Finding role model

Learning new habits is hard. Self doubt and uncertainty may be debilitating. It is easier to find your way to success if you have a mentor. If you do not have a mentor, you can find a role model.

We are living in a vibrant dynamic word, where our role in the society is determined by our knowledge and our beginning to learn. Just like we manage our bank accounts we can manage our skillsets. We have a lot of financial fears and we have a similar set of fears regarding our intellectual potency. Can we get grades high enough for this great college? Can we study in this college as well as those brilliant people around us? Can we nail this cool job? Can we handle the job we are clearly under-qualified for? Can we adapt to the changing world and learn new things? Can we manage all these great talent working with us? Can we create something really useful? Can we influence lives of other people? Each of these achievements requires increasing level of skill. And each time we need to acquire the skill we face doubts and fears.

When we see someone really successful we attribute this success to talent and luck. However, scientists try to identify something different. They see passion/motivation, hard work, strong drive/commitment, creativity, constant improvement process, serving other people and persistence over a long period of time. While we can learn about these qualities, no learning can be as simple as efficient as having a really successful person as our mentor or role model. We see a true person fighting setbacks and circumstances, falling and keeping pushing until achieving the goal. This process is as unexpected/surprising/lucky as it is inescapable in the hindsight. And if the role model fails in face of insurmountable obstacles, we do not loose our awe and respect to the effort. By the way, it is much each easier (at least for me) to respect heroic effort of other people than equivalently gallant/stupid effort by myself.

Once you found a role model, you can try to imitate the behaviour that captured your attention. However it is probably easier to integrate some of the character traits of your model with your own character. After all, each situation is unique and you cannot expect that the behaviour that worked for your mentor once will work for you now. Occasionally self-acceptance is a more valuable lesson than self-improvement. You may learn that your mistake is simply being too harsh with yourself. This is a really good lesson, since it releases a lot of inner energies for better and more effective use.

Finding your role model will help you develop your personal style and overcome debilitating doubts. The world is full of great people – not all of them are superstars. Observing the ways great people around us handle difficult situations we may appreciate our own unique qualities, and maybe serve role model for others.

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