I believe there are many role models in the world but very few Mentors. A role model can be anyone you look up to, whose behaviors you might imitate. A mentor is a person with experience who acts as a guide for you.
We are shown examples of role models in the media constantly. Some are good, and others are not. Often the media highlights examples of role models when they are in the middle of some personal crisis or meltdown.
The problem is, human beings are sponges! Even if a role model behaves badly, there will be people who imitate and copy that behaviour, especially when those behaviours get a lot of media attention. That’s the reason media does not publicize suicides, or at least, shouldn’t, cause whenever there’s a high profile suicide, suicide rates will go up.
As adults, most of us can differentiate good behavior from bad. In fact, bad role models can demonstrate what not to do! And we can learn from their mistakes.
However, role models have a bigger influence over children and young people. Young people will often focus on the attention the negative behaviour attracts and may act out in similar ways for that reason. That is why the more publicity certain acts of violence or crime receive, such as high school shooting sprees, it’s very likely similar events will occur in other areas in the country or around the world.
I believe that if you are a parent you automatically become a role model for your children. Even if you are an absent parent, you will be shaping the views and beliefs of the child you have left behind and how they relate to people and the world. That’s not a judgment, just a fact.
As the father of a little girl, I am very cognizant of the fact that one day my daughter will most likely become romantically involved with someone very similar to me. She’ll also model her future relationships around the behaviour she observes in my current relationship.
The good news is, if I play my cards right, I won’t have to worry about the first guy she brings home (hopefully!)
As a parent, it’s my goal to become a mentor to my child. I hope to one day be able to share the accumulated knowledge from my life to help her avoid certain pitfalls.
Of course, I’m not so naïve to think that my daughter won’t make “mistakes.” But as long as I’m alive I’ll be there to help and support her when things don’t work out, like that first boyfriend!
And the one thing I’m sure of that I will always provide her with the unconditional love that only a father can give.
Having a mentor can help you reach higher levels of success. A great mentor will be there when your confidence is shaken or when you fall flat on your face! A mentor can prevent you from getting too far off course and get you back on track.
In a world where a Role Model might be a PGA Champion one day and then crash his Cadillac SUV into a tree while driving drunk the next (allegedly), having a mentor is a better bet. So be sure to hang on to that great mentor and to respect and honour that relationship.
Never take it lightly or for granted if you are lucky enough to have someone take you under their wing to help guide you through this life. And if you don’t have a mentor, make it a must to get one.
Andy Zaremba is the Co-host of the Vancouver Real podcast and the Co-founder/ owner of Float House (Vancouver’s first Float centre in over 20 years).
No matter which realm he’s playing in, he strives to be the best man he can possibly be, bringing his greatest efforts forth to his family, friends, & community. His precious daughter, Ella Faith, is truly a gift & continues to be a significant inspiration & strength in his life.
Andy has a fascination for learning & a deep passion for personal growth whether it be through books, courses, public speaking, podcasts, floating, & the like. He believes that growth is infinite & stagnation does not exist; the journey is purely about expansion & living fully with excellence regardless of the “imperfections”.