Yesterday Sir Edmund Hillary died at the age of 88 and there have been many tributes to one of the first men to conquer Everest, amongst other life accomplishments. In reading a little about this man I was reminded about the concept of heroes, or role models, and how we can use other people’s accomplishments to motivate ourselves.
It is interesting to look at some of the great leaders over the centuries and to understand their strengths and weaknesses and to try and learn from them. The achievements that people have can be staggering and, just like you and me, they were very human … with fears and weaknesses to go with their talents. Some recent examples of great leaders might include US Presidents like Bill Clinton … who achieved the role of President of the USA, was largely considered one of the most intelligent presidents, a charismatic leader and yet as we all know he was also very human; and Richard Nixon, who led the US out of Vietnam and was another great leader during a difficult time … who also succumbed to his human side.
We can focus on the negatives of these human frailties OR we could understand that we all have potential to achieve great things, frailties and all! Perhaps you can find your heroes and try to understand what helped them to achieve great things.
There are many business leaders who have achieved great things without significant academic achievements (Bill Gates for instance) … could they be your role model?
There are athletes who by their own admission are not blessed with fantastic talent, but they achieve great things through hard work and commitment. Could they be your role models?
Sir Edmund was a great man and a fabulous role model, who lived life the way he wanted and I would bet he leaves with few regrets. Now THAT is a life LIVED.
“Every man dies, not every man truly lives“! Mel Gibson in Braveheart as William Wallace.