Heroes attract emulation. It’s natural to want to be like our icons. The desire drives and inspires us. 

The trouble is, if you merely strive to be like the greats, the best you might actually achieve is: a pale comparison of. 

Here’s a more effective way of channeling that desire. Study the greats with the intention of exceeding them. Find out their means and methods. Learn their numbers and inputs. Then top them.

Michael Jackson thought that way. In a radio interviewer, one of his sound-recorders observed that Michael would obsessively study other musicians, deconstructing everything they did in minute detail, with the stated goal of doing better. Schwarzenegger did the same when studying the kings of bodybuilding; learning their numbers in order to exceed them. Every leading icon studies the greats - studies them obsessively - but then introduces something more, something extra, something uniquely them. 

Who are your heroes? Can you currently even conceive of exceeding them? Conceive of it. Then go out there and do it!