hero's skills like a hat or helmet. While you wear this "hero helmet" you can access their abilities. Alternately, you can imagine that you are putting on a "hero suit", surrounding you in their skills.

It all does the same thing in the end. If you are primarily kinesthetic, meaning that touch is your primary sense, then you want to try to feel what it would be like to be them. If you are mostly auditory in nature, you might try giving your hero an interview. Remember, that you are in control. Choosing to emulate a hero won't cause you to lose control, just as running a Windows program in Linux or Mac OS will take over the computer. In the end, you are in charge.

Don't forget to make the most of what you have. Remember your heroes, and use them.

John Allison is the creative force behind Technology for Living, a blog and podcast devoted to self-development from a technological view. He has published a free ebook, available here.


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