Hope you don’t have a Rolled Model?

Hope you don’t have a Rolled Model?

We all have role models? Well, at least most of us do. And can we ever admire them enough?

While it’s great if you have idols or role models, something I suggest to friends and acquaintances is that you should not be amazed by your role models. Instead, find out what it is about them that amazes you and earns your respect and admiration. Identify those specific characteristics in them, instead. We  don’t need ‘rolled’ [all-inclusive] models.

Why we admire someone could be something as lame as for their looks or acting skills. It could be their perseverance, or selflessness, truthfulness or their ice cold negotiation skills or the ability to win consistently. But whatever it is, instead of just staring with dropped jaws at a poster of your role model, sit and think about “why” you admire about them.

I’ll safely assume that your role model is human. That said, we all have our flaws; even our larger-than-life role models most probably do (perhaps with the exception of Mother Teresa). And therein lies the problem. People are a sum of their different characteristics, habits, behavior traits, etc. And some of those are excellent, some horrible.

So, whenever we admire a person, it is usually for one or more good traits they have. But since the selection happens on a slightly unconscious level, we tend to admire the person in their entirety, often accepting their negative or less desirable traits as part of the acceptable.  You’ll probably agree if you thought about the last time you argued with someone about why a public figure is liked, admired or hated so much. Blind admiration could cause us to unconsciously inculcate negative traits too; after all, our role models are just so great.

If we admire people specifically for certain characteristics they possess, we identify directly with those qualities in them; qualities that we perhaps desire to have. That, then lets us allow ourselves to be inspired and shaped by specifically those characteristics. 

While I was growing up, many of us dreamed to be like the classy and flamboyant Vijay Mallya. But after he denied his airline employees their salary for months on end, he suddenly didn’t seem so respectable. Tiger Woods will probably never get the admiration he once enjoyed, even if he were to play better than he ever has. Lance Armstrong is a classic example too.

Tip: Whoever your role model, also make a mental note of what skills or character traits make them your role model.

‘Details’ don’t complicate things. Instead, they provide a simpler view of how and why things are. Don’t avoid details, go look for them.

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Image: link

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The Ultimate Power

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it–always.”Mahatma Gandhi

A friend of mine recently came across an article titled ‘The Indian who admires Adolf Hitler‘.

While I do not admire Hitler, am sure his leadership and command have left many a man desiring for that kind of power.

Here’s my view. Pardon the extremely layman language used. That’s the best my brain can handle.

age-of-empires-3-706666_506

After the nomadic phases and through the “take by force” and “conquer” phases, we as a race have more or less settled into a more peaceful and harmonious way of living (with the exception of certain countries that continue to attack other countries and harbour terrorists, and barring the internal unrest in several countries as well). But more or less, the world has moved away from a high risk-high reward way of things (achieved by conquering countries or kingdoms, etc., where there was a high possibility of getting obliterated, but on the upside, there were great spoils in the event of a victory) to a life with average returns (produce, business, foreign trade, what have you) and reasonably predictable outcomes for the present and future.

That being the case, many of us harbour inside us, a desire for those unreasonably high rewards (that were earlier achieved by conquest). In our humble day-to-day routines, that desire could be in any form; from resolving a tough problem at work, to getting a 2x profit or raise in salary. A more befitting example might be the underlying wish of many if not most, to get preferential treatment without having to pay for it. It is different to get 7-star treatment after having to pay for it by spending a fortune first, but to command that kind of respect, and high service just because you are “YOU”, that is something many people desire.

And we know but a few men from the history of the world who commanded / demanded that kind of respect/ fear/ royal treatment. Hitler was one of them. And he was among the more prominent ones from that tiny elite group. So, while most of us would not even think of carrying the burden of the unspeakable cruelties he brought upon millions of people, the thought of that ultimate power, an army ready to go to any lengths at your slightest signal, and so on, I believe appeals to many. Hence, the admiration that some people have for him.

baby-hitler2

But on the flip side of it, and I am sure many of us would have observed, that most of the greatest and noblest of deeds have been accomplished without the need or use of such power, force or oppression. Hence, the achievement of the ultimate power tends to become contrary to the type of people most of us are. So I guess it becomes just a fantasy with no further purpose or objective.

It is something like, most of us envy jobs at NASA, or of becoming astronauts. I know I do. But wouldn’t a good percent of people back out, were they given a “wild card” entry to their dream job? Of the rest, many would probably quit during training, or on experiencing the rigors of a simulated space environment.

Aldrin

Or, for a simpler instance, while most of us would drool on seeing an Aston Martin or a Rolls Royce, many of us would not know what to do or where to drive one, were we gifted or presented with one. Don’t worry about me, I’ll figure what to do with one. But I mean the fuel and brilliant mileage itself could leave you broke in a month. Anyway, never mind all that. Back to the point.

Aston_Martin_V12_Zagato

Like the flight simulator games a lot of us like, if there were a simulator that took us through the horrors that took place in the dozens of Auschwitz concentration camps, I don’t think Hitler would have that many admirers left. And if you read more about the cruelties caused to children who were put through torturous experiments under instructions from eduard wirths, you would not only detest Hitler, but also question the sanity of anyone who claims to admire Hitler. It is just that, like many other things around us, we have learnt to look only at what we like, and imagine the rest of it isn’t there.

Gandhi

                             Mother Teresa

So, essentially, if paths to immortality is what you’re looking for, I really don’t think we’d need to look beyond Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa for inspiration. And if change is what we seek, I suppose we just need more Mahatmas and Mother Teresas.

All you need is love