Be Distinct: Find The Hero Within

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 6.28.52 PMA 50-year-old Navy veteran and construction worker named Wesley Autrey was at a New York subway station waiting for a train with his daughters when a nearby man collapsed and fell onto the tracks, where a train was already approaching.

While others watched in horror, Autrey took action. He jumped onto the tracks and lay on top of the victim, who seemed to be having a seizure, keeping them both pressed between the tracks. Five cars passed over them before the train was able to come to a stop. Miraculously, neither was seriously injured.

Autrey later told the New York Times, “I don’t feel like I did something spectacular; I just saw someone who needed help. I did what I felt was right”

To find inspiration, just look for ordinary people with extraordinary stories of heroism. They’re all around us.

When we follow a code of what is right, we can become a hero in our own life. When we live with compassion, we can become a hero in lives of others.

Someone needs to sacrifice, someone needs to inspire, someone needs to be a hero. Why not me? Why not you?

Here’s what it takes:

Strong value system. Heroes live by their values, and they are willing to endure personal hardship and take potential risks to protect those values. They know that within their deepest values lies their highest purpose.

Secure confidence. Heroes believe in themselves, with a strong sense of their abilities that takes over when most others feel fear.  Faced with a crisis, they believe they are capable of handling the challenge and achieving success whatever the odds.

Commitment to doing what’s right. Heroes are about doing the right thing. There is power within good deeds, shining moments when the impossible becomes possible. Heroes seek out opportunities to unleash that power.

Persistence. Heroes have a high tolerance for risk. Where most would walk or even run away, they stay focused on how they can best make a difference.

Positive attitude. Heroes are positive thinkers by nature, which contributes to their ability to look past the immediate danger of a situation and see a more optimistic outcome. They have learned to put a positive spin on negative events.

Deep caring. Heroes care about others and genuinely want to make a difference.   The most powerful force on earth is a caring heart.

A calling. Heroes are ordinary people called to do extraordinary things. Faced with an everyday situation or a once-in-a-lifetime challenge, they stay in tune with that calling.

A hero is not only a brave individual, but a brave individual who dares to be distinct.

We are all ordinary and we are all extraordinary

We are all timid and we are all bold.

We are all weak and we are all strong.

We are all scared and we are all fearless

We are all helpless and we are all heroes.

At every given moment we can choose what we will be.

If you honor the moments by not wasting them, they will honor you back with a calling as a hero.

LEAD FROM WITHIN Heroes are people who are flawed, have fail and fall, but win out in the end because they have stayed true to their values, confidence and calling—no matter what.

National Bestselling Book:
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Martina

    18. Mar, 2014

    Excellent post, Lolly.

    This coincides with a section of Dr K. Cramer’s book, Lead Positive, which talks about finding our hero story. If we honor ourselves and our stories about times that we have come through, overcome or persevered, we can lead from a place of positivity and focus. We can embrace who we are, lead from our hearts, and lead others well. And, we all have those stories buried within us.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      18. Mar, 2014

      So true Martina and beautifully stated!

      If we honor ourselves and our stories about times that we have come through, overcome or persevered, we can lead from a place of positivity and focus. We can embrace who we are, lead from our hearts, and lead others well. And, we all have those stories buried within us.


      Reply to this comment
  2. lollydaskal

    18. Mar, 2014

    Each one of us lives a heroes journey. What we need to do is find that hero within ourselves and live it fully – to show our distinction.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Irene

    18. Mar, 2014

    Very powerful message. It is a cause for reflection and comes right back to making a choice about who and what you want to be. By choosing what is right over what is easy, your ‘hero’ begins to show. Leadership becomes stronger.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      18. Mar, 2014


      You are right. It comes down to life and leadership it is about making choices.
      By choosing as you say, between right and wrong, your hero emerges.
      Thanks for sharing your insight.


      Reply to this comment
  4. Terri Klass

    18. Mar, 2014

    Love the idea that we all are heroes in some way!

    Our values do drive our decisions and empower us to take actions that others may never see as possibilities.

    Persistence is key as it allows us to perfect our authentic self and journey. As humans we can keep learning and trying to model heroism the way it makes most sense to each of us.

    Thanks Lolly for another inspiring post!


    Reply to this comment
  5. LaRae Quy

    18. Mar, 2014

    Well done, Lolly!

    Great article about the importance of a strong mind when we’re faced with tough times.

    One of the most important elements of mental toughness is the willingness to reach out a hand to others when they’re in need.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Panteli Tritchew

    18. Mar, 2014

    To resist the norm, to swim upstream, to be an outlier, to trust yourself when others doubt you, to hold to your Vision when others say Illusion, to look past trials and disaster and to see those as mirage, to greet adversity every morning with a Yo!, to keep playing when the cards are stacked against you…

    “Deep caring, strong value systems, secure confidence, commitment to doing what’s right, persistence and positive attitude.” That combination is a powerful leadership locus, those traits come from within, a place where heroes feel at home.
    Lovely piece, Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Joy Burkhard

    20. Mar, 2014

    It’s remarkable and very helpful to teach what it takes to be a hero, who doesn’t want to leave this type of legacy? I also might add that I’ve found a connection between “the calling” and “the confidence.” In my experience great leaders/”heros” may not necessarily be the most confident in every day situations, but feel so compelled to make a difference when they find this calling (an opportunity to do good), that they can’t help but move on, perhaps building confidence as they go. It takes intellect too however. Passion without smarts (which boils down to asking the right questions, being able to connect dots) will equal failure/rejection more often than not, which won’t build confidence of course! Thanks Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Nipun

    21. Mar, 2014

    Great article – agree (as other also).

    Important point is how to get these traits – can we develop some of these like ? I think we can by virtue of leading a life free (as much as possible) of so called ‘sins’ (may not be the best word). Things as simple as lying, addiction (it could be addiction to anger, jealousy, power, money or even technology :-)) somewhere or the other impact our sub conscious mind negatively!


    Reply to this comment
  9. Soundara Rajan

    22. Mar, 2014

    Very true indeed.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Dr. Rae

    24. Mar, 2014

    Action takes caring, confidence, and courage! Thank you Lolly foe sharing this great message… ~RAE

    Reply to this comment
    • Dr. Rae

      24. Mar, 2014

      Sorry for the typos…

      Looking for the edit button 🙁

      Action takes caring, confidence, and courage! Thank you Lolly for sharing this great message… ~Rae

      Reply to this comment
  11. Milos

    24. Mar, 2014

    Be the change you want to see in the world. Believe, live and act in accordance with your high standards and norms.

    Reply to this comment
  12. ironman

    01. Jun, 2014

    By doing this you will make your brain believe this has happened, and you will begin to behave in ways beneficial to your success.

    The expression practice makes perfect is used frequently.
    If so this short article may be of interest to you.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Michael Okello

    31. Aug, 2015

    This is ever my favourite wisdom naggets page. Great anf awesome!!

    Reply to this comment
  14. Mohammad AbuHait

    17. Apr, 2018

    So greatly inspiring, Thx Lolly.

    Reply to this comment

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