Rather than worship heroes, look to their archetypes. What is it that they embody that you admire? Can you find more of that within yourself? Hero worship may be a starting point, but it does not have to end there.
Archetypes refer to the qualities that your heroes embody beyond the persona as an individual. Qualities that we see in other people too, perhaps in different contexts. I am referring to things like courage, humility, compassion, mastery and rigour.
Of course, every ‘hero’ will have their own personal style, which you might admire for whatever reason. But, the real takeaway comes from looking beyond their surface level style to the archetype(s) behind it.
Archetypes may be viewed as a distilled version of the things about them that you are so drawn to. For example, one does not have to be helping the poor in India to try and embody the kindness of Mother Theresa. Or, one does not have to be at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement to find the determination and courage of Dr. King.
Often, we tend to worship heroes because we feel we cannot do what they do. But doesn’t that depend on the definition of “do”? What they do is shaped and influenced by their unique life circumstances, in the same way that what you do is shaped by your unique experiences!
What we can take from them is the qualities that they embody that transcend mere circumstance. Qualities that can be applied in other contexts. Qualities that can be embodied by you in your life.
Beyond hero worship
Often, we project our hopes and dreams on to our heroes, forgetting that they too are only human. Forgetting that the archetypes they embody are actually also accessible to you in your own way!
What begins with hero worship does not have to end there. Look to the archetype beyond the person. Ask yourself how you can find more of what you admire in them within yourself?
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.