Everyone knows people they look up to and view as their role models. Those people can be relatives, friends, teachers, celebrities or even complete strangers. Whoever they are, they have a quality about them that we really appreciate and kind of wish we ourselves had. I don’t think we should ever admire other people too much, because we’re each our own unique individuals, but sometimes it’s good to think about the people we regard as our role models and find out what they have in common. I also like to think of ways to improve myself so that I can become a good role model and inspire myself as well as others.
Here are a few things that I think good role models have in common:
1. Confidence and independence
Following your own path, living authentically and not caring too much about what other people think is something that I really appreciate. Independence, I’ve learned, is not the same as not needing anybody. I think a confident and independent person also has the courage to ask for help and rely on others when they need to. This is something I’m really working on in my life because I’m very stubborn and I don’t easily ask for help.
2. A big and open heart
The older I get, the more I look up to people who are kind and warm to others because genuine kindness is rare. I hate that being kind is often seen as weakness, when it’s really a sign of strength. Having an open heart often means that the person has an open mind too, and isn’t quick to judge new people and new ideas.
All role models have succeeded in something, whether it’s being a great friend or parent, a bright student, or a famous author. Real success has nothing to do with money but everything to do with hard work, dedication and sisu*.
4. An optimistic attitude
This is also something that I’ve grown to appreciate over time. I really look up to people who find the positive side of things and have a sense of humour. What amazes me about these people is that they’ve usually gone through some pretty difficult times in their lives and yet, they’re still able to smile and make other people smile. They don’t complain about little things, because they don’t take anything for granted.
5. Being normal
The best and coolest role models are just like you and me. No matter how popular or famous they are, they just seem so down to earth. They don’t pressure you to live or be like them, they don’t seek attention or admiration, and they don’t think that they’re better than you. They just do their thing.
When I think about being a good role model, I always think about my dear nieces and nephews. I want to set a good example for them. So how to become a good role model? What is my main advice I want to give to my nieces and nephews and everyone reading this? It’s really quite simple: work on your confidence and don’t pay too much attention to what other people think. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be kind and open-hearted. Work hard towards your dreams. Stay positive. And finally, the most important thing: just be yourself.
*Sisu is a Finnish word that can be loosely translated to mean stoic determination, resilience, guts, bravery, hardiness and perseverence.