So what exactly is "The Hero Project" anyways?
It's a swift kick in the ass by some guy who's got waaay better abs than you, runs around in armored underwear, and can kill 3,333 Persians in one go.
No wait, that's a Spartan Warrior. Sorry.
Same idea though.
Spartans were ass kicking, sword wielding, chest-kicking heroes (or at least our Hollywood versions of them were).
Heroes are freaking awesome.
I love heroes.
You love heroes.
Your kids love heroes.
Everyone loves a hero.
Heroes do great things.
Heroes are larger than life.
Heroes show us the best vision of our world.
Heroes show us what it looks like to be our best possible selves.
Heroes are looked up to for direction, guidance, inspiration, & vision.
If you were to take a moment right now and think about it, I'd bet that you have a few heroes in your own life.
Maybe it's one of your parents, a teacher in school, a preacher, an author of a book or blog, a tv personality, a character in a book, movie, or history, or just a regular Joe who you happen to know is incredibly awesome.
They are the people you looked up to, learned from, and modeled your behavior after. You may have even dreamed that one day you would be like them. That you would do what they do. Maybe even have what they have.
They inspired you and without their influence, you simply wouldn't be who you are today.
Heroes have a funny way of doing that, changing peoples lives.
What makes them a Hero anyways?
That's the questions that has pestered me for more than a decade.
What is it about someone that makes them seem larger than life?
Gives them the ability to influence others, sometimes far beyond the reach of their own lives?
What makes them different?
Many years ago, when I was just a boy I read a book authored by a man who would become one of my heroes.
That book along with many others by the same author changed the way I thought and influenced so much of my life that I know for certain that I would be a completely different person with a completely different (and far less satisfying) life.
It was then that I realized the power that heroes have and ever since I have been fascinated by studying heroic people.
Not just the sword wielding heroes either (though they are fun too), but the ones who influence others either by their success, their attitudes, their advice, their work ethic, or any number of other things that cause one to become a hero in another's eyes.
After all these years of looking at people who have influence and analyzing what gives them that awesome power and responsibility, I have come to a very simple conclusion...
Heroes live and act on a set of principles.
Principle is such a simple sounding word that it belies the great power behind it's meaning.
A principle is simply a truth about life.
A truth that defines the way a person thinks and acts.
When someone acts on principles it's like they have the keys to unlock the power of the universe.
They become successful at what they do, and by virtue of that success, they become an influence in the lives of anyone they touch.
Which brings us back to the original question.... What is the Hero Project?
Several years ago, a hero of mine said this to me: "Your kids are gonna have a hero... it had damn well better be you."
I didn't have kids at the time, but I knew that I would and the thought stuck a chord with me.
Because he was saying that those little people that you are given charge to influence and help grow into their own successful adults are at some point going to choose their own influences... and if you aren't worthy... if you aren't actually a hero... then they won't choose you.
But if you become the type of person that that others would look up to, then you can bet that your children will do the same.
Now that I have a son it has become all that more important to me.
So the Hero Project was born
It has three simple goals:
- To identify the principles that heroic people live by
- To incorporate those principles into my own thoughts and actions
- To help as many people as I can do the same thing
Oh, and that swift kick in the ass I spoke of in the beginning... that still applies.
Because changing the way you think is hard.
Buck up and deal.
No one ever said heroism was easy.
So let's get to it.
How will the Hero Project work?
My plan is two fold.
Part one is simple and should be entertaining, educational, and hopefully awesome for everyone involved.
I will be seeking out people that I've identified as Heroes. Either because of the influence they've had in my life or the influence that I've seen they have in other peoples lives.
Then I will do everything in my power to connect with them, interview them, and get them to spill their guts on their best and most closely guarded secrets to living a Heroic principle based life.
Second, I will take each principle that I've identified over my years of Hero study and attempt to dissect them to see what really makes the principles powerful and help us both integrate those thinking patterns into our lives.
My hope is simple... To change the world.
Every new reader, every new listener will mean there is one more person who is actively trying to make themselves better... more heroic.
One person at a time we will change the way the world is influenced.