"What do you want to be when you grow up?" is a question most students have heard and most likely thought about for a long time. But have you ever thought about who you want to be when you grow up? Having plans for the job you hope to pursue in the future is important, but so is having a person whose values and actions you can emulate.
Role models act as a guide to help you understand who you would like to become in the future.
There are many things to learn from a role model, but here are 5 top benefits of having a role model:
Learn the characteristics of a successful person
"Success" is a subjective term, but if someone is a role model they have done something to be successful in your eyes. Whether they are the senior class valedictorian, olympic gold medalist, or your stay-at-home mom, the person you look up to has valuable qualities you can learn from. For example, your mom might teach you how to be patient even in the most frustrating circumstances while the gold medalist could teach you about disciple.
Learn how to overcome obstacles
Everyone has a story of a time they had to overcome adversity. Hearing that Michael Jordan didn't make his high school's varsity basketball team, or that Oprah Winfrey was fired as a news reporter reminds us that failure won't prevent you from being successful in the future. Understanding how your role models overcame their obstacles will help you prepare to deal with future drawbacks.
Have someone to inspire you
When you don't have the motivation to get work done, it is nice to have someone to emulate. Think about their success, and feel inspired to work as hard they did to reach a success of your own. Additionally, looking up to someone who has made a great change in the world will encourage you to do the same.
Learn from mistakes
Nobody is perfect, not even the person you look up to. At best, when your role model makes a mistake you will learn from it. At worst, you will at least get a reminder that everybody makes mistakes. An athlete might take steroids or a businessman might commit fraud but that does not necessarily make them bad people. Those were their reactions to pressure or adversity, and in the future you will learn from their actions and react differently.
Become the best version of yourself
Even though having a role model means looking up to another person, the end goal is to become the best version of yourself. Having someone to emulate gives you a guideline of values and actions to follow, but at the end of the day you are also your own person. Learn from others' actions and qualities and use them to improve your existing characteristics, and you will become someone else's role model one day.