Role Models

I'm grateful for all the role models in my life:

Aka Cool People

The list is ever expanding. Anytime someone provides me with new insight, or a reminder of my better self, they get added to the list.

It's not what you say, but what you do that makes the list.

The greatest gift? Being able to work with your role models!

Ultimately, I would like to write a chapter for each of them to explain why they have been such important role models to me. If I can't write at least a paragraph, should they really be on the list?

The important people in my life - at one time in my life. It’s the aspects of them I admire, knowing there are aspects of them I don’t admire. It’s instead the power of a perception of who they are that allows me to become the best version of myself.

In a large way, these role models have shaped my life and played a part (often unknowingly) in who I've become.

What are the common threads? They are all living their lives on their own terms, doing what they enjoy doing, and confident enough to avoid doing what the world ‘expects’ from them. Having the courage to step up, in front of others, unphased by the judgement that results.

Role models are all around us, yet most of the time we fail to acknowledge their role as such. Our tendency is to get self absorbed. But we’ve had them our entire lives. If you were born second, your older or brother was likely your first role model. Or it was likely your mom or dad or both. Do we pick our role models? Initially, no. But as we grow older and wiser, we do. We are drawn to the people whose actions reflect the world we want to live into.

What happens when our role models let us down? We put too much into them, and given they are only human, no one will ever truly live up to the ideal your mind makes them up to be.

It’s no different than the great ideas I come up with - in my mind, they are brilliant. When they get on paper, they often fall short. Our minds fail to recognize the impact of reality on many of the thoughts. Perhaps it just chooses to ignore reality, for the sake of the great idea.

If you admire the quality of someone, they are a role model for that quality.

Consider that those you having the highest admiration for right now reflect a model of aspects you need to adopt. In new doing so, role models can play a crucial role in the blueprint of your life.

Acknowledge your role models. Let them know you appreciate them for being a role model to you and to others.

If there is a breakdown in your relationship, it may be because you are failing to recognize how the other person is a role model. And if you can’t find any qualities you admire in the person, it’s probably time to end the relationship.

I will always admire my wife’s kindness. She’s a role model for kindness.

I awoke in the middle of the night missing some of my role models. It seemed like I needed them so much in this moment. It was never clear to me how big of an impact some people have had on my life until now. Do we ever truly acknowledge the impact others have on us until they are gone?

I’ve had role models my whole life. Since birth - when it was my brother, then my mother, then my dad. My friends I hung out with were role models (perhaps a friendship can be defined simply as being role models to each other - aka mutual respect).

My first employer was a role model, in fact, he shaped many of the decisions that followed in my life, including what I went to school for.

Therefore, our lives are defined in a large part by the role models we select. But are we intentionally selecting our role models? Aren’t the people we are attracted to our role models? When they are a symbol of what is good, then we will be drawn to them. When they are a symbol of what is bad, we repel. And yes, they can go from good to bad and from bad to good. This is the dynamic aspect of relationships. The important thing is to realize the fluidity that is ever present and not make a permanent decision on a relationship based on it’s current state.

Right now, my yoga, meditation, and mindfulness teachers are my role models. And I think we need role models in all areas of our life, whether it’s love, money, or sex. Health, wealth, and happiness.

I was...

In real sense of the word, we fall in love with our role models... for an aspect of who they are reflect the ideal versions of ourselves.

So be careful who you choose as your role models. We may unknowingly be choosing our role models. In fact, early in life, I believe we do.

ISIS is tapping into this aspect of human nature. They know people need role models. And the younger they get to their prey, the better.

We seek something to hang on to. Something to cling to give our life meaning, the sort out what is happening in the world around us and how we fit in.

Role models bring out the best in us. Since I work alone, I realize the importance to keep role models present in my life.

The self-help gurus of the world serve as role models for millions. They have made being a role model their livelihood. Then there are accidental role models who don’t set out to become role models, but their actions turn them into role models. These I believe are the role models we have the greatest admiration for.

Young or old, role models inspire greatness in others by the actions they take.

Maybe we find role models or seek them out wether or not we realize it. Maybe the role models are people just like you - people who simply share the same values and beliefs. If that’s the case, aren’t we limiting who we are by closing ourselves off to others who have something we can truly learn from?

Create a profile for all he cool people, the role models in your life. Consider it your own personal wikipedia of role models.

It’s about bringing out the best in each other. We need role models and role models need us. We are role models to others, and others are role models to us. Role models inspire us and bring out our best selves. They give us an ideal to aim for and support us on our journey to that ideal.

Unsure of which direction to go next? Look to your role models. But be very careful who you choose for your role models, for they will become the greatest influence on the actions you take, what you value, and the life you live as a result.

Do you need a role model in your life? Can you articulate the aspects you admire in those in your life now (including those you may simply admire from afar)? The deeper you acknowledge the aspects of their being you admire most, the deeper the learning that results. There often far more to learn than we first realize.

Be very critical of the ways you model the roles of those you admire. For those aspects become the roles others will adopt from you. In this way, we are the change we want to see in the world. It’s not the words we say, but the actions we take that make us who we are and effect others around us.

I will not tell you why to do yoga, mediate, and become a vegetarian. Rather, I will show you in who I am, and those who are attracted to who I am will emulate what I do. This is the way to draw in others. Not everyone will be attracted to your ways, and that’s ok. You will never convince someone to live in contrast to the roles they model in others.

I want you to also look at the areas in your life where you are a role model to others, and consider this: What you adopt from your role models become the aspects others will adopt from you (as their role model)... so be very cautious in the ways you reflect the people you admire most, for those aspects will be what other will admire in you. In a way, are we all simply emulating each other?

Look at who you admire. Look at who you envy. There’s a good indication they are a role model. Envy and admiration are two sides of the same coin. Admiration allows us to learn and be inspired. Envy shuts us off from learning. When you turn envy into admiration, they become a role model. Likewise, if you see some you envy as a role model, you receive the gift they give (the gift of learning).

Consider the impact you have on others who see you as a role model. You probably aren’t even aware. This puts a spot light on who we are being. You don’t have to be a major name on the screen (or on the web) to be impacting someone. Granted, the more people you do reach, the more intense the role of being a ‘role model’ feels, but you are impacting the world nonetheless everyday with the decisions you make and the actions you take.

This is what gives life meaning. The realization that we are a role model (again, perhaps unknowingly) to others. In such a manner, our actions are watched as closely as a child watches his parent. Knowing this, is who you’re being a reflection of perfection in how you want others in the world to be?

This is an important distinction the world needs so badly right now. It’s who we are being that has a ripple effect to the world we live.

When you inspire a population, you are inspired to do your best. To live your best, and to be the person that so many see you as. It’s the realization that so many begin to get real clarity and change their lives and began a journey of super charged achievements which is the result of intense focus only when they hit rock bottom.

Look at the role models in your life, they are having a huge impact on who you are becoming.

The magic of 50 Interviews is that it give us a structure to document the often hidden aspects of our role models. The Q&A process (especially when asked from a space of admiration) reveals new truths.

Who are the role models in your life?
In your field / work?
In your education?
In your work?

No Role Models

There's no point trying to be someone else because they're already taken.

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