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After going back to your childhood, we slowly move forward in your life and next look at your role models.

Who did you admire in your life, and what made these people stand out? Who were your “heroes” in childhood and youth? Who traits did you admire as a young adult, and who do you find fascinating today? What strengths do your role models have?

First part of the task:

Write down the role models in your notebook and write down which qualities you admire in each of them or what distinguishes them from others.

Here are examples of mine:

  • Elon Musk (visionary entrepreneur)
  • Neighbor Harald (very nice neighbor, taught me how to do handicrafts as a child)
  • Mahatma Gandhi (pacifist leader of the Indian independence movement)
  • Keith Harring (artist, street art)
  • Richard Branson (entrepreneur)

Please read on only after you have created your own list of your role models.

The second part of the task:

Now examine what your role models have in common and write them down in keywords.

Continuation of the example:

Elon Muskkreativ, visionär, Macher
Nachbar Haraldkreativ, freundlich, zugewandt
Mahatma Gandhifriedlich, verbindlich, vertritt seine Interessen, übernimmt Verantwortung, hartnäckig, geht Risiken ein, unternehmerisch
Keith Harringkreativ, hat das Kind in sich bewahrt, Kunst für die Straße statt für Museen
Richard Brandsonübernimmt Risiken, genießt das Leben, macht verrückte Dinge, familienorientiert, unternehmerisch

The third part of the task:

Then mark the top 3 features you would like to have (or already have and particularly like about yourself).

Continuation of the above example:

  • Creativity
  • Helpfulness
  • Appetite for Risk

Compare the results of this exercise with the characteristics and activities of your childhood career aspirations. Are there similarities? Can you identify the first patterns? Also, talk to your partner, parents, or good friends about your role models, if it suits you. Have fun while you gain exciting insights!

With this exercise, you’re dealing with an enlightening topic because your role models represent something that is also dormant in you but may not yet be (fully) developed. What we admire, we often carry within us, but for some reason, we do not live it out like we could.

The opposite is also interesting, by the way: if we detest certain people or actions, it’s possible that they act out something that we don’t trust in ourselves but would actually like to have. For example, if you find show-offs incredibly annoying, you might want to show a little more of what you can do or toot your own horn. But when you were a child, showing off was so strongly condemned that you learned: “You don’t do that!” That’s why you may be hiding your light under a bushel too much today. Observe that and think about it; it might be worth it.