TOTAL HEALTH TRANSFORMATION SYSTEM
Real Role Models
The more real your visualization, the better it works.
Shoot for the stars.
Pop media offers vivid imaginary worlds full of lifestyle perfection. Someday … in a hazy, nebulous time and place … we’ll look like the Insta famous celebrities, of negligible body fat and extreme race victories.
Unless … imagining a “perfect” future full of high achievement and accomplishment doesn’t actually get us there.
In fact, chasing impersonal ideals of perfection could be making us worse.
In a study that examined how people visualize their future, researchers compared two groups of people:
- Group 1 visualized their future based on abstract, “flawless” images, such as magazines or movies.
- Group 2 found role models who were living the lives they wanted to live. They based their imaginary future on real, (flawed), people.
Who ended up happier and more fulfilled? Group 2.
Using real-person role models makes us happier because it’s real.
When our role models are messy, complex, imperfect and real humans, they help us feel compassion for ourselves. They help us set much more realistic expectations.
A primary characteristic of role models is that, in some way, they’re “better” than us. They might be wiser, or more experienced, or more advanced than we are. They represent a part of something that we want to become, and haven’t yet become.
Effective role models aren’t unattainable or “perfect”. We can see for ourselves that they also confront challenges, screw up, and have bad hair days.
Real-people role models also give us a clearer, more accurate vision of what to do or how to live.
Rather than a magical fantasy that we’ll always fail to accomplish, real-people role models give us a practical set of tools for managing life.
It’s a lot more effective to think on a continuum, rather than of absolute perfection. It’s more effective to imagine being just a little bit better.
Find a real-life role model.
Look around. Who’s a real, “imperfect” health and fitness role model for you?
Maybe that’s a trainer or coach. Maybe that’s someone in your gym.
Maybe it’s your grandma who never misses her Aquafit class, or the neighbor you see out the window power-walking every morning.
Maybe that’s even you on a superstar day.
Whoever it is, make the vision real.
Let go of abstract, “flawless” images and find a real person living the active, healthy lifestyle you want to live.
Visualize yourself doing what that real-life role model person does, and feeling what they feel.
Visualize how they might confront challenges and overcome obstacles.
Visualize what they do in their average day — how they are committed to living a vibrant, nourishing, active, healthy lifestyle or dedicated to top athletic performance.
Visualize yourself moving just a little bit closer to that role model’s lifestyle today.
What’s one real thing you can imagine doing to be a tiny bit better today?