Good role models aren’t the ones trying to influence people.

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Instagram influencers. Political influencers. Bloggers even.

If you scan the internet it seems that people aren’t just sharing their lives with you, but they’re trying to get you to live more like them. Whether it’s by changing your lifestyle, buying brands, or changing your opinions, there are a lot of people who want you to change. Maybe they want to be the standard that you’re reaching for, maybe they just like the fame. Whatever the case, the people who are trying hard to influence and be role models… they’re not normally the people you should aspire to be.

The best role models are ones that guide you through life. Their values are set and admirable and their life, despite it’s struggles, has joy in it on a really fundamental level. The best role models are moral ones. They are the content ones. And they are the ones we’d still like to be like when they are in their seventies. Good role models aren’t hard to find, despite what people say, there are a lot of good people in this world. Of course no one is perfect, but a good role model doesn’t pretend to be. They wear their flaws and they work on bettering them.

A good role model isn’t trying to be a role model, they’re just trying to be the best version of themselves, and that is where a lot of the people trying to lead fall short. They want it too bad. To them it’s not about the personal journey but just about being a leader. They might have a idea of where they want to go, but they are rarely the type to have plans on how they can get there. Or worse, they are the ones who want you to think they’ve already made it, the ones who have stopped working on themselves because they want to appear at the top. They’re at a standstill and you shouldn’t be at a standstill too. You should be moving, climbing mountains and setting goals that are all your own. You should be striving to be a better version of you, not striving to be a fake image of somebody else.

That’s not to dismiss the good role model, but it’s to say that role models aren’t meant to be idols, they’re not even meant to be a map. They’re meant to be people that you can look to when things start falling apart. They’re meant to be the ones to give you ideas on how you can more forward when you’re in a rut. They are meant to be inspiration. Nothing more.

That’s why good role models normally aren’t found through a screen. They’re normally found at home, at school, at work, at the corner store that you always buy your milk. Good role models aren’t trying to be good role models, they’re just trying to be good people for themselves and their loved ones. Those are the people we should aspire to be and those are the kind of people we should look for.

There are some good role models online or on TV, but the truth of the matter is we don’t know them. While it’s fine to pull inspiration from their work and words, it’s much healthier to find a role model close to home who you can converse with, someone who’s struggles you can see face to face. Someone who doesn’t have an image to uphold but manages to make a good one for themselves anyway.

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