Role Models on Presidents Day

Presidents Day, honoring George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, reminds us to look to strong role models for inspiration. Mount Rushmore, in the Black Hills of South Dakoka, memorializes Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. These men reflect goals to strive for – courage, freedom, compassion and conservation, among others.

But you don’t have to look only to U.S. Presidents for motivation and guidance. In the past here on our blog, we’ve focused on many role models, both for ourselves and for our children. They can stir us to greater efforts and success in our family, community and work lives.

When Randy Pausch learned that he had terminal cancer, he gave and then wrote The Last Lecture as a guide for living rather than dying. He stressed the importance of living each day fully, striving to achieve dreams and expressing gratitude for those gifts that you have. He encouraged his students, children and readers to stretch and take creative risks as they reached for goals.

Olympic swimmer Dara Torres and singer Susan Boyle have pursued careers about as different as they can be. Yet they are both role models of courage for women who have a dream and work hard to accomplish their goals. The mother of a toddler, Dara believed she wasn’t too old to compete in the Olympics in her 40’s and defied the odds by winning 3 more medals in Beijing. Susan was 48 and unknown when she competed on Britain’s Got Talent, stunning the audience with her powerful voice. A short eight months later she had the world’s best selling album of the year, with 9 million copies purchased. As our blog post indicates, both women successfully created their personal best through dedication and drive.

A teacher at heart, John Wooden was a life coach incarnate, not just a basketball coach. The Pyramid of Success he created for the men’s UCLA basketball team works just as well for women balancing family and work life. His home grown aphorisms – Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do; Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are – can motivate you to work toward your personal best in any area of your life.

Elizabeth Edwards was a source of inspiration for many, fighting to maintain her dignity as she battled breast cancer and sought to protect her children. In an interview shortly before her death, she said that she wanted to be remembered as someone who stood in the storm and, when the wind didn’t blow her way, adjusted her sails. You can read more about how Elizabeth Edwards took charge of defining her life by reading our blog post after her death.

Syndicated columnist Amy Dickinson, known as “Ask Amy,” writes about the value of using other women as her role models and support in her book, The Mighty Queens of Freeville. For more insight about how we can empower ourselves and prevail through tough times by learning from our women friends and family, read how Amy answered our questions during her Virtual Book Tour on our blog.

Just a few of other role models we’ve blogged about are those women who return to the workforce and those who use their personal strengths as a means of centering themselves.

If you are looking for some more positive role models for success, look over other past blogs and be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter, Stepping Stones. When you do, you’ll receive our free ebook, Courage and Lessons Learned: Reaching for Your Goals. You’ll find inspiration there to make this the best time of life.

And please visit our blog again on Wednesday, February 23 when we welcome Pamela Madsen for a Virtual Book Tour. She’ll be discussing her new book, SHAMELESS: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner.

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