5 Fictional Heroes Who Influenced Me

What kind of heroes are you attracted towards? The action-type? The cool type? Or the angry type?

All of us have preferences when it comes to the kind of people we like and have an affinity towards. This extends even to fiction. Some fictional characters have such great impact that they push us to develop certain traits and characters which become part of our identity!

In my case, I have a weakness for calm, cool and collected characters. Characters with nerves of steel. I would prefer  having a calm guy/gal by my side who can out-think and outmaneuver the opposition through sheer brain power, than a wham-bamming brute force monkey!

Being a voracious reader, I have consumed loads of fictional novels since I was 12. Here are some characters who have stayed with me through the years and continue to inspire me with their coolness, wit and courage.

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

The epitome of coolness. This consulting detective was my first hero whom I tried to ape in every way possible when I was growing up. Sherlock’s supreme confidence in situations old and new, his ability to see beyond the obvious and his calm, unruffled composure inspired me whenever I felt fear and doubt in my own abilities.

Thanks to my obsession to be like him, I ended up studying about topics which made me something of a wonder-boy during my school days. I took to reading Physics, Toxicology and Philosophy with a relish and even went to the extent of collecting crime news clippings from dailies in order to hone my skills as a future detective!

These things seem silly when I look back now, but some of the qualities which I developed back then still help me out. Sherlock taught me to be fearless, driven and logical. He taught me to have the curiosity and the courage to learn about things which fascinate me. Given his ability to still inspire millions, it’s quite elementary he’s my favorite character isn’t it?

(Thank you Arthur Conan Doyle for creating this masterpiece!)

Dr. Ian Malcolm

Ian Malcolm

My first encounter with Ian Malcolm was when I picked up the books Jurassic Park and The Lost World by Michael Crichton. Ian is a rebel mathematician and a chaos theorist who acts as a detached protagonist in the novels.

What struck me about Ian Malcolm was his ability to be the voice of reason (though an ironic one) when everyone around was excited and emotionally blinded. His accurate warnings about the downside of trying to control nature and attempting to bring back dinosaurs made him something of a genius to me.

His dry humor and his intellectual breadth appealed to the nerd in me and gave me the hunger to digest complex concepts which I would have otherwise never excelled at. Even now, when I am forced to learn stuff which I find hard to comprehend, I make myself step into the cool, rational mind of Ian Malcolm. This helps me power up my focus and learn them with ease.

 

John Galt / Howard Roark

Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged

Some young adults (referring to nut-cases such as me) between the ages of 20-23 have a tendency to turn into part-time philosophers. They are besotted by the quest of finding about the purpose of life and our place is in the grand scheme of things.

Enter Ayn Rand’s legendary books Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. The sheer number of thinkers who have been influenced by these books is phenomenal. I am no exception. (I recommend them to anybody who has a love of reading)

Howard Roark and John Galt, to me represent the pinnacle of radical doer-thinkers. Self-made men in every aspect, they move through life with the fluidity, grace and assurance of divine beings. Armed with an objective mind, fearless disposition and a joy for living, these two heroes carved out a distinct path for themselves. Their philosophy of objectivism gave a fresh direction to my thoughts.

They taught me to develop the ability to withstand life’s tribulations with fortitude, through a firm faith in one’s own abilities, no matter how bad the situations around me.

Dirk Struan

Tai Pan

Dirk Struan is the main character of the epic novel Tai-Pan written by British author James Clavell in 1966. He is the Tai Pan (Chinese for ‘Supreme leader’) who commands the respect and envy of everyone  and trades through his trading company called the Noble House.

Dirk Struan is my favourite anti-hero who is a resourceful, tough and a cunning bastard. He is a self-made millionaire who loves the seas and is a fearless merchant. The novel is about his love for China, his challenges, adversities  and how he comes out of them a sheer winner!

The Tai-Pan taught me the need to embrace change and adapt to dynamic situations. His ability to network with a wide variety of people and lead them in times of intense pressure make him an endearing character of mine.

Michael Corleone

The Godfather

No list of my favorite characters would be complete without The Godfather’s prodigal son. A complex character who is forced to take up the family mantle and deal with the ever-increasing violence of his enemies. A man who ruthlessly consolidates power so that he can escape it all. Only to be pulled back again.

Michael taught me never to be intimidated by anything. Whether it be power, stature or size. He also taught me the value of diplomacy over brute force. The need for level-headed thinking instead of impulsive decision making. His words of wisdom have helped me make many good decisions in my life.

What such characters show is the need to live life on your own terms. To be one of a kind. To be driven by a purpose and to excel in whatever you do. To walk the talk and leave a legacy behind which can inspire others to lead better lives

So who are the fictional characters responsible for molding you? Share them with me and the rest of the world…

Cheers!

24 Comments

  1. nisha510 said:

    Hi Nikshep,

    This is my first visit to your blog. And I came to know about you via Aha Now community.

    Wonderful topic indeed. You are an amazing writer.

    This is good to know about your influencers. They are really an amazing personality.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece with us.

    Have a awesome day ahead!

    December 18, 2014
    Reply
    • Hi Nisha,

      Welcome to SUL! I am happy you liked my writing and the post! Hope it inspires you to share the learnings and spread the word!

      Thank you for visiting. Hope to see you more around here!
      -Nik

      December 18, 2014
      Reply
  2. Nate Kidd said:

    Hi Nikshep,

    Glad to have found your wonderful blog and read about others who have influenced you. I think I am with you as I like characters who are able to be calm, cool, and collected as well. You never know what they are contemplating 🙂 and they are able to keep others around them calm just based on their demeanor. Great list of characters! Thanks for sharing.

    December 18, 2014
    Reply
    • Nikshep said:

      Haha you are right Nate! That’s what makes them unpredictable and a delight to read about! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Thanks
      Nik

      December 18, 2014
      Reply
  3. Abrar Mohi Shafee said:

    Hi Nikshep,

    After reading your post, I feel like fictional character has great impact in our life.

    I’m really glad to know these 5 peoples were influencing you. For an example, we have many things to learn from Sherlock Holmes. He is the symbol of coolness, talented, fearless and mysterious. And these qualities can positively impact our life.

    Thanks for posting such a nice article. 🙂

    December 18, 2014
    Reply
    • Nikshep said:

      Yeah fiction is a wonderful world full of surprising characters and inspirational stories! Glad you had fun reading it 🙂

      December 18, 2014
      Reply
  4. Harleena Singh (@harleenas) said:

    Hi Nik,

    That was an interesting read 🙂

    I enjoyed going through your wonderful post – brought back good old memories of the time I really used to read a LOT of fiction, during my school and college days. Now it’s just left to BLOGS!! Lol…but that’s just how it gets over time, so a good reminder for me to get back and take out a little ‘ME’ time and read!!

    Yes indeed, certain fictional characters have great impact on us, and in some cases, without knowing it, we tend to follow some of their traits and they gradually become a part of us, especially for those who read a lot (like you!)

    I’d also any day choose and prefer a calm, cool and collected character, as against the loudy ones! Sherlock Holmes was an all time favorite and so was Ian. I guess both were really cool and composed, and yet so effective with great brains and thinking power. Michael, I’ve seen his movies and not read the book, and that was worth watching of course.

    All the ones you mentioned have lead their lives and given a lot to us to learn from – living a life on their terms, a life with purpose.

    Thanks for sharing these with us. Have a nice rest of the week 🙂

    December 18, 2014
    Reply
    • Nikshep said:

      Hey Harleena!

      I knew you would enjoy this one! 🙂 Any reader of fiction will always connect with a few characters who teach them a thing or two!

      And you must get back to reading fiction! They are my medicine when I want to shut out the world and escape into my imaginary world with the characters in novels. And many a time they inspire you to perform better in your life through their actions 😀

      Thanks for your view 🙂 Have a nice week ahead!
      Nik

      December 18, 2014
      Reply
  5. techferbs said:

    Hi Nikshep,

    This was really interesting to know the characters that have influenced you to become what you are today. I am pretty sure it would have been difficult to keep the list limited to these ones only. Sherlock is the epitome of calm, composure and staying over the top of situation.

    If I had created the list, batman, Lizbeth Salander and Dumbeldore would be on the top of my mind.

    I think fictional heroes have had a huge role in shaping the society since their inception. Every little kid grown imitating one hero or the other. This instils some part of the hero in their characters as well. They have changes the society and will continue to do so.

    Long live the heroes!

    December 18, 2014
    Reply
    • Nikshep said:

      Hi Navneet!

      You have no idea what a struggle it was to limit myself 😀 I had to take off comics and japanese manga off my list and restrict it to international fiction!

      That’s the great thing about Books and fictional characters. They linger in your mind and come to your aid without even asking! Thanks for sharing your list!

      Cheers!
      Nik

      December 19, 2014
      Reply
    • Rohan Chaubey said:

      Oh seems to be like you are a Harry Potter fan. Me too:)

      December 20, 2014
      Reply
  6. awazieikechi said:

    Hi Nik

    I am thrilled by your characters. Sometimes people diminish fictional characters and think its for children but your post has proved that fictional characters can have an impact in life. I also like Sherlock Holmes. His radical thinking and genius problem solving skill are awesome and it made me learn the skill of problem solving by studying books about the field

    Who cannot forget God Father and prodigal son. I enjoyed watching the movie and you are right about Micheal being fearless. I also learnt that there is no obstacle but opportunities. Thanks for a wonderful post.

    December 18, 2014
    Reply
    • Nikshep said:

      Yeah Ikechi you said it! These characters show us time and again that opportunities are almost always hidden as obstacles and it takes the inner heroes within us to rise and face these challenges!

