| by Danielle Vincent

Who are your heroes?

Heroes can come from big and small places. They can be family members or celebrities. They can be role models or anti-role models.

Who are your heroes?

Personally, my dad has always been a hero of mine. I wanted to write about him on Father's Day, but unfortunately he has had some health problems recently. Instead of writing thoughtfully about what a hero my dad is, my brother and I were coordinating an important medical procedure (which is still underway, so please send prayers).

On the way back from Oakland (where I had left my dad to the care of my brother), I found Curtis Jackson (a.k.a. "50 Cent") had written a book called Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter. Always looking to expand my perspective by studying the work of people who have come from humble beginnings, faced significant adversity (in his case, getting shot, among other things), and are now multi-faceted successes, I decided to buy the audiobook (for the drive).

I don't know much about Jackson -- I'm not a hip hop fan and we don't really watch dramas -- but I've found his book enlightening. It includes his reflections on everything from relationships and mentorship, to paying attention to what company you keep.

I don't know if I'd call Curtis Jackson a "hero," but I'm definitely impressed.

His insights and inspiration give me so much strength and energy at a time when I feel particularly raw and afraid.

So Jackson is, in a way, my hero.

Being a Hero Means Dealing With a Lot of BS

My heroes never glide through life untouched by the world. There's always a point -- sometimes many points -- when they reach an obstacle so HUGE and IMMOVABLE that everyone else gives up... and they just refuse to give up.

Either by stubbornness or intelligence (and sometimes it looks pretty darn stupid to everyone around them), they just keep grinding.

It might slow 'em down, but they never stop.

I've heard obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off of your goal, but I've studied a lot of successful people, and very few truly successful people can honestly look at their lives and say it was free of obstacles.

My heroes always encounter adversity, acknowledge the adversity, and talk very clearly about what they have done to overcome that adversity.

And that's how I learn to face my own challenges.

I would love to hear from you. Please let me know your heroes in the comments, so that I can look them up and celebrate them myself.

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