How can a regular person be called a “hasid”?
Our sages say that hasidut (loving devotion) is the highest spiritual level.
The answer is that the moment a person resolves to attain the level of a hasid, the moment he dreams of achieving holiness, at that moment, although he is not yet a hasid, his aspiration already does something to him.
Whether or not a person succeeds in becoming a hasid depends on the grace of God.
But the will itself and the fact that he begins the path to the realization of his dream accomplish something real.
Already now he deserves to be called a Hasid.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz