It’s been sad and slightly fascinating recently to watch one of the World’s most inspiring personalities fall apart in double quick time recently as we see the face they never thought anyone in the build would ever see. As more and more revelations appear about Lance Armstrong we begin to see that the face that was upheld as a model of human spirit, endurance and triumph against adversity wasn’t all that it appeared to be.
This is the issue with celebrity ‘heroes’. It’s the same issue that many self development gurus, spiritual leaders, political visionaries and, of course, sporting heroes find; if you have a public ‘face’ that hides your scars then that public ‘face’ is always liable to slip and show those scars.
But my point is not about them, it’s about us. A public face is as much constructed by us, the watchers of that public face, than by the person themselves. We buy into these faces, we trust them and build them to be things they are not and, in many cases, we just turn them into exactly what we want them to be. How often do you forget that all your gurus, heroes and models are simply human!? You see what you want to see.
I have had the experience of having gurus and being stunned when the mask slipped. It hurt. It made me question, on at least one occasion, EVERYTHING! I was warned. I saw the signs but I thought I knew different. I ignored the warnings and got burned. As the image of my guru faded in my head, for a brief period, I went with him. Luckily for me, I came back stronger than ever!
There will be more information coming about Lance Armstrong. Now the smoke is clearing and the mirrors shattering, more and more people are going to appear. As a person, his position as a guru, leader and inspiration are gone (which leaves a gap in the cheesy facebook quote market, Bradley Wiggins should get in quick!) but that doesn’t mean you need to go with him.
The lesson in all of this is to remember that finding inspiration in others success is a fantastic way to grow yourself. Watch them, read them and model the things you like and respect about them but allow yourself to accept that they will have flaws. Some of them major (a small look into the history of NLP will show you that!). Simply find the things you like and make them work in your life and once those things are yours, own them.
Pay attention to what others say. Always remember that the people that say they’re perfect are probably the most flawed in all of us!
And if they fall? Don’t go chasing your guru. Let them go. Allow yourself to accept their humanity and find the next person who can guide you to what you want to do.
Think about it, having one guru is dangerous but having a host of guides is pure Jedi!
May the force be with you…