Everyone needs a hero... But why is that?
What is a hero?
For some, the word hero brings to mind a Marvel character with superhuman abilities. But the meaning that we are going to look into here is a bit more down-to-earth.
Think of the person you admire the most. Is it a parent, friend, teacher, maybe even a celebrity? Somehow, we're so caught up with being adult that we downplay the notion of having a hero as a childish act. While others may think “I don’t need any heroes” or “I’m my own hero” – but is this really the case?
Finding your first heroes
It's often true that we start having heroes when we're little and that is important in our young lives. I remember that when I was a 9-year-old, I would watch a lot of the Dragon Ball Z series and try to conjure imaginary Kamehameha attacks (or “energy beams”) inspired by the show with my friends. This was because the main character, Goku, became my hero.
Like many people, as I grew up, my need for a hero continuously changed according to the expectations that I had for myself. I also even went through an “I don't need any heroes” period in my late teens. Nowadays, I see the need for heroes again – I have several heroes that are skilled, hard-working, open-minded and yet, modest.
The importance of heroes
Heroes can help provide a sense of purpose or direction to our lives. Thus, our choice of hero could be seen as corresponding with what Sigmund Freud would call the "super-ego", or the ideal self that one strives to become. Having good heroes is even more important, since they can be very influential to a person.
Also, heroes can be a great tool for self-improvement because they are a visible reference point or even benchmark. Whether they are a star or not, you can look at their qualities, persona or skills, and see how close you are to reaching your goals with them as an inspiration.
Many successful people have no only emulated their heroes or role models, they have surpassed them in some way. For example, Argentinian professional football star Lionel Messi looked up to Zinedine Zidane as his personal hero. It didn't take long before he outperformed his idol.
Steve Jobs viewed Hewlett Packard as one of his personal heroes when he was a kid. At 12 years of age, he unintentionally landed an internship at HP after cold-calling Hewlett Packard himself to ask for some spare parts for his frequency counter. Later, Steve Jobs
became a key player of Apple, surpassing in many ways the success and achievements of Hewlett Packard.
But heroes don't necessarily have to be in the spotlight and internationally known. For many people, one or both parents are the heroes that they can look up to, even in adulthood.
Like take Prince Mario Max of Germany, he sees his father as his personal hero because of his courage, optimism and willingness to not let difficult times get the best of him. Prince Mario's father was a child during World War II and faced some very rough times.
Having heroes is one of the things that adds beauty and inspiration to life. They can have many roles from childhood to adulthood – helping us define who we are and who we want to become. They help shape our values and motivate us to become more.
Who is your hero?