WWMRMD?By Kate James | May 07, 12 08:50 AM
Role models can help you to define the sort of person you want to be, they can help you to clarify your values and when you’re in a difficult situation, you can ask yourself WWMRMD? (what would my role model do?)
People sometimes ask me what made me choose the profession I've chosen and the answer is, that I pursued what I was passionate about. My vibrant and spirited grandmother who was appallingly bad at ‘grandmothering’ was a great role model for me in other ways.
She was petite and dark and immaculately groomed. Her home was stylishly decorated and kept beautifully clean. She adored small luxuries and indulged herself in anything that satisfied her senses – quality food, delicate fragrance, sunshine, the ocean, music, an engaging novel, a glass of wine. She made it a priority to do small things, every day, that brought her pleasure. Her greatest passion though, was her relationship with her husband. She literally died of a broken heart eight months after he passed away.
My grandmother taught me to enjoy life. She made it a priority to live each day as though it were her last.
When we think of role models, we generally think of someone who displays characteristics and qualities that we revere in some way. More often than not, your role models are a step ahead of you in one or more areas of life but equally, a role model can be a peer who lives their life in a way that you respect.
Role models can help you to define the sort of person you want to be, they can help you to clarify your values and when you’re in a difficult situation, you can ask yourself ‘what would my role model do?’.
When looking for a role model, keep it simple and begin by choosing just one key quality you’d like to develop. Choose an area that you don’t feel is a natural strength. It might be feeling confident in a social setting or having the ability to remain calm in a stressful situation or like my example, finding someone who feels free to live their life with passion.
Then look for someone who exudes that quality. Most of us tend to begin the search by looking for people who are publicly successful or have celebrity status. I generally find I’m more motivated to model people I have had the opportunity to get to know. Every day people, with every day challenges inspire me.
Once you have carefully chosen the right role model and selected one area to focus on, begin by practicing the behaviour you’re trying to develop as frequently as you can. Don’t expect too much of yourself in the early days. Change takes time.
Finally, believe that you can do it. Emulate their behaviours and use positive self-talk to enforce these new behaviours as your own.
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Kate James is the director of The Change Project, an online resource centre creating positive change in people's lives.