Throughout our lives, we hear of these myths and marvels that occurred in history or even today, but we rarely observe the journey that men and women have taken to get there.
Whether it be a fireman rescuing a child from a burning building or a stranger giving a friendly smile that brightens up another person's day, heroes are all around us.
Everyone has his or her talents and strengths, and denounced to most accreditation, even your personality can categorize you as someone's personal hero.
There's a powerful TED Talk delivered by Rita Pierson, in regards to education, on how each child needs a personal champion.
Kids need someone in their lives who is willing to uphold them, inspire them or believe in them when they no longer believe in themselves.
Shouldn't that be something we strive to achieve? To make everyone's life we come in contact with greater, simply by being? These are just some of the steps we can all practice to unlocking the hero within us:
Objectivity, I've learned, is one of the greatest character traits to which we should all adhere. It gives us perspective and clarity. So when you find yourself in situations where pride takes over, take a step back and assess where the other person is coming from.
When you are selfless, so many doors open up for you. You are looked upon as the person who is genuine, kind and loving and wants nothing more than the well-being of the individual in front of you.
With a background in business, networking is preached religiously, in college and in our daily lives in general. It wasn't until I read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie, however, that it all clicked.
When you meet someone, don't look at what he or she can do for you, but rather, what you can do for that person. You'd be surprised at how people will throw themselves at you when you enter a relationship with integrity and goodwill.
Walk With Compassion
Be conscious of other people's journey; everyone has his or her own demons. Empathy over sympathy, that's what I say. Empathy is understanding, while sympathy is merely pity. Compassion for a fellow human being should be instinctual, but it is something we must all exercise.
There is nothing wrong with walking around selfishly on occasion, but when we lose sight of giving, we abandon that joy of seeing a smile on another's face.
Always try to be optimistic in every situation you're faced with. There are plenty of people who are worse off and would see your position as a blessing.
Look Out For The Little Guy
In movies, we always love the underdog story. It attaches itself intrinsically to us and brings about emotions of personal dreams and aspirations. But why view the story from the end when you can reach out in the beginning?
Surely, every one of us wants to leave our mark on the world and leave greatness behind, but how often do you help others pursue their dreams?
Watching out for the little guy doesn't mean accomplishing his or her goals, but being aware of the person next to you and giving that little nudge when he or she needs it most.
As we go on living, it may get rough. It might seem like the whole world is collapsing in on us, but when that "intervening moment" comes about, we are wide-eyed and more capable than we ever thought. Lend a hand.
Give Others Your Best Self
We all have those days when we just aren't up to par with how we normally feel or behave. Work may be getting to us, or our significant other may be upset. Whatever it may be, try not to lash out on the people you come in contact with. Bury those troubles within you and tackle them at later times when more appropriate.
If you keep a joyful attitude consitently, that'll stick to others' perception of you and make your life that much more enjoyable. Reputation is of such worth nowadays that it can trump even the most established of individuals.
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to destroy it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently. - Warren Buffett
Find Your Heroes
This is the part from which you draw your motivation. Everyone has those people they look up to who set that bar for excellence.
If we analyze and critique those things that make them so special, we can duplicate that for someone else, too. It makes you better, and the people around you will cherish you for it.
My personal heroes are the ones who stand up for and inspire those who don't believe in themselves and never let any obstacle stand in their way from achieving whatever they put their mind to.
So, my challenge to you is to find someone who needs a helping hand. Even if you don't find someone, hold true to good character. Later down the road, you never know who will knock on your door and thank you for making their life mean something more.
Photo Courtesy: Columbia Pictures/The Amazing Spider-Man