Sunday, April 4, 2010
Who do you admire?
As humans we are naturally emulators. From childhood, we fantasize about the lives of others and build upon what we see to create our own version of success. Like I have stated in previous blogs, my mother is a constant model of mine. Other people include Bessie Coleman, Corette Scott King, Nikki Giovanni, I could go on. So I always modeled my life after these particular women's traits, learning how to be strong, resilient, bold, yet not belligerent. I say this to say everyone stands on the shoulders of someone else. Usually role models are always talked about as healthy and positive experiences of tutelage, however as we follow this winding road of self discovery, you must learn how you got to this piece of your road. The best way to do that? Figure out what and who started you down this particular path.
1) Role models can be both positive and negative people:
People don't understand that the bad role models can be followed and followed somewhat easier than good role models. Bad role models don't push you as hard. If you're standing in the shadows of great men like MLK, Percy Julian, Bill Gates (they don't have to be Black!),Alfred Nobel, Albert Einstein, you are going to have to push yourself. Your role models mark your standards. If you have someone as your role model, you automatically define yourself as someone worthy and capable of creating like visions. So strive high. Don't take the easy road out with negative people and mediocre standards. The higher the ambition, the more likely that even if you don't achieve like greatness you will still be proud of your results. Like Kanye said: "Reach for the stars so if you fall, you land on a cloud."
2) Pick A Few Role Models:
Pick both a far away role model and a role model close to home. The people that I named above make for excellent role models for your bigger than life dreams. However for your everyday walk as a person, you'll need to find a role model at arms reach. A family member or parent is great for this. But even if you don't want to emulate a family member, there is a member of your life and community, a pastor, a professor, even a friend that can serve in that position. Your close to home role model is more of a person that you admire their everyday actions along with their goals and values. Ask yourself, who in my life is the type of person I'd like to be? That is your role model close to home. Then ask yourself, who has accomplished something overall similar to what I want to accomplish? That is your far away role model. You can have other role models as well. A role model strictly for your morality level. A role model for your spirituality level, etc. At the end of the day the point is to make yourself the best person you can possibly be by acknowledging and building on the wisdom of others in particular categories.
3) Role Models are not infallible and neither are you:
Role models are to be respected but not necessarily revered. They still make mistakes. As humans we tend to believe that people that make mistakes have nothing else good to teach the people around them. This is far from truth. For example, the Tiger Woods saga we've all seen unfold. Even after his mistakes, Woods can still be a role model for diligence and financial success, albeit maybe not a good one for fidelity and decency. :) That's why its a good idea to have several role models for different parts of your life. You also must be cognizant of the idea that you may not meet the lofty standards that role models can sometimes provide... does not mean you failed.
Role Models are simply people who have an aspect of life in which they excel in your eyes. They are necessary because they offer a way to see a potential path into the behaviors and successes you want. My mom always says: "To achieve what someone achieved you must study what they did to achieve it." Role Models are not an exact science on How to live your life but a guide in the right direction....And who doesn't want a map to where they want to go?
Hope this helps,