We’ve all had Role Models. Be they sportstars, celebrities or parents. We tend to use the term ‘role model’ to describe a person who possesses the qualities and attributes that we would like to have. We act like they act and dress in a similar fashion. More often than not we probably didn’t actively think of them as Role Models, they were simply people we admired or had a crush on.
As older and hopefully wiser people we choose our role models for what we can learn from them, what inspiration and insights they offer, and the leadership they offer.
It is possible to have many Role Models in your life. You may have one for your health & fitness, another for parental advice and yet another for business. Just like with a Muse your Role Model may have no idea of the impact they have on your life. I’m sure that the Bay City Rollers had no idea I even
existed when I was dressing in Roller Strollers and practicing my Scottish Accent. As you are only likely to see a snapshot of their life it is important you to choose your Role Models carefully.
I know a creative lady who has an internationally respected reputation. She is regular contributor to magazines, features on craft TV shows and has had a book published. She is aware that people look to her as a Role Model for how to make a business from your creative endeavours. This lady is very uncomfortable with this. As she says, “Reputation does not pay the bills. My publisher was
discounting the book 6 weeks after publication and even after the children have finished college I still need to work fulltime elsewhere.”
This creative lady has no problem with the fact that her art inspires others to follow a creative path but “for goodness sake don’t look up to me if you want to make money”. She cautions other to look at the whole person behind the façade.
Don’t look for a Role Model then emulate them. First take a look at your life and identify what areas you want to improve. Be specific. Once you have identified these areas more often that not a relevant Role Model will appear.
A lesson that took me a long time to learn. Before following your Role Model blindly ask yourself, “is this right for me, right now?” It’s ok if the answer is no, it might just be time for a new Role Model.
This post was first published here on 4th April, 2011.