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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Have You Identified Your Heroes?

Our dreams as children were filled with people that we admired. Cartoon heroes, people we saw on tv or people we were around and were very important to us. They shaped how we wanted to grow up and who we wanted to be like. In many cases, they gave us paths to follow into adulthood.

As we grow up, we seem to tend to forget who our heroes are/were. Being so busy with family and career our heroes and dreams sometimes fall behind and lay scattered behind us like dust in the wind. Once scattered, they are hard to reclaim, focus and remember.

When you have children, you have the unique advantage that you can see life through their eyes. You get to hear their hopes and dreams and you see which heroes they choose as their guides. If you are lucky, you get to reclaim your heroes or maybe even make new ones.

Until I started reading “You and Your Network” by Fred Smith, I had forgotten my heroes. I’ve been too busy and had let them go. The heroes of my past served their place and only one remains from that era. After some reflection, I’ve chosen the heroes that I best identify with and want to strive to be the most like in my life. I’m going to share them below and why they resonate with me personally.

The first heroine I have who has remained throughout my life is Madonna. She is definitely not everyone’s favorite but to me she personifies what we as women can do with our lives. She has worked very hard to build her career and get where she wants to be and has never given up. She’s a Mom and a wife and she’s made mistakes just like we all do. However, in the end, she’s got a fantastic career that has made her very wealthy. I feel almost like we’ve watched her grow up and mature. I have always felt like if I could focus on my dreams the way she has, I could be an unstoppable force.  

Hellen Keller is another of my heroine’s. Here is a lady seeming to have all the odds against her. She had to relearn many things due to her sight and hearing loss. I read a book about her life when I was a teenager. It is hard to imagine losing your hearing and sight and having to relearn every task you were completely accustomed to. Having what once was normal ripped away and forced to do things totally differently had to be incredibly difficult. It is amazing that she didn’t fall into despair and completely give up. However, she was lucky enough to have a great teacher in Anne Sullivan who became her link to the world and mentor in many ways. Despite her disabilities, she became a leader who encouraged others to see their own potential and follow their dreams.

The last of my personal heroes is Mahatma Gandhi. He personifies how we can really make a difference personally by what we do. We do have the power to influence others in a positive and good way. We have to walk the walk and talk the talk every day. However, if you truly care about people and want to help people, then you find what you are passionate about and keep sharing it with people every single day. Eventually this will bring about positive change.

My personal challenge to you is to identify your heroes. Even if they have been forgotten or you have new heroes that match who you have become, find them and write them down. Figure out why you chose them. What qualities make you want these specific people, characters, etc. as your heroes? What dreams will they help you move towards and achieve? The beginning is always the toughest part but once you write things down, a roadmap of sorts begins to appear on the paper. Hold on to your heroes and remember them. Let them be your guide through this journey we call life.

Kathie Hitt