The old adage ‘you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family’ has, I’m sure, resonated for all of us at some time, whether it’s watching a drunken namesake cavorting at the dregs of a wedding or the tumour of tetchy-ness that grows during prolonged Christmas holiday gatherings. This week led me to a striking realisation of the same ilk: we don’t choose our heroes either; like family, heroes just ‘are’.

So my hero, I realised this week upon reflection, is Steve Jobs. Yes, I know what baggage that carries, but I didn’t set out with him in mind, he just grew on me.

If we did choose our own, my hero would be cool – sticking with Apple, perhaps I’d have chosen Jonathan Ive over Steve Jobs. They would be learned yet approachable and charismatic, unusual and surprising whilst paradoxically also fitting me perfectly. They’d be much less famous too, thereby carrying less baggage in the eyes of others. But that isn’t how it works with heroes, is it? In reality we find ourselves drawn magnetically to our gurus, seemingly without willpower or logic.

Who is your hero? Did you ever sit down and say ‘I’m going to follow this person and try to live a little more like them because they represent many of my ideals’? Or, like me, did you wake up one morning and realise you had surrounded yourself with their products, read their biography and gazed admiringly at portraits of them? I bet it’s the latter. Heroism is a strangely magnetic phenomenon. We are drawn to individuals in whom we recognise everything we want to (but can probably never) be. It seems that hero-worship is idealistic, and, like most ideals, is sometimes best kept under our hats.

My eighth weekly challenge required me to select my hero-of-heroes, and to study the thinkers who had influenced them. This exercise is a great way to provide new inspiration, starting with a trusted source (Steve Jobs, in my case), tracing back through their knowledge base and, I hoped, leading me in hitherto unexplored directions. But the first outcome of the challenge was this realisation that recognising your hero can be just as embarrassing as owning up to the first record you bought. Damn you Billy Joel, your River of Dreams will haunt me to the end of my days, as will a certain bespectacled, turtle-neck-and-jeans wearing computer genius.