We have an obsession with heroes. The Marvel and DC series have brought comic book super heroes to life. And we hear stories about super heroes in daily life, usually in the form of first responders. Verizon highlighted first responders as heroes during their “Answer the Call” campaign (it’s hard not to get choked up listening to that) and during the 2019 Super Bowl, they ran a “The Team That Wouldn’t Be Here” campaign highlighting 12 NFL players that wouldn’t be here without first responders.
Whether it’s one person saving or helping another or a band of superheroes saving the world together, a hero ultimately comes down to the same definition: people who do or achieve amazing things.
We are eager to acknowledge and praise heroes. We give them trophies, medals and awards. We write about them, follow them, interview them and post their pictures everywhere.
Sometimes, however, our definition of hero leads us to forget about those who live among us. The talented, quiet and decisive people who show up each day, committed to being their best, doing their best and bringing their best to their world. They are our parents, partners, friends or employers. They are our kids, cousins or the employees at a store. They don’t do what they do for applause or fame; they do it because they have a personal standard of excellence that compels them to be great and to connect their greatness with their world.
We each have the opportunity to be a hero in today’s world by understanding who we are, knowing what we do best, and finding a way to share these talents and strengths with the world.
Here are some of my heroes:
- My father, whose big heart always watched for those in need and was the first to find a way to help. Be it family or stranger, neighbor or employee, he was the first to raise his hand, volunteer or just show up in a way that made a difference.
- The extremely successful CEO who took me under his wing early in my career to share not only his business wisdom, but also his broad understanding of life, how to be successful and how to balance a demanding career with a demanding household. His commitment to showing up as your best self is a lesson I still remember.
- My partner, who brings a personal excellence to all he does, never swayed by what others say. He models confidence, courage and determination – always.
- The employee at Panera who not only took exceptional care with my order and food allergies, but gave the same level of care to everyone in line. Entry-level job, hero attitude.
How do you become a hero? Here are my thoughts:
1. Always be your best self.
You choose how you show up to every event in life. Know what you are good at and passionate about and find ways to connect these to your world. Make greatness your personal standard. Inspire others to do and be their best
2. Be there for others, honestly, and without expectation.
Heroes care about people – they care about others. Here are the four most powerful 4-word phrases we can say to another
“I am really sorry.”
“I really love you.”
“How can I help?”
“Tell me about it.”
Say things and mean them. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Care about where people are and what is going on in their lives. Really be interested, connected and supportive. There is an element of the divine in all of us – and heroes treat others as the amazing person they were born to be, even when others’ actions don’t warrant it.
3. Add value to everything you touch.
Heroes watch for ways to show up, step up and stand out in life. They are always searching for ways to add value and to make whatever they encounter better. They add value not for the praise, but because doing the amazing is how they appreciate this great thing called life.
Recognize the true heroes among us. Learn from them and try to become one by bringing your best, being there for others and adding value to everything you touch. See the impact living like a hero can make in your life and in our world.
By Jay Forte
Consider reading Being Uniquely You
Original article by Jay appeared on Intent on April 2, 2013