Find Your Inspiration. Find Your Role Models
A key ingredient for living an inspired, bold life is to find role models that we can emulate and imitate — people who help us find ourselves in the process. In life, we determine our course of action by observing and practicing the behavior of those who strike a chord with us; people whose stories and examples ignite the fire inside of our bellies.
We take big steps of growth when we identify role models that do the things that we aspire to do well. The genesis of many of our greatest ideas and plans come from observing our heroes. When we read and hear about people whose stories inspire us, we should listen closely. We should try to pattern our behavior after them by embracing these opportunities with open arms.
In his bestselling book, Resilience, Navy Seal Eric Grietens writes about the need for models:
Shaping our character is one of the most important things that we can do in life. It’s hard, but it’s not complicated. We become what we do if we do it often enough. We act with courage, and we become courageous. We act with compassion, and we become compassionate. If we make resilient choices, we become resilient. To do this really well requires that we have good models… you need a model in your life at any age.
Our Journey of Discovery
By embracing new ideas, challenges and trying out new things, we continue the journey of discovery. Even if we know or find what we want to do in life at a young age, there’s always more to discover about our particular craft. We can analyze all the methods of becoming a better writer, teacher, student or athlete.
After we learn, both through observation and imitation in practice, we can then implement what we’ve learned in our interaction with others.
There are always new things to try. Trying the same thing over and over is boring. We reinvent ourselves when we demand more from ourselves and the talents God has given us. We can all do great things if we’re open and committed to working hard.
I define high moral character as adhering to a system of carefully selected beliefs and values and never wavering, despite the temptations and changing winds around us. Our character is sharpened and refined by the inspiring examples of others. Whether in history or sports, there are thousands of amazing people that we can identify and choose to emulate.
My biggest role model in American history is Theodore Roosevelt. The man’s’ life has taught me so much about the quality of character. Roosevelt lived boldly, spoke his mind freely and backed up his words with actions filled with conviction and purpose.
He conducted his affairs with dignity and respect for others. He is legendary for how he carried himself, as well as his graciousness and kindness to others. He once said:
“Character in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual…”
In sports, I’ve seen tennis player, Roger Federer maintain his standing as one of the best players in the world, well past the typical prime years of a tennis player, largely because he loves what he does. He doesn’t need any other motivation than simply being present in the moment, doing the thing that he was born to do.
The man absolutely loves to show up at tennis tournaments and compete fiercely against anyone that challenges him. His competitive greatness is legendary. Federer’s model is one that we can all aspire to. I use his career story as inspiration and motivation to come to work each day and do a great job. To write a new article. To finish writing my book. The list goes on.
Choose Your Models Wisely
My goal is to write every day and to have an influence on your life in a positive way. It’s really that simple. Some days, it’s challenging to structure a post exactly the way I want but, it’s never a challenge to write about a topic that I love. That’s easy. It’s natural because I love doing it.
I can look to great writers like Thomas Merton, Stephen Covey, Walker Percy and Malcolm Gladwell (among others) as models. These people inspire me. I want to emulate their greatness by looking at what they did, then creating something of my own that’s original and authentic.
These are people whose talents have shined through by putting a pen to paper. Their words have touched me at different intervals in my life. I refer back to their writings for inspiration and encouragement. Their works serve as a baseline for what I believe writing greatness should be.
The influential models I have chosen in my life are people who have shown me the way to living a virtuous life with high moral character: My parents, brothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles. I think of sports figures like Mariano Rivera, John Wooden, Brad Stevens and incredible stories of everyday people who have persevered and shown remarkable spirit under trying conditions.
Chris Singleton and Welles Crowther are two remarkable, courageous people who demonstrated heroism in their own, unique ways. I encourage you to click on the links and learn more about them. Circumstances dictated that they show their character and leadership to the rest of the world. Both men touched me in a profound way.
I hope the models herein help you to lead a more virtuous, robust life and I hope their words and actions go a long way toward defining your character. Follow role models for inspiration. Then, be your own, unique and original self that shares your beautiful talents with the world.
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I’m so grateful for all of your support as I continue to dream and live out my journey. I fully support yours. Keep Going!