I have a confession to make. It's not one I'm embarrassed about -- in fact it's one I suspect a huge number of people share. Dwayne Johnson, alongside my father, occupy the No. 1 and No. 2 slots on my "heroes" list in life (though not necessarily in that order, Dad). I extoll the virtues of Johnson to almost anyone who will listen, to the point where my friends' and colleagues' eyes often glaze over when I bring him up.

My admiration has little to do with the fact that Johnson plays larger-than-life heroes on the silver screen or the fortune he's made in his myriad other endeavors. Instead, it's all about the man's character and his distinct approach to life. I believe that emulating the best traits of others can give us a roadmap by which to better live our own lives, and Johnson's character is worth understanding and analyzing.

I've spent enough time poring over every interview he's given that, by now, I like to think that I've begun to internalize some of the key lessons about what has made him so successful in nearly every endeavor he's pursued. So I finally decided to codify some of his most important lessons to serve as a guidebook on how I can continue making better decisions in my life -- and how others can, too.

1. You contain multitudes.

Johnson is a polymath in a world where specialization is increasingly not just the norm but expected. According to various media sources, just this past year, he had the most successful spirits launch in history, was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, collaborated with UnderArmour on their top-selling line, and bought the XFL (amongst many other things).

Meanwhile, when people hear you want to work on multiple projects, your second project gets a derisive name like "side-hustle," and you're considered somewhat less serious or dedicated by virtue of your inability to focus on just one thing. Johnson bucks this trend marvelously, adroitly leveraging his success in one industry (wrestling) to position him to be successful in another (acting), which would make him still more well-positioned to succeed with his other ventures (tequila, energy drinks, sports apparel, etc.).

2. You are not defined by your mistakes.

Today, a single misstep can ruin your future opportunities. Sometimes entrepreneurs are so afraid of getting something wrong that they don't do anything at all. Decision paralysis ensues.

Johnson famously struggled early in life and talks about it often. He destigmatizes failures and bad decisions by acknowledging the important role they played in his personal growth. He was reportedly arrested "seven or eight" times. Even as he finally got his act together, more adversity struck, such as injuries that derailed his football career and famously left him with only $7 in his pocket.

And then he spectacularly turned it around. He became one of the greatest stars World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has ever seen. He found great success in Hollywood. He is building a massive business empire. It goes without saying, but he was not a man who allowed himself to be defined by his worst moment. In fact, he is fond of saying, "Getting drafted by the NFL was the best thing that never happened to me." In the social-media age where every failure or shortcoming we have is seized upon by those that seek to trip you up, Johnson is a shining example that those missteps will only derail you if you let them.

3. You don't have to hide your emotions, fears and insecurities.

At a reported 6'5" and 260 pounds, Johnson cuts an intimidating figure. When you look up the definition of "imposing," you half expect to see a picture of his grimacing face. That's why it's so disarming when he talks about his own struggles with depression and anxiety.

These weren't just the very visible mistakes he made when he was young. As he said on stage at Oprah's 2020 Vision Conference, his first time seeking professional help was in 2008, during his divorce. Many would presume Johnson has it all, but he acknowledges his own emotional struggles.

Entrepreneurs have enormous pressure to perform and be confident leaders. While showing vulnerability has become increasingly accepted, most leaders still struggle to actually do so, fearful that it might signal weakness and undermine the faith their team has placed in them. If Johnson can use his mental health and emotional challenges as a strength, so can you.

4. You can be a "nice guy" and get ahead.

The one thing you read again and again is how earnestly kind Johnson is. Some question whether it is an act, but there are many accounts that he is a good person. That doesn't mean being a pushover, but it powerfully contradicts the old belief that only hard-nosed, emotionless robots are capable of making the hard decisions necessary to succeed in business.

In fact, it would suggest that if you behave with empathy and care, you will actually increase your chances of success. Your investors, team, and partners will be that much more invested in the enterprise.

5. You have to be the hardest worker in the room and you have to do it over a long period.

Johnson says consistent hard work is one of the primary reasons for his success. Many people can work hard for a brief period. Few can do it on a sustained basis over a long period of time. To achieve that you need to have deep internal motivation that keeps you going and not rely on externalities like money or fame to motivate you.

It's a simple concept, and one that Johnson seemingly embodies in all dimensions of his life. He believes in being awake when it's still dark out so he knows that he has got his first workout in before other people even wake up.

6. You have to remember it's your back up against the wall.

At the end of the day, it's all about ownership. To quote Johnson from his speech to the Los Angeles Lakers, "your back is up against this...every single day." No matter how successful he becomes, every day he wakes with the feeling that his back is up against the wall. If you really want to succeed, that's the mindset you need to adopt to push yourself further and harder.

7. You have to make time for family, friends and those closest to you.

While Johnson works as hard as anyone, he is disciplined in finding time for his family. In pursuit of the many aspirations we all inevitably have, it is easy for our relationships with family and friends to suffer. We invest in every other part of our lives but assume that family will always be available. The only thing Johnson seems more dedicated to than his routines are his wife and daughters.