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We aspire to be better versions of ourselves, and we choose role models and mentors.

They help us see further, set our goals higher and, if we have access to them, may let us stand on their giant shoulders.

We choose them for who they are, what they know and teach, how they live, their values, their eyes of the world, how they create, how they lead their area, their tenacity, their luck, or even what they have or attained.

I constantly remind myself that I’m human. And so are they. They have paid a price, or a sacrifice for their achievements. Or while they have excelled in that area, they still challenges or have failed in others. Take the good, expect the good, and pay heed that I, myself, do not fall into those missteps.

I remind myself about SHAZAM, the DC Comics superhero. Shazam bears the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury”. What makes it a cautionary tale (and a great basis for stories) is what while Billy Batson stands on these giant shoulders, he doesn’t yet bear the maturity to walk in those strengths. And if you study more about the heroes that form up Shazam, they each have their failures and shortcomings too.

Build your SHAZAM list of role models. Know that you can swap them out when you attain your goals, or when your goalposts shift. Understand the price your role models paid for their accolades. Acknowledge their shortcomings and avoid letting those also be a part of you.