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Gratitude IRL: Thank the One Who Inspires You

By Beth Clark • November 14, 2018

Inspirational Role Models Month

Role models can inspire you to be your best self in ways you're not able to on your own, regardless of who you are, where you live, or what your occupation, age, or bank balance is. (Which is why even already successful people hire life coaches to motivate them.) Whether it's your bestie, favorite author, professor, celebrity, or someone who's risen to the top of their field (ahem, RBG), November is devoted to appreciating and thanking your role model for being someone you look up to and aspire to emulate...they may not have even realized you looked up to them. Alternatively, you can celebrate National Inspirational Role Model Month by being a good role model to others yourself.

Role Model Choices

Successful athletes, actors, authors, musicians, and entrepreneurs are often looked up to as role models because of their celebrity status, but parents, siblings, teachers, and your bestie can also be the ones who most inspire you. It's important to choose your person wisely, and objectively look at their life in its entirety, the healthy (hopefully) habits they have, where their moral compass points, and the way they treat people around them.

Why Modeling Works

Role models inspire us by showing us that the life or career or other success is possible and give us the path of someone who's already succeeded to emulate. Even if you don't achieve the same results—or intend to, because after all, you're you—they can still help you become the best version of yourself by inspiring you to learn skills that will lead you to new possibilities.

3 Habits Role Models Share

Not surprisingly, the most common habit shared by highly successful role models is reading. LOTS of reading. Specifically, the focused, self-educating kind on how to become more successful. For example, Elon Musk learned how to build rockets...from a book. Other ultra-successful role model reader facts:

They persevere, even in the face of seemingly impossible odds and insurmountable obstacles. No matter what, They Do. Not Quit. Or pout. Or make excuses. If something they try fails or they're rejected, they take it in stride, learn from it, and keep going. Some famous rejections:

  • Elvis was told he had no talent and that he should go back to driving a truck.
  • Harrison Ford was told he lacked talent by studio execs. He did carpentry as a side gig and just happened to be working on George Lucas's house when Star Wars was being cast. (Because the Force.)
  • Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard. Meanwhile, Steven Spielberg was rejected three times by the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film, and Television.

They believe in themselves. Role models know their value and believe confidently in their ability to succeed. They also tend to be aware that their brain is a powerful motivational tool they have and use it.

Inspire Others and Be Your Own Inspiration

You don't have to be wildly successful to be or become someone others want to be like or draw inspiration from. Fame and fortune aren't required to be a mentor, but there are some common qualities and behaviors that are, such as:

  • Demonstrating leadership and confidence. Staying positive, always striving for and expecting the best in yourself and others, looking at things with an open mind, and being calm, cool, and collected will naturally inspire others to follow you.
  • Be unapologetically you and never pretend to be someone you aren't. People are drawn to those who are unique, so don't worry about whether you "fit in."
  • Treat everyone as if they're important (because they are) and really listen to them. Expand your horizons by interacting with people outside of your social circle.
  • Have empathy and show you care, even for people you don't know well. Selflessness is a sign of maturity and a strong character.
  • Be intelligent, well-spoken, and well-rounded, but not arrogant. Always needing to be right will make you right, but friendless.
  • Embrace mistakes when you make them, apologize, make amends if you need to, and become better.

Happy reading and enjoy National Inspirational Role Models Month. Also, if you're not already following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, be sure to check us out and do that so you don't miss out!

Read more by Beth Clark

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Inspirational | Self_Help
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