I have discovered again and again (all praise the one art) that I take on the characteristics and habits of the people around me. I have to believe that I am not some sort of anomaly, that other people experience this same shift in thought and behaviour patterns. The problem for me, and I am sure for many others as well, is that I haven't made my life choices in accordance with this basic, immutable fact.
Instead, I have focused on different variables: time, money, flexibility and (I shudder to say) ease. What would happen if you or I spent some time everyday consciously surrounding ourselves with the voices, thoughts and feelings of those people whom we look up to most?
The good news is that we are living in an age where these heroes are ubiquitous. You can find videos of them on Youtube. You can read their blogs and visit their websites. You can insert funny little white plastic/rubber doohickeys (the more technical term) into your ear holes and listen to their long form podcasts.
Seth Godin talks about the differences between mentors and heroes, and how much more valuable heroes can be. You can pick and choose which ones to surround yourself with. As you grow and encounter more people, both online and in person, you are able to continually revise your list of heroes to suit your purposes.
Through the process of daily journalling, I have discovered what my heroes all have in common. Vision. Passion. Purpose. Courage. The freedom to create things that improve the lives of others.
So, once you have you thought through which people in your life (and in the world more broadly) deserve the appellation of hero, some useful questions might be:
"What do these people have in common?" and "How can I embody those qualities in my life today? next week? next year? In my lifetime?"