There are heroes, role models, and mentors all around us. Women and men whom we look up to because they inspire and amaze us. Some are famous actors/actresses, athletes, and others are good friends, neighbors or local celebrities.

Unfortunately, many famous athletes and actors/actresses we considered heroes, mentors or role models through the years have recently been in the media – and not with a positive influence. It is sad to see someone like Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong who have achieved so much and yet lied consistently, finally admit his wrongdoing. On one hand it is a disgrace, yet on the other, you get a glimpse of what a guilty conscience can produce. It takes a ton of courage to come forth and admit your faults.

We praise them, we honor them and aspire to reach their level of success, then all of a sudden we learn they cheated or lied…it makes you take a step back and contemplate whether that specific achievement is truly possible. The individual may have trained hard, but is the end result really achievable without outside influences? Can the human body accomplish the specific task on it’s own? When you have fame and fortune, can you be a truly good person? Not to mention, if the said individual is also your child’s mentor, how do you go about explaining the situation to them. We are only human, and we do make mistakes which we hopefully learn from.

Maybe your role model or inspiration is a good friend. Does he/she inspire you because they are organized? Maybe they know how to handle all that life throws at them? Maybe they are successful both at home and in the workplace – have they achieved the perfect ‘work-life” balance you strive for?

Here are a 6 of my heroes:

  • Princess Diana “The People’s Princess”:  She was and still is a fantastic example of humanitarian efforts. I hold her fondly in my heart to this day.
  • Oprah Winfrey : A woman beyond her time. She helped to pave a path for women everywhere. If you believe, you will achieve.
  • Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: An amazing mother, wife and book editor. Full of life and always portraying a sense of elegance, style and grace.
  • My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Allen: She had the most beautiful head of long, thick, black hair! She influenced my writing from a young age. She was my toughest critic, but always saw my potential and brought out the best in me. She made me believe in myself. With her guidance and the knowledge I gained from her, through the years, I was able to write some fantastic papers in college and have the honor of a few publications. For that I am truly grateful. My children may never meet her, but they know of her, and how important she is to me, to this very day.
  • My mother: An angel and one of the strongest women I know. She has been through many a trial and risen to the top every time. I love her and admire her with my every breath. She has always been there for me. Growing up she allowed me to take the path I had chosen and sometimes falter, but only to gather and raise me back up. Thank you, mom. I can only hope to be half the mother she is.
  • My friend Stacey: She is a true hero and inspiration. God has certainly blessed her with the utmost loving, caring, positive heart and soul. She is an ‘Organized Diva’, a wonderful wife, faithful friend and exceptionally loving mother. She has endured some battles the last few years which in the end, are all truly blessings in their own right. Her gift of faith is everlasting. The STRENGTH she possesses on a daily basis to deal with her journey through life is simply AMAZING! Even though we are hundreds of miles apart now, Stacey keeps me going whenever I have a difficult day. There may be this physical distance between us, however, nothing can break the bond of true friendship.

You don’t need to have a famous person as a role model, hero, mentor or true inspiration, it can be anyone, anywhere….a family member, a friend, a neighbor. Just look around and you will find many. Whoever it is that you do look up to, cherish them and learn from them – positive or negative. Believe it or not, you are someone’s role model, hero, and inspiration too!