I found myself recently discussing the topic of heroes with a student. She was unsure she could talk for that long about this topic, because she was stuck on the thought of a far-away hero.
What is a hero?
When she thought “hero,” she thought about someone famous, like an athlete, celebrity, politician, or advocate. She was surprised to hear what I think of as a hero.
To me, a hero is someone who affects your life in a positive and powerful way. A hero is a role model: someone who inspires you to be a better version of you.
Now, if someone famous reaches through the page of a magazine or the screen of your television and truly affects your life, they are absolutely a hero to you. The point is, heroes are personal.
In addition, a hero does not need to be perfect. It’s not necessary to want to emulate everything in the hero’s personality for them to be considered a hero. Just one thing will suffice.
Most of my heroes are very close to home: they’re my family members. These are the people whose stories I know, whose trials and victories I’ve witnessed, and whose opinions and beliefs are extremely influential to me.
My main heroes are my parents.
My mother is strong and fiercely independent. She seems to thrive on challenge and adversity, and never backs down when she knows she’s in the right, no matter who disagrees. She always has the courage to point out when someone underestimates her.
I admire her ability to stand up for herself and believe in herself, especially when others don’t.
My father is unfathomably devoted and ceaselessly hardworking. My mother and he have been married for 40 years, and he is just as in love with her as ever, if not more so. In addition, he did absolutely everything for his family. He got up at 5am every day to get in a full day’s work before coming home to cook dinner and drive the kids to all our activities. He still made time to sew my ballet costumes and read to us every night.
I admire his love for and devotion to his family.
In addition, I have found heroism in my extended family.
My grandfathers both served in World War II as paratroopers. My maternal grandfather was taken prisoner of war, survived, and returned to raise 9 children with my grandmother. My paternal grandfather returned home to raise 5 children, build their house, and build a beautiful and productive garden.
My grandmothers have very different strengths. My paternal grandmother was able to really bring people together with food. She loved art and being creative. My maternal grandmother has the patience and generosity of a saint. She loves spending time with family and staying connected with friends.
I also have a hero even closer to home: my wonderful beau.
Kyle, my strong, handsome, caring partner, has shown me his heroism time and time again. He is the most thoughtful and considerate person I have ever met. He is focused on taking good care of me and showing me he’s thinking about me wherever he goes. He constantly surprises me with little gifts that simply show me he knows what I like and he cares enough to go out of his way to bring it home.
Who are your heroes? They don’t have to be larger than life. Pick some people who have some excellent qualities. Appreciate and notice those qualities, and adopt them for yourself. That way, you can move closer to the person you would really like to be.
Boost your charisma by celebrating your heroes
Thinking about heroes is something that can be extremely beneficial – to them and to you.
First of all, it’s a great exercise to tell your heroes how much they mean to you. They may not know that they are the kind of powerful person who can make an impact on the world. By telling them that they have changed your life for the better, you empower them and encourage them to be the leader they really are.
Secondly, considering your heroes is an excellent way to grow and improve. Picking out admirable qualities in others helps you notice them in yourself. Once you notice them, you can nurture them, and develop your own powerfully positive personality.