A positive role model is one of the most powerful tools we have to find happiness and success in life. We often find these treasures as we go through childhood. We find them in our family, schools, and churches. We cling to their examples, their spirit and their knowledge. However, as we move through different phases of our lives we have different needs. We need guidance in our career, raising our own children, and simply finding our changing place in the world. Positive role models are not just for young children and troubled teens. Even as adults we benefit greatly from the experience of those with character and purpose.
What You Need
Finding a role model is not a difficult thing to do. The first step is to ask yourself why you feel the need for a strong influence in your life. There are many ways those that we admire impact our lives. They help us learn to carry ourselves with pride and confidence, teach us better ways to handle different situations, show us how to treat others, and help us stay connected to a faith that supports our spiritual life. Very often these people give us a different perspective which allows us to discover strengths we were not aware we had. Role models can be the best route to self awareness.
Role Model Defined
A role model is a person who is admired for their positive qualities. These qualities define a role model differently for each person. Role models can be defined as a person that has survived situations you are struggling with, such as addiction, divorce, raising children or health issues. They can also be chosen because of their overall view of life and its significance. Spiritual guidance is often a reason for choosing a particular person to guide us through life’s challenges. A shared interest can also be a factor in the search for a role model. Finding someone with a strong character and positive values to share that interest can create a bond that can truly impact your life. Discovering someone with these types of qualities can have a huge effect on your outlook and your actions.
How to Find a Role Model
A role model can be easy to find once you know the kind of influence and guidance you are needing in your life. A wonderful statement about the world around us is that there are role models everywhere. Good people with sincerely good intentions abound. Every day you pass them on the street, at the grocery store, or while driving through your neighborhood. Unfortunately, these can be difficult to discover and connect with. However, there are places that allow for better opportunities to find a role model to help you strengthen your resolve, your confidence, your hope and your life.
Where They Are
Many of us have taken hard blows from life so often that we are left with saddened hearts and a weakened faith. Regardless of what is attacking your spirit, a church can be the best defense. The source of your faith will surround you with two things. You will be with others just like you that are struggling to find a reconnection or stronger tie with their spirituality. This will help you realize you are not alone, but part of the greater human experiment. Even more importantly, you will find those that may have already walked that path and have succeeded in building a stronger bond with their faith. These make for great role models. They not only act as spiritual guides, but also as examples of living a moral and fruitful life. Whether it is a church leader or simply another member, a church is one of the most solid and rewarding places to find a positive role model that will help you enhance your life in a variety of ways.
On the Job
The workplace can be source of stress caused by endless demands and hectic schedules. It can also be a place where role models can be found. The typical work week often results in more time spent with coworkers than our own family. There are usually a few that stand out as conscientious, hard working and goal oriented people. These have the potential for being great role models professionally and personally. Seeking advice and direction from someone you admire at work is a good choice if you are searching for guidance on career goals and decisions. These types of role models will be more knowledgeable and honest than friends and family about how your choices may affect your job and future career.
Where You Are
The workplace is not the only source that may surround us with role models on a daily basis. Other places that you find yourself often, such as your child’s school, baseball practice, and the gym, are filled with others living similar lives and going through similar struggles. Another parent is a wonderful place to turn for advice and support with all that is involved with raising children in today’s world. The elderly or very overweight person at the gym that never gives up and continues to work hard for their health is admirable and can be very motivating when you feel yourself abandoning your goal. Look around you and you may realize that your next door neighbor, good friend, or favorite aunt have the characteristics you want to emulate. All of these are ordinary people that have simply found a successful way to navigate the worries and trials of life. Connect with them, learn their secrets and let them help motivate you to find similar success and peace.
Specialized in Their Field
If you are looking for a role model because of a particular battle you are fighting, such as addiction, illness or depression, local groups are an excellent place to start. There are several groups and organizations that are focused on helping others overcome life’s struggles and supply constant support. Each of them are filled with survivors that offer experience and care to those that are trying to recover. Many times these groups are centered in your company, church and neighborhoods. This further magnifies the realization that you are not alone. When this unity is combined with admirable leaders the potential for success is high. One of the greatest qualities to look for in a role model is someone who has been there and is an honest example of what hard work and right choices can accomplish.
One place that we have all experienced admiration for those whose lives signify great character is in a book. Classic novels are filled with people that make tough choices for the right reasons. They are studied and honored because of the fortitude and passion that overcomes adversity. Movies, television shows, and documentaries can also be windows into another person’s world view. Stories of family members passed down through the years can also offer you a positive role model. It is possible to learn enough about a person or literary character to further imagine how they would handle a situation you are experiencing. Considering how your favorite hero or great grandfather would handle a situation you are dealing with can help you act with courage and integrity.
In the Mirror
Life has a tendency to make us focus on our failures and weaknesses. However, we all have success and strength in our lives. It is possible to discover these by really examining yourself. You may already be a positive role model for someone else and did not realize it. The father that is fighting for a promotion may not feel successful, but to his child he may be a shining example of diligence and hard work. Understanding the positive impact you have on another person’s life can be just as empowering as the advice and guidance of your own role model.
The greatest aspect of a positive role model is the fullness in which it can affect your life. A role model that is supporting and guiding you in career decisions will probably have many other positive traits to share with you. The manager you admire at work may also be an active parent and devoted to his faith. It is important to appreciate all the qualities a role model has to offer. This allows you to understand the reasoning behind how your role model treats others and makes decisions. Knowing where their character is coming from keeps you from simply copying them, but allows you to truly transform your way of thinking and living.
A positive role model is the gift that keeps on giving. The example of good character can lead to an endless number of ethical decisions and conscientious actions of others. Role models benefit everyone and are not difficult to find. Our everyday lives are filled with people that live with purpose, confidence and perseverance. Tapping into their perspective and experience will guide you through many of life’s challenges. Keep your eyes open and you will discover the guidance you need may be right in front of you.