At a grocery store I saw a young father holding his young son’s hand while wearing a T-shirt saying “Not A Role Model”. I wanted tell him so badly he was WAY too late for that! His son looks up to him no matter what his T-shirt says.
Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE is a role model for someone, for better or for worse. There is no escape from this fact.
Kids, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, even perfect strangers DO judge you, every day, in an instant as to whether YOU are a good role model, a poor one, or just so-so.
Here’s some good news: Being a fantastic role model, the kind where most people like you, earns you respect, gets you promoted, and inspires others to be their best selves – is EASY when you pursue being your best self. You don’t actually have to be your best self, you just need to sincerely try.
It’s OK to struggle as long as you never give up. It’s OK if you’re not perfect. Really!
Even children are role models. When children are well behaved, other children usually follow suit. Adults love and admire well behaved children. What happens when children behave badly? Other kids behave badly too, and adults aren’t so enamored by those kids.
As children, we look to everyone around us – even other children – as role models. We watch and analyze others well into our teenage years.
Teenagers seek positive role models to show them how to behave as adults. I think a lot of teenagers are disappointed in what they see in adults. Indeed, a lot of adults are disappointed in what they see in adults! Because the desire to see good role models never ends.
We seek role models well into our adult years. It’s why we’re so disappointed when someone we once admired derails their career or life through immorality, drugs, toxic communication, or other problem.
The formula that makes you a good role model to others is exactly the formula that helps bring good things into your life! That formula is: optimistic vision, positive energy, unyielding grit, authentic empathy, sound morality, good self-control, with a common denominator of healthy communication.
The problem is we’re confused on what being a “good” role model truly looks like. We don’t know what “right” looks like. Or, when we see it, we’re suspicious.
The more we see “wrong” the more we think it’s right! It’s no wonder we’re so confused!
A good way to become a good role model is to find someone who loves unconditionally, puts forth genuine effort in their work, communicates in a healthy way, perseveres through setbacks, sees challenges as opportunities to learn, and has a positive vision. No one is perfect, but there are people who do a good job of striving to get there.
By striving to be your best self, you set yourself up for a whole lot more love, happiness, and success in your life. But that’s not all!
Others are watching you strive to improve yourself.
Your very act of striving is modeling behavior for others, even if you don’t always get it right.
You don’t just strive when people are watching, you strive when you’re alone. You strive when you’re adopting new habits. You strive when you talk to yourself. You strive when you exercise or meditate or reflect. The outcome of this private strife does show in a public way at some point. People can tell if you’ve been striving in private or not.
If you did not have good role models growing up, don’t worry. You’re going to be just fine and serve others well. You learned extremely valuable lessons during your journey that will help you be a better person.
If you were not a good role model in the past, don’t worry. Begin striving today and looking for good people to emulate.
The world desperately needs good role models given rapid population growth and lightening fast spread of information. No matter your age, condition, or place in life YOU CAN make a huge difference in the lives of others – just by striving to be your best self.