The Importance of Role Models

Students in library

We all learn by example. And there are many shining examples you can follow to get started on the path to success.

Ask yourself who your personal heroes are, then take interest with books and articles and opportunities to see your heroes speak, play or perform. Having role models not only delivers inspiration and motivation, but can also give you concrete information on how to achieve similar levels of success.

Chances are you will have to, or already have, research role models for school and write reports or make presentations in your classes. When this happens, use it as an opportunity to dive into some of your interests, what qualities you admire about your heroes, and above all, what excites you about the inspiring people you’re getting to know.

Positive role models boost young people’s motivations by embodying and presenting a guide to achieving success and typically exhibit the following qualities:

  • The ability to inspire others
  • A clear set of values
  • A commitment to community
  • An acceptance of others
  • An ability to overcome obstacles

There is no shortage of positive role models. They can be living or dead, young or old, and achievers in virtually any field, from sports and entertainment to science, business, politics and art. According to Raconteur readers, the three most inspiring people in the world are: Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), former president of South Africa and anti-apartheid leader; Mahatma Ghandi (1869-1948), leader of India’s independence movement; and Steve Jobs (1955-2011), co-founder of Apple.

Students such as yourself can learn more about the people you admire by simply following them on Instagram, Twitter, or liking their Facebook fan page.

Role models don’t need to be famous to embody positive qualities that can steer you along the road to success. They can be your next-door neighbor, a family friend, a relative or someone from church. The important thing is to expose yourself to as many people as possible who you can look up to.

And when students are asked to write or report about someone they admire, it’s not uncommon for them to pick someone they know very well, such as a grandparent or even their parents.

Take some time today to think about who you look up to, who inspires you to be better and more successful?

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