      Thanks for visiting SUL! And I’m happy you enjoyed the post!
      Cheers 🙂

      December 19, 2014
      Reply
  7. Santel said:

    Hi Nik,

    I am a fan of Godfather movie. It’s a mafia story but it tells a lot of facts of life. I learned a lot from the movie. The character of Michael Corleone impacts a lot into my life.

    My favorite quote is “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man “. I always remind myself is to spend time with my family.

    Thank for sharing other characters. Most of them I never heard of.

    December 19, 2014
    Reply
    • Thank you Santel for sharing that beautiful quote with everyone 🙂 I am glad you liked the post and hope you get time to read the other characters too!

      Cheers
      Nik

      December 19, 2014
      Reply
  8. Rohan Chaubey said:

    Hi Niks,

    I missed your posts so much….. I am so excited to read this one…… 😀

    Okay lets breathe in and start reading…. 🙂

    Yes, a few of the fictional characters do influence our real life. I used to consider myself as a Ninja after watching a cartoon… And an elephant after reading a book in childhood.

    Okay jokes apart… Who doesn’t likes Sherlock Holmes? We can find him everywhere… movies, books and even school textbooks…. 🙂

    I only knew about Dr. Ian Malcolm and Sherlock Holmes the rest are new for me. They might be famous but I know these two better.

    Since you said you like clam characters so I guess your personality is calm, quiet and balanced. And because your zodiac sign is scorpio by birth or influences you, this means you are secretive, balanced, brave, focused and ambitious. Great! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this post Niks.
    Looking forward to read your upcoming e-book. 🙂
    Have a nice weekend. 🙂

    December 20, 2014
    Reply
    • Hi Rohan!

      I also used to think of myself as a Ninja after watching Naruto 😀 and awesome that you enjoyed the post! You’ll be the first one to know once the ebook is ready 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      December 21, 2014
      Reply
      • awazieikechi said:

        Hi Nikshep

        I never knew you liked Narato. I am a fan of the character. I like the fact that he never gives up and a way of influencing people. 🙂

        December 22, 2014
        Reply
  9. Lea Bullen said:

    Hi Nikshep,

    I’m surprised you include Michael Corleone but at the same time I’m not. Some people wouldn’t consider him to be a hero based on the type of movie it was but I can definitely see your point.

    I too admire Michael’s level-headed thinking. He’s wasn’t built for that life but made it work.

    ~Lea

    December 22, 2014
    Reply
  10. Vernon said:

    Hi Nikshep,

    I believe this is my first time at you blog and I’m already a fan of it! Our environment has an influence on on us whether we’re aware of it or not. And books are part of our environment.

    I love the fact that these books influenced you positively. That says a lot about your character because we attract what’s in our spirit.

    reading is something I love doing also but I haven’t been reading as much as I use to. You have me curious about Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I think I will go get them and add them to my “to read list.”

    For the first time about a month ago, I was watching The Godfather on Netflix. I’m glad you shared Micheal’s level-headed trait because I’m guilty of reacting on impulse from time to time. I must finish watching this classic.

    Thanks for motivating me back to reading… lol

    December 23, 2014
    Reply
    • Nikshep said:

      Hey Vernon!

      Welcome to Stumble upon Life 🙂 I am very happy you could relate to the post! Yeah you should try Atlas Shrugged and Fountainhead. They are amazing books with awesome characters! 🙂

      Have a great week ahead and merry Christmas!

      Cheers,
      Nik

      December 24, 2014
      Reply
  11. Shahir said:

    Hi,

    First of all great article. If I started making a list of fictional characters it will probably fill up a book 😉

    I am a huge fan of Michael Corleone. The one scene where he confronts Moe Green is just too powerful.

    Also from Atlas Shrugged, I like Dagny Taggart the best. I want to write a post on her sometime. Now you have inspired me to do that.

    Never came across Dirk Struan. Will look him up. I am sure he is going to be interesting,

    Thanks for the great post.

    NB: I use the same theme for my post btw (Ignite), and I am impressed with the way you have used it,

    Will follow the blog.

    Shahir

    December 24, 2014
    Reply
    • Hi Abdul! 🙂

      Yeah I had a toough time restricting the characters too 😀 And Atlas Shrugged has so many of my favourites! Hank Rearden, Franscisco is another great one! I am looking forward to your post on Dagny 🙂

      Yeah I am in love with the Ignite theme, it brought a serene and an assertive feel to my blog which I was looking for. Maybe I ‘ll purchase the premium version in a year or so. Let me know if you find any tweaks on the theme 🙂

      Have fun this holiday season!
      -Nik

      December 25, 2014
      Reply
  12. Ashutosh Jha said:

    Hi Nik,

    You’ve really brought some very good authors here. And glad to know those have influenced you. Truly speaking i was not knowing about these authors and you have given a good reason to read them. Thanks for sharing bro 🙂

    Have a lovely week ahead !!

    ~Ashutosh

    December 28, 2014
    Reply

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