I like to distinguish heroes from role models.
To me, a hero is someone who inspires you. A role model is someone you want to be.
They can be the same person, but often, they’re not.
Spiderman is a typical hero.
He’s amazing. He’s an inspiration. But would you really want to be him? Jumping all over buildings at night and chasing bad guys around?
It’s important to have real-life heroes and role models.
When I was younger, Tiger Woods was a hero.
I was awestruck by the way he dominated golf. He didn’t just win. He was on another level. When he was on his game (which was most of the time), there was no stopping him.
But he wasn’t a role model because I didn’t want to BE him. I didn’t want his life (even before it took a nasty turn). I never wanted to be a professional golfer, let alone the best golfer on the planet.
To some kids, Tiger Woods was a role model. They may have mimicked the way he trained, studied the game, and handled himself under pressure in an effort to become exactly like him on the course.
Nowadays, my role models are relatively unknown.
They aren’t celebrities or CEOs. They are people I want to model myself after because I want to live like they do.
My parents are role models.
I strive to BE more like them because I like the way they behave. To me, they are a perfect example of how to be honest, decent, hardworking people who put family first.
In the writing world, I have some people who are heroes and others who are role models.
Tim Ferriss is a hero because he is a freak of nature in 21st century nonfiction writing and almost everything he does inspires me.
His books are massive in length and popularity. His podcast is incredible. He has access to some of the most influential people on earth. He makes TV shows about conquering his fears and throws himself head-first into all kinds of extreme situations.
But at the end of the day, I don’t really want his life. I’m inspired by it, but I don’t want to do what he does on a daily basis. I don’t think I’d enjoy that at all.
My writing role model is a guy named Steve Scott, a relative unknown.
He’s no Tim Ferriss or JK Rowling.
He’s a random dude who’s written a ton of short, practical nonfiction Kindle books and turned his book empire into a passive income tsunami.
When I first heard about him a few years ago on James Altucher’s podcast, he was earning $40,000 a month selling books on Amazon.
Steve is a role model because he’s someone I aspire to be like.
Every aspect of his lifestyle that I know of resonates with me and my future goals.
It’s not just the financial security of passive income to support his family and have plenty leftover. He has earned the freedom to work whenever, wherever, and for as long as he wants. He impacts the lives of thousands of people. His audience and reach isn’t as massive as Tim’s, but it’s respectable. He has also indicated that a balanced family life and focus on personal health are very important to him.
All of this speaks more deeply to me than the celebrity buzz of millions of fans and private jets. Maybe because it seems more accessible. Like, if this random guy can do it, then so can I. Just follow what he did. It might not be easy, but it seems simple enough.
You can adopt role models in any area of your life from business to health and fitness to family.
Identify the heroes and role models in your life. Let your heroes inspire you, but let your role models guide your day-to-day actions.
Who are your heroes and role models? Leave a comment and let me know.