I never grew up to become the next Michael Jordan. I never turned into the next Diego Maradona, or Ben Johnson, or Dennis Rodman. Or Kurt Cobain. I never got close to participating in the Olympics or a World Cup or even a National Championship except being a benchwarmer for a junior basketball team in Norway: we played in the unofficial Scandinavian championships for clubs, and lost every game by 40 points. I didn’t score a single point.

Now I am close to 40. My old heroes turn out to be petty, cocaine users, cheaters, and all-out trainwrecks. Or dead. I know better now. It’s time to find new heroes.

In the year 2014, I will use the so called VIA Inventory of Strenghts to identify what kind of people can serve as heroes, and how I should be more like them. If I had followed the lead of the heroes of my past, I would have ended up unhappy, bitter, unhealthy, sad – or dead. My new heroes should be the ones who make me feel the opposite in 40 years time. Luckily, I didn’t turn my youth into something heroic.

It’s time to turn my old age, the next 40 years, into a much better kind of heroic.




Who: Jostein Sand Nilsen

Whom: wife, two children (three from February)

Where: Copenhagen (2009-2013 Prague)

When: every day

Why: …


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s