Role Model

The question has come up again. The question that would usually transport me back to a familiar, yet unkind place. “Write a short essay of someone in your life you have modelled yourself on, someone you would like to be in the future as you model their excellence”…

Ever since school I have always been asked who my role model is. Everyone already had an answer. Whether it was a loved one or someone famous, we all needed to have someone to look up to and aspire to be. In all honesty, I had no idea. I remember writing something ridiculous down like Beyoncé, no actual reason to back it up other than she was top of the charts at the time- but was this someone who I aspired to be like? Not at all. I knew nothing about her except for her music, and I am not a musician.

At present I am studying Neurolinguistic Programming. In short, it is the study of how we think and communicate with ourselves and others based on our filters of how we view the world around us. The principle of NLP is basically that us humans have everything we need in order to make positive changes in our lives. This is how the question above came about, I have to write an essay of who my role model is and yet again, I am stuck for words.

Sometimes you have to be your own role model, and that’s ok.

For some people this question is easy to answer. Some, if not most, would model the behaviour of their mum or an older sibling. Some may even model the behaviour of someone famous. I get it. And I get why it is important. But I do believe that looking up to one person and wanting to be just like them is a wrong and unrealistic approach to take.

Growing up I didn’t have anyone that I aspired to be like. But I did have plenty of people that I aspired not to be like. This is where the notion of you either ‘go down one path or another’ comes from.  We shape our behaviour which influences the way we act from the perception we have of these people. And this was definitely the case for me. I look back now and think shit, how on earth have I got to where I am now with little to no guidance and support. I’ve realised that in the most humble way possible, that sometimes you have to be your own role model, and that’s ok.

I also believe that you need to dig deep, because not everyone is all bad. I now know that there were certain qualities of people that I admired and must have subconsciously looked up to. It’s made me think. Is the reason why I am so giving because I saw how much my aunt gave without asking for anything in return? Do I have this entrepreneurial mindset because I saw my Dad go from broke to wealthy, broke to wealthy without ever having to work for anyone else? Maybe. Maybe it’s part of my personality. Or maybe I was born with it. Maybe its Maybelline….

No, in all seriousness who the hell am I going to write about. For me it’s taking what I deem as the best parts of a person and morphing them into one. Having read quite a few books the one person who spring to my mind is Tony Robbins, who in his early years went on a research mission to speak to some of the greatest minds in history. This must be what modelling excellence means. It’s the people I’ve read about in The Secret and the lessons I’ve learnt in Santiago’s quest in the Alchemist. It’s putting into practice the routine of Hal Elrod in his ‘miracle mornings’. It’s meditating like Jay Shetty. It’s being fearless in what I post on social media because Gary Vee said so.

I guess for me, if I were to go back to that classroom in school as a teacher, I would ask the class to write down at least 10 people they aspire to be like and why. Getting young people to practice it’s not about idolising the one person, because let’s face it, you could aspire to have your own talk show like Jeremy Kyle but minus the gambling addiction- we are not always going to be someone else’s ideal of perfection. For one person, training five times a week and living off salad leaves shows hard graft and can be admired, for others it could be deemed as a waste of time. A few months ago, my Dad came around to visit and commented on my bookshelf- “why on earth would you want to read all them books, how boring”. You see, life isn’t a one-size fits all situation, even if it says so on the label.


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