We all have someone who we look up to for inspiration, admire and hope to emulate. Our aspirations are usually molded by our experiences and how those role models reflect on our collective experiences. I have come to believe that success is not in seeking no-challenges but it is in our ability to be able to stay motivated constantly even during challenges.
The best way I stay motivated is by reflecting back on the people I admire and their own experiences. Through this I take inspiration from them indirectly. This enables me to push myself forward.
Here are a few of my role models... and a bit of backstory on why I consider them my role models.
My favorite Business Leader
Indra Nooyi (née Krishnamurthy), a girl born on 28 Oct 1955 in India, went on to become one of the most powerful and influential persons in the world. Indra Nooyi is an Indian American business executive and former chief executive officer (CEO) of PepsiCo.
She is my favorite business leader because she exudes confidence and passion through her work. It is a known fact that most women have to struggle very hard to reach executive positions in corporate sector especially for her generation. She made running PepsiCo, one of the largest firms in the world, look so effortless.
Her leadership qualities are what I admire about her. Indra Nooyi has deservingly been recognized for her leadership, change and management acumen and played key role beyond PepsiCo in the arena of Government Policy, Development Program and Advisory roles.
Girls like me who wish to build something for themselves on their own need women like Indra Nooyi to motivate them. I consider her an ideal business leader because her work encourages me to build something on my own too.
Pic Courtsey: Indra Nooyi on Twitter
My favorite thought leader
My favorite thought leader is Vandana Shiva who is an author and an activist committed to environment and gender equality fields. She is an anti-globalization activist and also the founder of the Navdanya Research Foundation for Ecology, Science, and Technology in India.
Vandana Shiva is my favorite thought leader because she stands for causes that are very important to me. She is an ecofeminism advocate and fights for the advocacy and liberation of women through the liberation of the environment.
She sticks to her strong beliefs against globalization and capitalist patriarchy. This is one of the reasons why she is my favorite thought leader. She backs all her arguments with proof and evidence. This makes her a powerful woman with strong beliefs.
Vandana Shiva has taught me that I need to stand up for what I believe in. One action that moved me the most was the part she played in the Chipko Movement in the 1970s. She was one of the first women to participate in this movement and boldly stood up for what she believed.
Vandana Shiva is my thought leader because of her adamant methods of bringing about a change in society. She has a philosophical approach too which makes her the ideal thought leader for me.
My favourite teacher(s) & why?
I have come across a large number of the teachers throughout school and in college. However, one of my favorite teachers remains to be my coach and instructor at a summer camp. Mr. Sharma was an instructor who I met in a girl guide camping trip in 8th grade.
He came across as a happy and joyful man who’s only concern was imparting knowledge to his students. My troop was only with him for a few short weeks but what I learned from him has stuck with me. He would teach us about everything from great moral values to postulates in science using unorthodox techniques in the middle of the woods.
One of the most important things I remember him teaching us was compassion. All my other camps included a hunting training segment where all students were taught how to hold hunting rifles and aim true. However, this camping trip eliminated rifle shooting. Mr. Sharma taught us how to help wounded animals instead.
He taught us about wild animal first aid. Wounded or hurt animals receive this special care so that we can save their lives. His method of teaching was full of compassion. He also taught us about the first responders and who we should contact if we come across injured animals during a hike in the woods.
His way of teaching and his ideologies are something I still think about. I only wish he could be my teacher for longer and inspire me more of his wisdom.
Grace and blessing ... My Mother
I believe most of us will agree with the fact that a mother has her children's interest above all else. So much so that though she does sacrifice a lot, she seldom considers them sacrifice... She will devote herself to her children and do whatever she can to make their lives more comfortable. My Mother is the Grace and Blessing in my life.
Like all mothers, she has sacrificed a whole lot just to make my life better. She never expects anything in return and does everything in life keeping me in mind. This level of commitment, love, and selflessness is something I believe only mothers possess.
My mother is a sum of all these beautiful things she has ever done to make me happy. It was only recently when I started learning to appreciate her altruistic acts and she is blessing for me... for life.
My favorite mentor
My favorite mentor is my senior school athletics coach. He was a strict man who scared the best of us. However, his stern, authoritarian persona heavily shaped my personality. I credit this very strictness to have taught me a certain level of discipline in life.
Our athletics coach, Mr. Fernandes taught all his students with great dedication. He expected us to reflect this dedication in our performance and show him results. Our athletics team worked very hard and gave our best during practices and events.
Some students did it out of fear while others toiled hard out of respect for him. We respected our coach because he never slacked. He would put in the hours and work with us and understand us in ways most others would not.
Sports is not just about physical excellence and Mr. Fernandes was aware of that. He motivated us through our competitions with innumerable pep talks and also through his reprimanding us. His words were our holy grail before events and all we wanted was to make him proud.
He taught me how to bring about structure in my life and live life with discipline. His teachings also included self-motivation which I now realize is of prime importance. My experience as an athlete was memorable and it taught me things that textbooks could never have and it was all because of my favorite mentor, Mr. Fernandes.
An influencer I admire the most
An influencer I admire is Jameela Jamil. She is a beautiful young woman who influences people in the world through her art. Jamil is an actress, a model, a writer, and an activist. She is popular for her role in the sitcom, The Good Place.
I believe Jameela Jamil is one of the best influencers in the world because of her confidence. She believes that women are not just pretty faces and have much more to contribute to the world than aesthetic appearances.
GirlUp commemorated her in 2019 for her activism. Her social work in the field of women upliftment and empowerment was duly recognized by the world and is appreciated by many. She is also a strong advocate of body positivity among people. As an actress, Jameela Jamil is aware of how critical and nearly impossible body standards are around the world.
Both men and women face rejection and begin hating themselves because of body shaming activities and unrealistic body standards. She promotes accepting your body in its most natural form and loving every part of you.
I admire this about her and think influencers around the world should use their influence for positive cause like hers. She has an immaculate taste in fashion and is an advocate of equality, empowerment, and such other causes. That is why she is my favorite influencer.
Flying solo as a young man or woman can sound tempting. However, we are bound to run out of motivation at one point or another. This is where our role models come in. They can help us reignite our fire and work hard to reach the goals we set for ourselves.
Our role models are nothing but a mental manifestation of our experiences, outlook, and desires. I wish to reach my goals using the inspiration I get from my mentors and teachers.