Who is inspiring you? Who are you inspiring?
When I learned Shiatsu (a Japanese bodywork), we used to call my top teacher “Sasaki Sensei”. Sensei wasn’t part of his name, but the Japanese word for “teacher”. This word actually has a more complex meaning than that.
Sensei: The person who has walked this path before you.
It doesn’t mean s/he is an enlightened master; or a better, or a worse person than you.
You might even have walked other path that s/he doesn’t know. But that one, s/he knows; From experience. Not just from books and theory.
S/he walked all the way. S/he stumbled on the tiny rock that no-one sees and everybody stumble on. S/he might as well red books and learned the theory, but the most important part is, their teaching comes from experience.
S/he cannot walks the path FOR you, or instead of you, but can help you navigate through the journey.
Sensei and role-model
This description is pretty close to what a role-model is for me. Except that a Sensei might teach you, a role-mode probably won’t.
Yet it is someone who has done it before. Someone you can observe and learn from. Someone that, just because they did this thing you want to do, is the living proof that it is possible.
When I dreamed to buy a sailing-boat and go travel on it, I knew no-one who had done it. The day I found a “personal website” (pre-google age guys 😉) of a family living and traveling on a catamaran, it mainly made two things for me, that a role-model, even unknowingly, provide:
A role-model gives you permission
Just because they are doing your dream, their experience says: “You are not crazy for wanting this, even if no-one else around you understands, or even believe you can do it.”
A role-model shows you the way
In the end you have to find your own version of your dream. But isn’t it nice to have inspirations and examples of way to get there?
Will you be my role-model?
You might not be a teacher, or consider yourself as a leader, but you have walked a few paths in your life.
You’ve learned things, from “just” living your life. And if nothing comes to mind right now, I have a question: Could that be because you’ve learned those lessons so well that you don’t even remember you were struggling in the first place. It has become “duh”, just something you do.
But there was a “first time” you heard / read / realized it, and at that moment, it like was a giant light-bulb; A bit like me when I saw the story of this family.
So now it might sound so obvious for you that you forgot that some people might still need to hear it.
What are you the sensei for, and who are you the sensei to?
Everyday, you are inspiring people. If you’ve got kids, that is pretty obvious. Beyond this, you are inspiring your family, your friends, your neighbors, people you meet in the street, etc. You are inspiring everyone you meet… Want it or not.
So what path have you walked, that you can and want to help people navigate?
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