The Power of a Hero, The Power of You
To me a hero represents someone who emulates a life, skills or some other trait that we desire to be like or possess. Often times we will read books, watch a video or attend a conference that may give us a path towards becoming more like that person. Many times we come to find out that the more we try to mimic someone else, the more we fail. At times, we forget how much our heroes fail before they finally figure it out. Is Michael Jordan your hero? He missed approximately 9000 shots. What about Babe Ruth? He struck out nearly twice as many times as he hit a home run. Pandora was rejected by around 300 venture capitalists before finally landing a deal. Chemists failed 39 times before finally producing the wonder lubricant WD40. What would’ve happened if Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female in the US to earn a medical degree, quit trying to get into medical school after her 29th attempt? (She got in on number 30).
We all have heroes in our lives whether they are professional, personal or in the things we enjoy doing. Growing up I always loved baseball and my hero was Dale Murphy from the Atlanta Braves, yes, even in Alaska, Ted Turner inundated us with “America’s Team” and made Braves fans across the country. I remember one specific time when a teammate and myself were arguing over who was going to be Dale Murphy in our soon to happen whiffle ball home run derby. Throughout our discussion we each came up with our perfect and sophisticated argument for being Dale Murphy, “You can’t hit the ball far enough” and “I can hit the ball farther than you.” Our “discussion” must’ve gotten a little heated because a third guy came over and simply said, “Oh yeah, well I’m going to be Timmy Ferris.” His name was Timmy Ferris.
Fast forward life now for about thirty years and I find myself having heroes in my professional life. I see Jimmy Casas motivate and inspire teachers and principals to be the best they can possibly be. Glenn Robbins with his risk taking in the Ed Camp and Maker Space worlds. Ben Gilpin on building relationships and how he opens himself up to the people he leads by being vulnerable. It’s like wrapping up Superman, Batman and The Flash in one ultimate educational superhero and being that person; I want to be that person! Then as you talk with your heroes a little more, you realize the struggle, challenges and failures they all went through to get where they are, it’s their story. They just simply never stopped trying as they pursued their passion. They were persistent and acted fearlessly.
Bottom line is that it is awesome to have heroes. They inspire and motivate us to become better each and every day. These three gentlemen who I was able to connect with are those inspirations for me and I know they have their own journey, just like I have mine. I can’t hit the “easy button” and all of a sudden become the ultimate education super hero. I have to remember Timmy Ferris and be my best self. Who knows, maybe even I will become someone’s hero someday.