Recently my friend and I saw the movie A Star Is Born starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Apart from being a brilliant film that managed to completely ruin my mascara, the soundtrack was a particular highlight. So much so, that I’ve played it repeatedly in my car ever since. In particular, replaying one of Cooper’s songs, Black Eyes.
Anyway, since I’ve taken control of the music in the car for a change, I’ve noticed that Bradley Cooper has come up in conversation numerous times with my kids. I also noticed that my daughter wrote on her suggested Year 6 Graduation playlist that she would like “Black Eyes” played at her school graduation party. And with totally no input from me, my son also wrote a school assignment this week on guess who? Bradley Cooper.
Now, none of my kids have ever seen a Bradley Cooper movie, nor have they ever known anything about him. But my actions of playing one of his songs, once or twice (or maybe a few more) on the school run has influenced not only the way they think, but also their behaviour.
As harmless, I think, as my excessive playing of certain music can be, it got me wondering about how many other things I do or say that are absorbed by my kids. I’m comfortable with that thought, mostly, but it did take me back to when my son poured himself some orange juice in a wine glass before running himself a bath. Other than that, I feel okay about being a positive role model for them.
But on a serious note, most of us know that children and teenagers are rather impressionable and throughout their development are unconsciously absorbing what the adults around them do.
We can have these lengthy conversations with our younger generation about what is right and wrong but it’s our actions as adults that have the more powerful effect. We, by default, become role models to the younger people that we spend time with. And you may become one, whether you want to be or not.
For children, they need to have positive role models in their lives, and if they don’t have one close by, it’s imperative that they’re found one. Think about what interests them, what lights them up and then find someone they can learn with or learn about who is doing all of that.
Role models have a huge impact on our lives in terms of influence, and have the ability to almost mentor us informally by how they think and what they do. Their story and their wisdom allow us to improve our own lives.
If you look at it from an evolutionary point of view, we’re actually wired to learn and be taught by our older, wiser and more successful members of our society.
Often we think that its just kids that look to and learn from other people, but even us adults look to other adults for self-improvement and personal growth.
You’re never too old to find a role model, and the luxury of being a little older is that we can purposefully choose who we want.
A positive role model is often a person who inspires and motivates you to be the best version of yourself. Whatever that looks like to you. They’re probably similar to you in many ways, but a few steps ahead. They are living your dream, and they often know the steps to get to where you want to go.
They are where you want to be one day.
The beauty of modern times is that we are not limited to just our inner circles, but we can go worldwide for our inspiration.
The qualities that a role model ideally should embody are quite varied, and are often specific to where you want to go. But in general, if you are aiming for some success in anything there are some endearing qualities that are highly sort after in society including dedication, discipline, perseverance, empathy, courage, self-confidence, compassion and a positive outlook.
A good role model should serve as an example and inspire you to live a meaningful life.
So look around you for the role model that you can start following to steer you in the right direction. Maybe they’re a thought leader in a particular industry, maybe they are in business, sports, music or the arts. Maybe it’s the leader in your organisation. Maybe it’s your coach. Maybe it’s your mum.
Maybe it’s Bradley Cooper.
Who knew he could sing too?