A friend and reader of the site recently asked me why Arnold Schwarzenegger is mentioned so often here on Breaking Brawn. Well, it’s simply because he is my biggest role model.
Growing up, like most kids my age, I looked up to the heroes in my favorite comic books, video games and TV shows. Characters such as Batman and Superman, Mario and Luigi, and even real-life legends like Bruce Lee and Arnie himself made the list. I wanted to be just like them. They command respect. They help others. They’re masters of their craft. And, most of all, I thought that if I were big and strong like them, I could defeat the bad guys and save the damsel in distress, too.
We all know that role models are fundamental to our growth and development, particularly in our early years. So, if they are so influential on us as kids, why then should they ever stop being important or relevant to us as adults?
We all need role models. They help to inspire us and motivate us to accomplish big things. They give us something to shoot for, as well as provide a blueprint to the quickest path to success. No matter what you want to do in life, there is someone who has done it before. So, why not do what they did to find a similar or greater level success?
What is a role model?
Arnold has millions and millions of fans all across the globe. However, this alone, does not constitute a role model.
A role model doesn’t have to be famous, glamorous or rich. A role model simply needs to be someone who you admire and respect for the positive decisions and actions they make, as well as for what they have accomplished in their life.
The person you look up to should be a positive role model. In other words, a good choice would be Jon Snow instead of King Joffrey in Game Of Thrones, or Obi Wan Kenobi instead of Darth Vader in Star Wars. The positive influence is key.
What makes a good role model is someone who is admirable for their outstanding character and personality traits. It’s typically someone who is looked up to globally or within the community for their contributions.
Role models should have following qualities:
- Respectful – They treat everyone well no matter who it is
- Moral – They stick to their ideals when making decisions and do the “right” thing
- Hard Working and Passionate – There is no end to their commitment and dedication
- Confident – Someone who knows what they want and takes action to make it happen
- Overcomes Struggles – Everyone encounters challenges, but how the situation is handled and what is learned from it, depends on the individual
So whether you look up to Arnold for his bodybuilding career, Warren Buffet for his investing mastery, or Takeru Kobayashi for his hot dog eating prowess, pick someone who you can be proud to model your life after.
Role models have been around since the beginning of time. It’s natural for us to want to emulate others and follow along in their footsteps. It’s how a species survives – by learning from and copying those who have survived and succeeded before the current generation.
Even just the term “role model” seemingly implies the purpose of having one. This should be someone you want to model your role in life upon. Think of it as using their life experiences to shape your own, since they’ve already gone through the tough work of figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
Interestingly enough, most of the people we would consider role models today have even had role models themselves to whom they looked up to at some point (and probably still do).
Take Arnold for example. His biggest inspiration was by far the late great Reg Park. While he also looked up to Mohammed Ali and others, Reg Park was a movie star, who was known for his massive build as a Mr. Universe competitor, and had also starred in major Hollywood films, including Hercules. These were all things that Arnold wanted and would later accomplish himself by following closely in Park’s footsteps. Arnold went on to be the highest paid movie star in his hey-day despite all of the things that stood in his way.
The great thing is that you don’t even have to narrow it down to just one single person. Having multiple role models allows you to pick and choose the best of their different characteristics, qualities and traits.
Aiming high and finding a role model who has accomplished the same things you’d like to, can take out a lot of the guesswork when it comes to mapping out and navigating your own journey.
There’s no instruction manual to life, but following a role model comes pretty darn close.
Role Models Aren’t Perfect, No One Is
It’s important that while they are your role model, be careful not to place them upon a pedestal.
Humans aren’t perfect, and comic books aren’t real. Despite what you may see on tv, there’s always going to be something to bring these heroes back down to earth amongst the rest of us.
Role models are fallible – capable of messing up. Superman has his kryptonite, and, while it’s tough to admit, even Arnold cheated on his wife with the housemaid later in life.
If we’re capable of failing, then aren’t we all heros in our own right if we’re all playing on the same field?
Your Map To Success
There’s no doubt that having a role model can help us to succeed in our lives. The impact and influence that others can have on us is tremendous, so be sure to choose yours wisely.
By taking out all of the guesswork, we can zip down the road to success following along with their roadmap. So, go out and find your adventure, and live a life you’re proud of and so that perhaps someday, you will become someone else’s role model too.
Who are some of the people you admire most? Do you find yourself modeling your path after theirs? Be sure to share your experience with role models in the comments down below.