Who Are Your Models?
Everyone Has a Story
I love to watch movies based on true stories, interviews on the Biography channel, and performers talking to James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio. I think it’s fascinating how lives evolve and how one pivotal decision —or one decision made repeatedly— impacts a person’s destiny. I’m especially intrigued by their challenges, failures, espoused philosophies, risks taken, and moments of victory.
To consider someone a model, you don’t have to agree with everything that person has said or done, and everyone has foibles, yet it is the imperfections that often add to the remarkability of someone’s story.
Who Has Done What You Want To Do?
When I take people through the Now What?® coaching program, there is a section early on where you examine your beliefs. Part of this process involves identifying people you know who “have accomplished something by thinking the way you need to think”.¹
Rick, a client who lives in Europe, aspires to run an internet business that would enable him to work, travel, and live in different countries. As he looked for potential models, his research led him to three people who have each created a successful work-travel lifestyle and have established a forum (which Rick has now joined) to connect others who want to do the same.
Who do you know who has done what you want to do? For example, someone who has: obtained a position you’d love to have, built a successful business, switched industries late in his career, managed to get into a company where there wasn’t a job posted, reached a certain fitness goal, manages finances well, has a relationship you admire, balances her work and personal life, followed his passion, is an exemplary leader, or overcame a challenge you’re experiencing.
A role model might be someone you know personally or someone you know of; it might be someone “average” or someone famous. Learn how they did it, be inspired by their story, and begin to believe that it is possible for you, too.
Hang Out with Your Models
Hanging out with your models may mean reading about them, watching a TV interview, or spending time with them in person. The idea is to observe them and “enjoy their company” in some way. As you do, take note of what obstacles they overcame, what inspired them, and what strengths they exercised. Ask yourself: What do I appreciate most about this person? What is he or she modeling for me? What desire does this model ignite within me?
This past weekend I got to hang out with one of my models about whom I’ve written before, virtuoso jazz trumpeter, Arturo Sandoval. In this case, hanging out meant attending the Scottsdale Latin Jazz Festival². Jess (my husband) and I sat five rows from the stage and applauded like crazy as Arturo moved from trumpet, to flugelhorn, to piano, to drums. I didn’t get to use the camera I’d brought in hopes of a picture with him, but I did hand his super-talented percussionist a personal note to deliver to Arturo. Hope it made him smile! Here’s what it said:
After seeing the movie “For Love or Country” three years ago, I wrote the attached article about your story. I am so happy to be able to see you in person tonight and experience your music, energy, and passion for life! Thank you for sharing it with the world and for being such a wonderful model of expressing your passion and living an authentic life.
This Week: Who are your models? Think of a way to spend more time with them.
Here's to you,
¹Now What?® is a registered trademark of InterCoach, Inc. and is based on the book Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction by Laura Berman Fortgang. Laura Berman Fortgang, Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction, (New York, New York, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2005), page 49.
²This was the inaugural year of the Scottsdale Latin Jazz Festival. Here’s how the program described their headline performer: “One of the most dynamic and vivacious performers of our time, virtuoso jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval can burn through an Afro-Cuban groove, tear up a bebop tune, soar over a Mozart concerto and sooth you with a luscious ballad – with equal power and grace. Born and raised in Cuba, Sandoval became a protégé of Dizzy Gillespie. He has earned four Grammys, six Billboard Awards and an Emmy.” More at: www.arturosandoval.com