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“Never Meet Your Heroes” Is a Toxic Mindset That’s Destroying Your Success

by | May 26, 2024 | Success

Andrew Huberman is loved by gym bros.

Recently it came out that he had six girlfriends at the same time. The internet was divided.

One half were outraged, the other half thought his private life was irrelevant (especially since his accuser was being investigated by the Department of Justice for fraud).

There have been many other high-profile “heroes” taken down recently too — Jay Shetty, Bill Ackman and his wife, and David Portnoy.

It turns out our heroes are imperfect. This leads some people to say the cliche line “Never meet your heroes.”

If you find yourself saying this it’s time to wake the hell up. It’s ruining your success.

The dark truth about heroes

This essay came from a recent interaction with a reader.

I was communicating with them via instant message about starting a business. They were stuck. As a coach, I asked them several times to dare to make a change. Apparently I went too far.

They sent me one final message:

“I guess ‘never meet your heroes’ is true. Good riddance you piece of sh*t.”

No one likes to be challenged. No one likes being told to be better or to consider an opposite point of view.

It’s easy to blame a so-called hero. It’s easy to take a lack of progress or failure/rejection and explain it with a story about a bad hero.

But heroes aren’t the problem.

Heroes are no different to normal people

I’ve met many of my heroes.

They don’t disappoint me. Why? I’ve spent years studying human psychology in my spare time. I understand how humans think.

We’re more self-interested than we like to admit.

And our egos get out of control more than we’d like our friends and family to know. Once you understand this view of the world you stop throwing mud at heroes.

If someone has had enormous success in their field, it’s guaranteed they’ve had to make sacrifices. They’ve probably done some things, too, that they’re not proud of.

When you come to expect this reality you stop being disappointed by your heroes. Heroes are just as imperfect and broken as you (often more).

Everyone has something to sell you

This is a truth that’s served me well.

Incentives drive the world. We are all selling something whether we admit it or not (even you dear romantic writer who says everything is clickbait and selling information products is a pyramid scheme).

I’ll go first. I sell stuff on the back of my writing. And I’m proud of it. What I sell helps people even if it’s not for everyone.

So maybe if some people look up to me they’d be disgusted by this. But there’s nothing I can do. This is what I do for a living. As long as you’re helping people then there’s nothing wrong with selling anything.

There are two paths in life:

  1. Sell your own product/service
  2. Work for a business where they sell their product/service

Unless you’ve never been employed before, you’ve been involved in the selling process. Your heroes all have something to sell. Get over it.

You can always enjoy what they post and not buy anything from them. Capitalism doesn’t have you by the curly ones holding you hostage to buy a book with a Visa card. Just say no thank you.

How heroes destroy your success

The problem with my dear reader (now hater) and all the fallen heroes mentioned at the start is we’re relying on them too much.

We’re letting what our heroes say and do dictate our actions. Instead, the solution is to stop relying them.

Find your own path. Discover lessons through your actions. Seek wisdom from rejection and failure, rather than building your life’s story off the back of what Andrew Huberman says on his podcast.

As soon as you become too obsessed with the outside world, society, and culture, you lose sight of yourself. And that has dire consequences.

Worry about yourself. Worry about how you’re acting. I’m willing to bet you’re no angel either. You’ve probably done some stuff or had an argument before, haven’t you? If you say no you’re lying.

Don’t let your lack of progress or even envy make you hunt your heroes down with a hunting knife because they disappointed your perfect worldview.

The world is often dark. Everyday life is hard. And humans are forever tempted to do bad things in order to escape the pain of the human experience. Once this makes sense you’ll be 10x more forgiving.

Kindness, compassion, and empathy are the superpowers — not judgment, anger, and toxicity.

Bottom line

Your heroes will disappoint you.

Good. Now you can lower your expectations and stop expecting everyone to be Mother Teresa running an orphanage in her spare time while spreading kindness and love (apparently she did some horrible stuff too).

There are no perfect people. Read that again.

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