Stella Young has delivered a riveting speech about how we overvalue people without really knowing who they are. This immediately put a song into my head called “Kill Your Heroes” by a band called AWOLNATION (you can find the video here). The song and the speech by Stella Young are saying the same thing, just in different ways.
We have a tendency to look at those that have a higher level of perceived success in their lives as people we should aspire to. We look at people like Steve Jobs, or Tom Cruise, or Michael Jordan as individuals we wish to be like. There is something to learn from them for sure, and you can find plenty of inspirational quotes from each, but here is the thing; they are no different than you and me. If you look at these individuals as the goal of your own journey, then how will you ever be yourself?
“Kill Your Heroes” is, in short, a shocking way to say that you need to live your own life. What you should take from this is the fact that we are all doing the same thing in our lives; trying to survive. If you listen to the song itself it mentions multiple times that in the end we will all die. The journey is all that matters and when we look at those with disabilities or huge amounts of perceived success we sell ourselves short.
Once you break down the walls in your own thought process about how you view your “heroes” you will suddenly start to view yourself as someone that can be a hero. You may never see the same type of paycheck as Michael Jordan or be as famous as Steve Jobs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your mark on this world. You are here for a short amount of time and the actions you take should be those that you decide on, not those that you aspire to because you want to be like someone else.
One thing that each of the people mentioned above has in common is they never followed in someone else’s footsteps. Maybe they found inspiration through others, but they always carved their own path. To say Michael Jordan did not look up to Wilt Chamberlain would probably be a false statement, but to say that Jordan wanted to be another Wilt would be even more false.
The take away here is that we judge people based on how society teaches us to judge them. Those, like Stella Young, that have disabilities instantly make us think that they have done something more with their lives than us if they are doing as well, or better, in their own lives compared to us. Honestly, they didn’t do anything more, they simply used the tools they had and carved out the life they wanted. You have a different set of tools than anyone else, and when you stop trying to borrow those from your “heroes” you will finally be on the way to understanding who you are, what you want and how you will achieve it.
Image Source: Comedy Festival