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Seek role models to inspire you

The most powerful role models in our lives will almost always be our parents or main carers. This is because we depended on them for our very existence when we were young, so we observed carefully and valued hugely everything they did. However, for reasons I don’t fully understand, later in life we tend either to behave just as they did, or reject their approach totally. It takes time and effort to examine your attitudes and behaviours in order to adapt what you saw as a child – that is, to make it appropriate to your life as an adult – and few people manage to do this.

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Furthermore, even if you do, it’s unlikely that your parents would have shown you how to deal with every situation you will encounter, so it’s wise to look out for other good role models to inspire you. Therefore, when you’re feeling stuck, try to think of someone who’s faced a similar situation and handled it well. What can you learn from that example? Don’t limit yourself only to people who are “real” or present. Some of my best solutions have been inspired by characters in great novels or individuals who lived long ago.