August 6

Today's quotation:

Having a role model in life is a great thing to have;
one who provides us with direction and inspiration.
However, we will forever be restricted by that person's limitations if we live within their boundaries.
Be influenced, but set your own standards and
develop your own principals, if you are ever
to live beyond someone else's dreams.

Jason Shahan

Today's Meditation:

Role models are important parts of our lives, for they give us examples that we can live up to, goals that we can set for ourselves.  But having a role model shouldn't mean adopting a set of limitations to our dreams and hopes.  We each end up with our own sets of boundaries and limitations in our lives, and it's important that we don't allow a role model to affect us so strongly that we limit our own lives based on the limitations in their lives.

A father may be a great role model in ethics and character, but if he's never been able to get out of debt in his life, then we don't want to adopt those same limitations in our own lives.  There are few things that have the potential to undermine ethics and character as financial problems.  A young woman may admire one of her teachers, but it may be that by adopting that teacher's limitations (perhaps not furthering her education, or refusing to apply for promotions), the young woman may never fulfill her full potential.

Recognizing other people's boundaries is not a question of judgment--we should try to do it with as much objectivity as possible in order not to judge.  People are what they are, but it's important that we recognize that we shouldn't want to be what someone else is--we should want to be what we have the potential to be.  "Be influenced," Jason says, "but set your own standards."

We will meet our own limitations, and hopefully we'll be able to overcome them and move past them.  But we never will be able to do so if we adopt the limitations of our role models, and we won't be able to avoid them unless we look objectively enough to be able to recognize them.  Let others limit themselves, and address your own limitations on your own terms.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of limitations do your role models put upon themselves?

Why do we tend to adopt the limitations of others?  What kind of safety might there be in doing so?

What kinds of boundaries and limitations do you find yourself setting up for yourself?

For further thought:

You've got to be careful whom you pattern yourself after
because you're likely to become just like them.

Rich Mayo

  

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