It is a very natural trait of humans to admire people, and then desire what they desire, rather than desiring anything from internal first principles. We see this in the influence of our parents, our community leaders, our heroes. What they want, we want – and then we rationalize that desire as if we were its architect to begin with.
Fighting that impulse may be a lost cause, but there’s a nice hack around it. Pick people who desire good things as your icons. Admire people not for what they are or their cultural status, but for the things they desire – the things they truly desire, not just what they say they desire. (The two are often very, very different.)
Some people are not wildly successful, not pillars of their community, not celebrities or influential – but they desire good. Good in themselves, good in the world. And they work towards that desire, because it’s a true goal, and not a status-seeking declaration, devoid of weight.
Admire those people, and absorb their desire as your own.