Role Models and The Power Of Mistakes

Role Models.  We look to them to guide us with the examples of their lives.  We look to them to inspire us with their stories of success.  We look to them to to remind us of our potential.

They also help remind us about screwing up.

If you have a good Role Model, it's important to look at them and learn from their mistakes.  They probably have a spectacular amount of them if you only look.

The great blunders of our Role Models are important because:

  1. They remind us our Role Models are humans, just like us.  Realizing that helps us see them as people.  When we see them as people we relate to them better, learn from them better, and also treat them better.
  2. They teach us just how common making mistakes is.  It's too easy to forget just how often all of us create absolutely spectacular messes of our lives.  Remembering that keeps us from being to harsh on ourselves.
  3. They teach us how to recover from our foul-ups.  In fact, they remind us of how it is possible to recover from truly wondrous blunders.
  4. They keep us humble.  If those we admire can mess up, it reminds us how we too can make mistakes.

So next time you're looking up to that Role Model, look down a bit and see the mountain of mistakes, the fields of foul-ups, the sea of screw-ups, at their feet.  It'll help you a great deal.

– Steven Savage