„Ideals are like stars;
you will not succeed in touching them with your hands,
but like the sea fearing man on the desert of waters,
you choose them as your guides,
and following them,
you reach your destiny“
- Carl Schurz -
Role models are a powerful tool in achieving your goals. Rarely have successful people done everything on their own. This does not mean, of course, that you should only rely on others. The reliance must be entirely on you, but like the above quote from Carl Schurz, a German-American politician of the 19th century, you can take them as an example. Role models lead you and guide you. But you have to go yourself. You surely know the saying:
You can lead a horse to water,
but you can't make it drink.
Why you should look for role models
The explanation is quite simple: it makes your progress easier. The more you deal with a matter, you notice that many ideas and insights come from others. Of course, everyone comes up with a glorious idea at some point, but many principles have already been discovered.
This is because we humans have been around for a while and there are a lot of us as well. Many wrote books, left writings or produce, like nowadays, YouTube videos or write a blog. So why not take advantage of this flood of information?
It's perfectly normal to get help. Bill Gates released Windows in 1983. Even though he was the head of the operation and the other people on his team are not as well known as he is, it doesn't mean he did it all alone. You need support in life. Everyone needs that.
You can teach yourself a lot and I'd like to mention at this point, that it's absolutely essential to trust in your own abilities. You don't think you have any special abilities? I have to disagree with you and that without knowing you. There are so many things that one can do well. Even if it may seem commonplace to you at times, it can still be a skill that you are particularly good at.
But what if you want to learn something new or need advice? Then role models will help you. The goal is not to simply copy these selected role models. Rather, it is to make use of their ideas or approaches. So you don't try to be like the person, instead you try to acquire their characteristics for your specific goal.
You'd like to become an artist or maybe just learn to paint a little because you simply enjoy painting.
- Then you have to choose a famous painter whose style you like and look at how his technique works, which colors he uses and which painters he has been inspired by. You will also get inspired and learn new skills, but you won't just copy his paintings. You can do that for practice, but you are not that famous painter. You are YOU and you want to learn by yourself and develop your own style.
No matter in which direction your goals or questions go, a good role model is worth its weight in gold. But how do you find a suitable mentor?
Who is not suitable as a role model
There are many charlatans in the world and their art is to convince someone of something to their disadvantage. Therefore, you must be careful who you trust in this aspect. There are many courses on how to get super rich quickly, but you should keep your hands off those things. In at least 99% of the cases, an offer that sounds too good is usually a scam.
But it doesn't have to come to that. You don't have to take the guy with the trench coat and hat in the twilight alley as a role model. Because what do you need a role model for anyway? The reasons are completely different, but as mentioned above, you might just have a question on a certain topic, need advice for your relationship or want to learn how to be more productive and manage your time better.
Very often you can simply ask your family or friends. This is easy and free of charge. No matter how much you appreciate these people, it is important to make sure that they are qualified to help you. They can have the best intentions, but you won't get a good tip from someone who is plagued by troubles in life. Sure, you like to ask your father or a friend for advice, but what if they have no idea?
- So don't get relationship advice from someone who doesn't have a happy relationship himself/herself.
- Don't ask for a reliable investment tip if that person hardly has any money or is even in the red.
- Trust no one who promises to make you rich, lean or famous in no time.
If you just want to let your frustration out, you can seek advice from friends and family, but when it comes to your goals, you should look closely at whether they are suitable as role models. Sometimes it can be the partner who always encourages you or the parents. Or perhaps the opposite is the case.
So look for role models who have already achieved your desired goals and support you in achieving them, too. You can learn the most from them. If you want to lose weight, you'd rather get help from someone who is physically fit and not from someone who is very overweight.
How you find role models
Who doesn't know the typical movies in which the main hero is weak and inexperienced at the beginning, until one day he finds his mentor. This mentor then awakens his previously undiscovered potential and teaches him what he needs in order to be victorious at the end of the movie. This is not only the case in Hollywood movies. Well, maybe nobody can teach you how to swing Thor's hammer, how to conjure lightning out of your hands or how to use the Force of the Jedi. But what is possible, is to develop your potential and to walk victoriously through your life in the end.
If they are qualified, as previously discussed, you can always get help from your family and friends. This help is quickly available and free of charge. But if you need certain expertise, then role models outside these circles are needed. Finding them is easier than you think. The simplest form is books!
Everyone has already read a book, at least during school. And I'm not talking about fantasy or mystery novels. I'm talking about autobiographies, non-fiction, educational books. When you read these, you will immerse yourself in the author's world. You can be directly connected to him/her independently of time and space. You will read his/her ideas and impressions, advice and practices and you will participate in his/her life and thoughts.
This thing is not limited to books. Many also offer courses or workshops. So if you are convinced of someone and want to improve in one thing, it helps immeasurably to attend their courses. You don't have to limit yourself to just one role model. Different views and principles will enable you to get a broad overview.
Just remember one thing: These role models should help you and give you food for thought, but not become your GURU, whom you blindly trust. Because then you would again put all your trust in their hands and not in yours. You yourself have to walk the path to your goals, they can only help and guide you, but not walk the path for you.
The right approach:
You are interested in buying a real estate, but have little knowledge of this market. The possibilities to get help are obvious. You ask acquaintances or
colleagues, who have successfully financed a house, on how they did it. Which obstacles did they have to overcome? Don't ask those who have their own house but hardly any money left to pay
their mortgages. Buy additional books on the subject or ask estate agents.
Your relationship seems to be falling apart. Then get relationship guides or seek couple therapy together. Just throwing in the towel makes little sense. Look
at people who have a harmonious relationship for years. Interview them or observe how they interact with each other. Maybe you will soon realize what the serious differences to your
You want to learn something new? An instrument, an art, a sport etc.? Then learn from the best. Pick the most successful people in this segment and learn how
they made it to success. Eddie Van Halen did not become one of the best guitarists just like that. He practiced for several hours every day. Be inspired by the best
and learn their methods.
Especially when it comes to personal development, there is an infinite number of books, podcasts and blogs :D
Through them you can learn so many new things and shape your life the way you want it to be. There is so much that you can improve. There are collected works full of ideas and techniques to become a better self. You can become better yourself through the experiences of others and learn from them.
Through role models you can avoid mistakes that others have already made and pick out only the best things you need to achieve your goals, wishes and dreams. You should get into the habit of reading more. You will achieve this through daily repetition. You start with a small amount that isn't strenuous and increase it. So start by reading only one page a day and after a while, when a routine has been established, you increase to 2 or 3 pages or even a whole chapter etc.
Avoid false role models and pick out the people who have achieved what you'd like. Meditation and mindfulness are best learned from monks. So read books about the Dalai Lama or Buddhism. If you are looking for wealth, look at how a Warren Buffet did it and look for books that teach you all about the financial market, stocks and more.
It is up to you, but you never have to go your way alone. Don't be too proud or even shy to ask for help. Not only books, but also a shrink can help you with certain problems. Work on your self-confidence and trust in your own abilities. And if you feel that they should be improved, then find a "teacher" worthy of teaching you what you want.
In life it's important not to stand still. We live in the here and now. All that counts, is this very moment. So start and improve, so that this moment gets better and better in the future.
I hope the article was helpful for you. If so, please share it, so others like you can benefit from it. I wish you the best.
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