Role Model

Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other. Burke

It is said that imitation is the best form of flattery. How many of us would wish it weren’t so true, because if others were to imitate us too often, we would be more embarrassed than proud. If you don’t believe me, here is a quick check. Ask your spouse/ children/ colleague/ superior / subordinate / friend to list out 5 things in you they wish you changed. More often than not, the list would exceed 5 easily. Guess that is a good reality check to realize that while most times we are at our best behavior, quite often we set poor examples for others to follow.

The poor examples we set may relate to a poor personal character or a bad habit. It could also be because of a lack of self discipline or a dubious moral value structure or simply a bad disposition. What ever the cause or reason, if what we do pricks our consciences though we may rationalize it to one an all, you can be sure it is not worth emulating. Telling white lies, a couple of pegs when one is recommended, gorging on food when you have to diet, using abusive language because it is not really meant but just an expression of myself, being stingy  are unfortunate examples of bad habits masquerading as necessary evils. Boorish behavior, cheating, telling blatant lies, physical abuse, having a violent temper are worse behavior on a rising scale of the poor role models.

On the other hand, many of us choose role models who have excelled in something maybe sports, academics, entrepreneurship, acting, technology etc. When we adopt role models, it is imperative to go beyond their success and actually see the effort and sacrifice put in by them to attain the accolades. It is important to realize that the end product is actually the outcome of tremendous hard work, self belief and sacrifice. Are we prepared to follow them up the same path they have and feel the pain they felt?

Remember : Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime; and, departing, leave behind us, footprints on the sands of time.- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Try these:

  • Who is your role model? Ask you self why you have chosen that person as your role model. Do you know a lot about your role models upbringing, background and efforts? Are there some blemishes in the role model that you would not want to imitate in your life?
  • Can you list out the faults in yourself that you need to correct or work on? Ask a close friend or your spouse to evaluate you and see if there are many areas of improvement in you, that they point out to. Outline your plan of action to tackle these areas of improvement and ensure you put a start date and a time frame to see the results.
  • Make an attempt to take on a new task or challenging assignment voluntarily. It could be something related to your profession like learning a new professional course or it could be a social oriented activity but something you have never attempted before. What is the new learning you got by playing a different role?

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