I have a few heroes in life. Some who are no longer with us, like my father, and some who are very present in everyday life.
I think I had too many, and so I decided to refine down to three different types of heroes.
Why? – I don’t know where the thought came from but it felt like I wanted to get some further clarity on who I could reference as a source of knowledge and inspiration.
So I worked to narrow down to the three types as follows:
One: People who I admire.
Two: People who I wish I could be more like.
Three: People who inspire me.
But… right before I listed anything I stopped. I didn’t think that this the best approach. I felt that I wanted to generate a list of people first otherwise I would have most likely have thrown down names without much thought.
I changed tact.
My first step was to take a piece of paper, draw a line down the middle, and list down people who I call a ‘hero’ on one side and then write down a reason for why I would choose them. I kept the reason to choose the person to one simple sentence.
I added a rule here if I wrote down a name I could not score it out until the next process. The following refinement stage.
After an hour of playing with names in my head, picking through thoughts and vague, mental reference materials, I had a list of 23 people and a single sentence of a Why?
The next step I forced each of the 23 people into a heading: Most Admired. Be Like. Inspired By.
Three columns on a bit of paper.
Again, If I wrote a name on one part of the list, then I could not change it. This forced me to think clearly and slow down my choices.
The list was unbalanced as you can expect. Well, that’s what I expected anyway.
The final step was about refinement. I had to pick one person from each column.
Who would be my top choice as: Most Admired, Be Like, Inspired By
A couple of hours after starting this exercise, I had my three names.
I will NOT be sharing them here with you. They are personal to me. (You can get your own…)
But, I will tell you how I will utilise them.
I have built up more knowledge on each of them and created a strong mental visualisation of each person.
I now have a strong picture of each of them that I can go to when…
Because when I have a difficult challenge, a problem to solve or something I am working on and I feel like I am lost with my direction, then I stop and ask myself some questions…
How would my ‘Most Admired’ person handle this?
How would the person I would ‘Most Like to be Like’ handle this?
How would the person that ‘Inspires me the Most’ handle this?
I visualise each of them and what would be the answer they would present, as I try and work out the way forward from my current predicament.
This works in a way that it drives a different perspective in my thinking and it helps to slow me down and allows me to throw out some other possibilities.
I don’t get the answer from my visualised characters…. the answer always comes from me.
It is always a good fun exercise to invoke the character in my head and I recommend doing the full exercise so you can have your own, go-to-Heroes. (or heroines)
If anything you do get a chance to get some clarity on people who impact on your life, either from your immediate circle, from a wider more aspirational field or a character from history.
I intend to review the exercise each year. Swap people in and out of my list, why not.
As my father would say, “it is good to not have a starting opinion as it would allow your mind to have a blank canvas for you to draw on, by listening to the gained knowledge from others’
At least I think that’s what he would say.