I realize now that the reason I looked up to my role models as a kid was not because I looked up to the actual people. Rather it was the attributes they expressed that I liked. Most of my role models were athletes and I remember liking their display of strength, skill, determination, and success.
So what I was really looking up to was those attributes because I wanted to incorporate them into my personality and express them in my own life. I realize now that those athletes were just people and they did not inherently possess those attributes. It was me who was associating the definition of those attributes to their actions, on and off the field/rink/court. For me to be able to do that I must contain those attributes within me. Those attributes do not exist in the external world on their own. They are subjective and contained as ideas within me.