Everyone has at least one person who they look up to, who they turn to in times of need or trouble, who they think of when they’re stuck on a moral dilemma. Sometimes, it’s a beloved relative. Other times, it can be a celebrity, or a historical or mythological figure.
We admire people for all kinds of reasons. When it’s someone you know, it can be because they’ve had a hand in changing your life for the better. Or maybe you just enjoy watching them making the world a better place as they travel through it. Often, it’s because they have a skill or a quality that you wish you had.
Maybe they’re the best guitarist you’ve ever seen. Maybe you’re struggling to find someone with anything bad to say about them because they’re just that selfless. Maybe you’ve never seen anyone do such a perfect somersault. Maybe they always know exactly what will make the best birthday present.
Maybe they have managed to take all the turmoil and pain that you’re feeling and make you feel better, just by saying the right thing.
Often, the thing that inspires us is a skill, even if we don’t realise it.
It’s something that has taken many long and difficult hours or practice to hone to get to this point where they make it look easy. Hours that perhaps you didn’t see. Hours that, perhaps, you didn’t stop to think about.
This is really important to remember, especially if you’re struggling to be like that person you admire, if you’re finding your own journey a bit difficult.
People aren’t born incredible. They don’t get amazing overnight. They are not flawless.
They work hard to cultivate their skills, to become better people. They make mistakes on their way to being the kind of person that people look up to.
By the time we notice how great they are, those mistakes are usually long buried. They’ve made them, learned from them and moved on, using their new knowledge to be a better person. You might never know what went wrong on their way here. You just see them already here, being brilliant.
But those mistakes are, ultimately, what makes them such an admirable figure.
Their ability to learn and grow from them, their ability to shape themselves based on what they’ve done wrong.
Remember this when you are struggling – that no one was perfect the first time round. Most people aren’t perfect until they’ve have a good few practice goes first.
Remember this when you see someone else struggling. Don’t think of their mistakes as failures, but applaud them for picking themselves up and carrying on. Think about how accomplished they’ll be – one day – because of this setback.
Remember this every time you look up to someone. Think about the effort they’ve put in, the rejection they’ve overcome. Think about the changes they have made, in their approach to their dreams, while maintaining their commitment to achieving them.
Respect the ability to human beings to change for the better. Succeeding after you’ve tried will always be more rewarding that having success handed to you. Look up to those people who never give up, who acknowledge their flaws and make them work for them instead of against them. Recognise that self-awareness is one of the most important skills a person can have and that it is an integral part of personal development.
Being able to recognise and accept your imperfections is a truly valuable skill, no matter what you want out of life.
There is nothing more inspirational in a person that has achieved great things than the effort they have put into overcoming the obstacles they have put in their own way.
Being born perfect doesn’t take much skill or energy.
Dedicated yourself to something even though it is difficult, even though you are not built for it, even though you have to start over again however many times – that is a truly inspirational feat.
Author Bio – Kirstie Summers is journalist whose day job takes her to all the most interesting places and events in South London. She also freelances for a number of sites and publications, from gaming and literature reviews to creative fiction. She lives in London and spends as much of her free time as possible making the most of being in such a diverse city. She keeps one day a week to herself to swim, relax and keep the stress of the world at bay.