Teen Breathe

Why personal role models can be an important source of inspiration in your life

Having people to look up to can encourage you to imagine what’s possible. These important figures are a reminder that when someone has a strong desire to fulfil a dream or make a difference to society, they can achieve it. While everyone’s path through life is unique, it can give hope and a sense of direction to see someone having achieved goals that might seem hard to reach. These writing exercises can help you to think about the role models in your life.
WORDS: Kate Orson
PHOTO: Shutterstock

Freewriting about your role models

Begin with a warm-up where you just write down your thoughts about role models. What do you think are the positive attributes that make someone a good example? Is there anyone famous you like or admire? Or does someone at your school or in your community inspire you with their positive qualities?

Writing a thank you note to your role model

Is there someone in your life who’s motivated you? Maybe you’ve written about them in the previous exercise. Perhaps it’s a teacher who makes you feel good about your abilities or a relative who urges you to work hard to achieve your ambitions. It doesn’t have to be someone you know in person either. It could be someone in the public eye whose efforts inspired you to reach for a goal. Write them a thank-you note (no need to send it if you’d rather not, the important thing is what it means to you), explaining what their words or actions mean to you.

Creating a fictional role model

Perhaps you haven’t yet met your ideal role model. If that’s the case, you can create an imaginary one. Write a character sketch of the kind of person you’d like in your life to spur you on. What qualities do they have? What have they achieved in their life? How would this person inspire you to fulfil your dreams?

Writing about an everyday role model

A role model doesn’t have to be famous or make major waves in society. It could be someone who’s quietly kind, making a difference to other people’s lives without seeking recognition. Can you think of anyone who is a quiet role model? What do you admire about them? Does being a behind-the-scenes mentor appeal to you?

Could you be a role model to others around you?

Think about some of your own qualities or achievements. Whether it’s working hard in a subject you love or creating art you’re proud of. Perhaps you’ve helped someone or been there for a friend in need. Or maybe you excel at a hobby. Are you a few steps ahead in a particular area of your life? How could you offer support or encouragement to others?

Read more about life goals in Teen Breathe issue 43.