Ridz Rant: Who are your heroes and what is it like to meet them?

This is a bit of a phenomenon that I have come across in my life. We all have someone in our life we aspire to be like, look like or someone that we admire what they have accomplished and stand in awe. The whole time thinking “wow I could not do that.”

But from what I have seen and what I have experienced myself is so much more than that.

When we meet a mentor/hero/role model it is sometimes underwhelming. What one person sees as “cool” is very “uncool” to another. It is all in the perception.

I know when I have met sporting heroes or authors for example I have straight away been happy to have met them, but I soon realise that they are not at all dissimilar to me. They are after all just people. They may have a slight genetic advantage when it comes to sport, but deep down inside they are so much like you in every way. Their heart pumps blood, their brain fires impulses along muscles to get them to move, they need to eat to function and they need to sleep to recover. I hope by now you are following where I am going. You don’t need to look at someone and think you can’t do what they have done. Who is to say that you cannot do more than them? Be better than them?

Each and everyone of us pretty well has the same starting point, yes there are some that are not as fortunate as others, but I am talking about most of us that want to lose a few kilos, run the city to surf, play with our kids when we get home from work or beat our mates in a game of touch footy. But I am also talking about so much more than this.

The principles we use to get someone on track to a healthy lifestyle are the same principles that you should use in everyday life. They can set you up for success in most areas of your life, and guess what? It is what your mentor/hero/role model is probably already doing. Goal setting, visualisation, planning and rewarding yourself for acheiving milestones are some of the techniques more successful people use.

Set your goals and know that you can achieve them, the way to do that is by making them achievable. I want to run the city to surf in 2012 is an achievable goal if it is set on 1st January. Setting the same goal in the 4th week of July is a bit off the mark. So make sure those goals are achievable. Also though do not be afraid to set some really big, ugly, and downright scary goals! Make them long term, but set them. “I want to own an airline!” do you think Richard Branson maybe uttered those words once? I don’t think he got where he was without setting some goals and targets along the way.

Importantly though don’t be too worried if you miss your goal, after all it is just a setback or hurdle on your way to achieving it next time you try. Successful people have failed more times than they achieved, they simply learn from the mistakes they make, move on and get where they wanted to be in the long run. Not through good luck but by perseverance and wisdom gained through their errors.

But from the goals you need to visualise achieving them. If you can see yourself doing something then you are well on your way to being able to accomplish the task. And it usually works the other way as well, tell yourself you can’t do something and you are well on the way to not accomplishing it.

And when you do reach that goal, reward yourself. Now a good friend of mine, and someone I admire for what they have acheived,  posted the other day. Don’t reward yourself with food, you are not a dog. We as humans respond better to other forms of reward. Spoil youself with a weekend away to the coast, get a babysitter and catch a movie you have wanted to see, give your spouse a massage and have them return the favour, I think now you are getting the picture. It is a bit ingrained in us to see food as a treat, and I know I have been guilty of this. I have undertaken more 12 week body transformation challenges than I care to think about, I even won one once. But the problem was I would see the 12 weeks as the end goal, and I had followed others in the industry, those role models. And guess what? They went out and ate up big at the end of their “challenges”. What this did was set the wheels in motion for me to yo-yo and go on the roller coaster again.
Now the friend of mine that posted the dog quote has also given me some moments of levity before that. But that last one was a real doozie. I really had not looked at it before, but the person I should have been looking up to was the one that I did not realise. I had looked at the flashy people in the industry and thought “I want to be like them, up in lights”, but chasing big bright shiny lights is not what it is about. I want you to look hard at your mentors and role models, are they really who you want to be like? What do you think their life is really like?

Sometimes I know I have been guilty of looking at the wrong people for inspiration. But at the time they were right. Now I know that you don’t actually have to look all that far to find a great role model or mentor. They might be one of the parents at the local footy club, it might be the lasy at your kids canteen, it could be one of your workmates, one of your peers in the industry you are in. What I am trying to get at is that they needn’t be a celebrity, or hugely successful billionaire to be an inspiration to you. They could be anybody.

Yes I was always looking up to the celebrity or sportsperson. But that has changed. You know how there are sometimes those surveys about if you could have 5 people, any 5, over for dinner, who would they be? I used to want Schwarzenegger, Einstein, Lennon, Willis and Johannson. Now it is different, if you lived in Armidale you would recognise some of the names, but only because they are active in the town and community and are successful in terms of what they do. And I don’t neccessarily mean that they make a tonne of money, but they have great families and thrive in their environments. They run sports stores, restaurants, butchers, electrician and other businesses or work for a boss. But the great thing about my mentors and role models is that they are also my friends. I can actually have dinner with these people, I can get inspiration from them and I can talk to them about anything I may need, try doing that with a celeb! But I’m not saying that celebrities are bad role models, some are brilliant.
Now you don’t have to be exactly like your “heroes”, just take a leaf from their book. After all I know that if I wanted to be exactly like my role models I could not, for a start it is almost impossible to try and take up kite surfing here and try to become good at it!

So please look at who you aspire to be or be like and then look around. You just might find that inspiration is not that far away.


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