“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
– James Baldwin
Follow your bliss.
I believe that’s what we’re all here to do, but figuring out what that is might be the most challenging part. Once you have figured out what you’re passionate about, you are naturally driven to pursue it – which usually leads to greatness in some form.
These days, it’s more common than ever to embark on a second career to pursue our dreams, after spending many years doing what we thought we were “supposed” to do, in favor of doing what we loved in the first place. I hope to offer you some tools to help you guide the next generation towards their dreams right from the beginning with this I AM Everything mini-series.
Children need guidance and exposure to ideas and people and possibilities to help them explore the world around them, and let their imaginations go, in order to figure out what their passions are.
Although we are all unique, and each of us has our own path to follow, having someone to look up to, someone who has accomplished something similar to what we strive for, can motivate and inspire us to keep going when we encounter obstacles and feel like it’s impossible to reach our goals.
“Role models help us unlock hidden desires that we didn’t even know we had; motivate us to discover new things; and move us towards our unlimited potential.”
– Rajni Kurichh
Role models inspire us to dig a little deeper to find our best selves, and help lead us towards our desires. That’s the case for many young kids around the world right now as they watch their heroes break records, and realize their dreams at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“Sports is a metaphor for overcoming obstacles and achieving against great odds. Athletes, in times of difficulty, can be important role models.”
– Bill Bradley
So many role models have been showing their excellence in athleticism on the world stage in Rio for the last couple of weeks. Among them, U.S. swim team’s Simone Manuel inspired two-year old Layla McKenzie as well as many other young girls to strive for Olympic success when she won the gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle in Rio last week, becoming the first African-American woman to win an individual Olympic gold in swimming.
Many Olympians have inspired others, and been inspired to reach their potential by those who came before them. Katie Ledecky, Michelle Carter, Oksana Chusovitina, Usain Bolt, Manrique Larduet, Anna van der Bergen, Jillion Potter, and Kerri Walsh Jennings, are amazing role models, to name a few.
Of course, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, has inspired an entire generation of athletes over the years, many of whom are now on his U.S. Olympic swim team. I’m not surprised to find out that Michael is inspired by music – music has the ability to lift your spirit, to transform your state of mind, and to stir your soul.
Role models are certainly not limited to athletes. In fact, parents, teachers and mentors are the first role models that children look up to. That was the case for Michael Hixon, an American diver, who was inspired by his mother, who is his personal coach, as well as a professional coach. His father is also an athlete, and has been a coach of college basketball.
“What you teach your own children is what you really believe in.”
– Cathy Warner Weatherford
Believe that you can be, do or have anything you desire, if you believe it, you will instill the same belief in your children.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!