Of heroes and mentors

Seth Godin said, “I think that heroes are more important than mentors. A hero is somebody who you can emulate; somebody who raises the bar for you. Heroism scales, so one person can be a hero for a lot of people. Mentoring is over-rated in that there’s this myth that they will pick you, cover for you when you make mistakes, encourage you, and be at your side until you become your true, best self. There are very few of those relationships in the world.”

It’s rare to find someone who’d selflessly devote themselves to mentoring others. Even if there may still be many of them out there doing it, the kind of relationship it establishes appear somewhat limiting. Factors like time, boundaries, personalities, and more create dynamics that leave the apprentice with certain parameters.

Finding a hero seems to make more sense in these times that many are trapped in self-inflicted limitations. Perhaps what we need more is that one person who’d remind us that nobler pursuits are not only instrumental in helping us achieve our highest, although somewhat selfish, aspirations. In many ways, the hero we choose to emulate may be someone who’d remind us of the greater good we can do in this world given the chance.

A mentor can help us achieve personal greatness. But only up to a certain point. It takes a hero to rekindle our innate abilities to transcend limits to become more than we imagined ourselves to be.

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