Personal Heroes

March 11, 2012

It seems today that the only heroes are soldiers and superheroes. I’m going to say that a hero is anyone who can serve as a rolemodel. People often talk about rolemodels, but I never really understood what a rolemodel was nor have I ever had one. I don’t know any of my friends who have a rolemodel. My recent readings have taught me that I should have a rolemodel or personal hero. I’d like to run my reasoning by you and see if you agree.

The only times in my life that I have been asked about my heroes or rolemodels  have been on college applications and as class assignments. Way back in seventh grade for my computer science class, I chose the Red Baron as my superhero because my family would buy Red Baron brand pizza. What a stupid reason! I remember giving his name and then furiously hoping that he wasn’t a Nazi. That’s how little I “my hero”. While the assignment did teach me about computers, it did not impress the importance of having a hero.

What has bridged that communication gap has been looking at what people with heroes have accomplished. In “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey”, Kevin Clash clearly idolizes Jim Henson and the other puppeteers. He really does seek to emulate them in his life. His success as Elmo is partially due to this drive. Cal Newport in his book “How to Be a High School Superstar” sets out an excellent method to deconstruct a hero’s success. Cal helped me understand how to look at a successful person and see their journey. He has a series of blog posts about defeating procrastination by fixing on a role model. Finally, Ramit Sethi wrote about meeting people whom you look up to and learning from them. As per his usual style, Ramit implored me to make a list of ten people I want to meet. This caught me as off guard as that assignment back in seventh grade.

Well, I think it is about damn time I make a list of great people and use them to mark my journey to success. By having a rolemodel, I can effectively give myself a target to aim for in my own life. Furthermore, searching for rolemodels means that I will contact people and maybe find myself a mentor as Kevin found in Kermit Love, who introduced Kevin to Jim Henson.

To that end, I’m going to lay into my libraries’ biography section. I’m planning on picking up books on scientists, engineers, and any other people who inspire me. I’ll report back to y’all on the progress. Speaking of reports, I finished “Visualizing Quantitative Information” by Edward Tufte and am working on post about it.

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2 Responses to “Personal Heroes”

  1. brittany johnson said

    And if I had to say who they are, I think I couldn’t identify any besides my mother maybe. But even that’s not certain.

  2. brittany johnson said

    I’ve never been asked who my role models are.

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