Hello, friends! I have been playing around with the idea of a more “serious” series for my blog for a long time now because there are so many topics that I am passionate about aside from just clothes and fashion. After marinating on several different ideas and even writing a few rough drafts, I decided it would be more fun (and therefore slightly less serious, hopefully) to present my ideas as a “How-To” series. I wanted to kick off this new series at the start of the new year (i.e. in January), but life is life and I wanted to make sure it was right; so, I am happy to present to you (on February 2nd), my first ever How-To:
- Lead By Example. You know that old saying, “actions speak louder than words?” Well, it’s the most obvious, but also the most important, step to positively impacting those who might look up to you, or even just the people around you. If you treat people with respect, chances are they’ll return the favor. The golden rule we all learned as children still applies, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Another cliché that might help this stick: “Be the change you want to see in the world,” which is really what this post is all about. You may not all have youngsters looking up to you to help them learn how to navigate through the world, but I’d be willing to bet that you do have family, friends and acquaintances who notice how you conduct yourself and who might just be influenced by your positivity (or negativity), which leads me to my next step:
- Be Positive. This may be my #2 way to be a good role model, but I think it’s equally as important as step #1. Positivity is infectious, just like negativity, so which would you rather spread throughout your life, your community, the world?? I know it isn’t always easy to maintain a positive outlook on life, especially with bills, commutes and other daily tasks ready to bring you down, but don’t forget to take a step back and remember to appreciate all the good there is in life to celebrate. And then spread that positivity! Sarcasm and snark can be funny, but don’t let that become your default attitude. Sarcasm, when overused, can sometimes come across as standoffish, arrogant or even just plain mean. I fall into the negativity trap all the time, it’s hard not to, so I’m not saying you need to be Susie Sunshine all the time, but even something as small as a smile can bring happiness to someone else’s day.
- Listen. One of the most generous things you can do for someone else is to just listen. This is a lesson I learned recently myself and something that I’m still working on, but really it comes down to being unselfish, to giving your time to someone else. Let them tell you about their day, their accomplishments and their defeats, and they’ll feel much more ready to take on the next challenge. By listening to others, you’re letting them know you care and showing them how to be caring in return. It’s such a simple act, but it can greatly impact someone’s day.
- Laugh! Okay, this might be a bit of a reiteration of #2, but it’s that important; and, what I really mean by “laugh” is simply not to forget to have fun. Being a positive role model is not all about preaching life’s lessons and picking up litter; in fact, it’s almost the opposite! It’s so much easier to spread positivity through something as infectious as laughter. You don’t have to take life so seriously all the time because, guess what…
- You’re not Perfect! This is less of a step and more of a reminder that we are all human, and none of us is perfect. Don’t be afraid to show your flaws to the world, that is what makes you more relatable (and more fun to be around). I babysit for a little girl and I continually try my best to be a good role model to her, but I know I’m not perfect. Sometimes I make mistakes, and sometimes she catches on, but you know what? She doesn’t mind. She accepts the fact that I don’t know everything and we have a good laugh whenever I do something silly (which is often). In fact, I think one of the best things I’ve taught her (aside from some awesome dance moves) is that she doesn’t have to be, nor should she be, perfect.
One of my big resolutions for last year was to work on my mental and emotional health (after working on my physical health the year before), and part of that goal meant, for me, striving to have a more positive outlook on life. I also, as I mentioned, am a babysitter/nanny and over the past year I came to realize what a positive impact that role has had on my life. I quickly discovered how much this little girl looks up to me and, therefore, how truly important my actions and attitude are, not only as a role model to her, but also how much they affect the people around me every day.
I truly hope you’ve enjoyed this How-To. I don’t want to come across at all as preachy; I am not perfect and in no way am I an expert. In fact, if there is one thing I would love someone to gain from this post, it is simply to be more aware of how actions and attitude can greatly affect others and to be more positive; enjoy life!
Please let me know what you think of this article and this new series, your feedback is greatly appreciated! And, as always, thank you for reading :), Kristi