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Many choose role models because they admire an individual in some way. The possibility of being someone's role model is a big responsibility! What will help me remember that someone may be following my example?

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Itís sad but true that if you focus your attention on housework and meal preparation and diapers, raising children does start to look like drudgery pretty quickly. On the other hand, if you see yourself as nothing less than your childís nurturer, role model, teacher, spiritual guide, and mentor, your days take on a very different cast.
When I was coaching, the one thought that I would try to get across to my players was that everything I do each day, everything I say, I must first think what effect it will have on everyone concerned.

Entrťe: WWPPD (What would Peter Pan do?) by Tami Coyne
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It's hard for me to believe, but my daughter, Sophia, is turning five next month. In my very subjective opinion, she's a smart, sweet, and sensitive kid whose major struggle centers around her need to be with me 24/7, and her desire to be independent and brave. My husband and I have tried to help her overcome her fears, but she's strong-willed and won't try anything new until she has determined that it's the right time. For example, until about six months ago, she hated having her hair washed because of her fear of getting water (and shampoo) in her eyes. For about a year, I had to push her booster chair into the bathroom and wash her hair in the sink as if she were in a beauty salon. One day, out of the blue, she announced that she'd wash her hair in the bathtub. I was relieved. I hated mopping up the wet bathroom floor after every salon treatment.

Just as I stopped resisting Sophia's plodding and gradual approach to overcoming her fears, she threw me a curve ball. Within the last few weeks, my little preschooler has transformed herself into a new person. Last summer she was so afraid of the ocean that she wouldn't even dip her toe in the surf until the last ten minutes of our two-week beach vacation. This past weekend, however, we went to the beach and before I could even ask her whether she wanted to go into the water, she ran into a little wave, dragging me by the hand. Not only that, but after her day of sun and sand, she decided to wash her own hair in the shower, not the bathtub, an event I was convinced would never take place.

Water isn't the only area that Sophia has done a complete turn-around. Two months ago, she was devastated that she couldn't get past the second ring on the monkey bars on the playground. This week she actually let me show her a trick and went all the way to the end of the rings by herself. Earlier this year, petrified to perform in front of others, Sophia cried while sitting on my lap through most of an open music class that was designed to show the parents just how much the kids had learned. Last week, she participated in the whole class with a big smile on her face, turning toward me every so often to give me a "thumbs up."

At first I thought all this recent bravery was due to the great year she had in Pre-K and the fact that her birthday was rapidly approaching. But yesterday it dawned on me that there's another, maybe even more important influence that has jumpstarted Sophia's courage: Peter Pan. Ever since she took the video of Peter Pan out of the library, the stage production starring Cathy Rigby, her little life has changed. Watching it 2-3 times per day has driven me stark raving mad, but the impact of the repetition is clear. Peter Pan is a boy played by a woman who is not afraid of anything. S/he is strong, s/he flies, s/he sings, s/he fights Captain Hook, s/he makes friends with Tiger Lily and the Indians, s/he takes care of Wendy and the Lost Boys, s/he is self-sufficient.

There's no doubt that Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Krishna etc. are all great role models for the spiritual life. But they're not as cute and accessible as Cathy Rigby. Toward the end of the movie, when asked who s/he is, Peter Pan says, "I'm youth. I'm joy. I'm freedom." The next time I'm afraid to try something new, I'm going to follow Sophia's example. I'll ask myself, "What Would Peter Pan Do?" and then, without thinking, I'll go ahead and do it.

About the author:

The Spiritual Chicks believe that spirituality is not just for eggheads, the really pious, or the really desperate. In fact, it is a practical approach to everyday life. Each of them came to this conclusion using a different side of their brain. Tami Coyne is an ordained interfaith minister and is a graduate Smith College. She is the author of Your Lifeís Work: A Guide to Creating a Spiritual and Successful Work Life (Berkley, April 1998). In addition to her writing, Tami counsels clients on career and life development. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

Main Course: Most People Aim At Nothing In Life... And Hit It With Amazing Accuracy By Dr. Tony Alessandra
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Harry Truman knew the value of role models. When he was in the White House he reportedly went into the Lincoln bedroom, looked at the late presidentís picture and asked, "What would Lincoln have done if he were in my situation?" The answers to this question gave Truman the insight and direction he was seeking. It worked because Truman felt Lincoln was a man worth emulating. In choosing a role model, several things must be kept in mind:

  1. Keep them off the pedestal. There is no doubt that you will choose people whom you see as being "above" you because of what they have accomplished. Thatís good. What isnít good is to put them on a pedestal, thereby making them larger than life. We are all human. We all have strengths and weaknesses. You must not lose this perspective on people. Putting them on pedestals only further separates you from them.
  2. Isolate their strong points. You need to look at the person you wish to emulate and analyze the precise qualities he or she possesses which you need to acquire. Sit down and write out the characteristics that seem to encourage their success. Use concrete examples of their behaviors that you can adapt to our own situation. For example, if you admire a corporate executive, one of the many traits you might isolate is her policy of "early to bed, early to rise." Write out approximately when she does each and why. You can then do the same and know the reason why youíre doing it.
  3. Remain yourself. Quite often the tendency when admiring someone is to try to become his clone. People who seem to "have it all together" have done all the "work" for you. All you have to do is imitate them. This is a dangerous way to think because you are not working on your own personality.

In the final analysis, you are you. It is impossible to become exactly like someone else. And why should you want to? So remain yourself while you acquire new traits to help you achieve your goals.

Sometimes it is helpful to have a symbol or another personís virtues. This symbol will actually remind you of that person and his or her qualities. It can take the form of a picture, a possession (e.g., your fatherís pocket watch), or some abstract thing such as a rock. It will be useful as long as it makes the association in your mind.

About the author:

Dr. Tony Alessandra has authored 13 books, recorded over 50 audio and video programs, and delivered over 2,000 keynote speeches since 1976. If you would like more information about Dr. Alessandraís books, audio tapesets and video programs, or about Dr. Alessandra as a keynote speaker, call his office at 1-800-222-4383 or visit his Website at

Second Helping: Role Model Profile: Stephen Spielberg
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As a child, Steven Spielberg had a very rich imagination. As he grew older he refused to give up his imagination, even though the "Grown-up world" encouraged him to do so. Like the Peter Pan classic that he retold in his film "Hook," Steven refused to grow up and give up the sacredness of youth and imagination.

When Steven reached adulthood, he continued to live out his passion for storytelling through his many wonderful films. Steven Spielberg has given us a legacy of films and dreams to encourage the dreamer in each of us.

Steven Spielberg has touched the lives of millions of people through his films. Steven is passionate about his work. Over the past 20 years he has given us many great films from Jaws, to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, to E.T., to Jurassic Park, to Men in Black (which he produced).

On the film set, Steven has a reputation for being very cooperative. He is always very well-prepared for his work. He knows exactly what he wants. He is kind, but quietly firm. A very busy person, he always takes time for people and for laughter. Steven does not smoke, drink or use recreational drugs. He is known for being a very private person who does not normally let the press into his life. But he has been most generous with his money in helping people less fortunate. He made the Academy Award-winning movie, Schindler's List to honor a many who saved the lives of over 1000 Jews from the prison camps in World War II.

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It is the mission of to promote the idea that there is within each of us the ability to inspire those around us by living a life that is more outward focused than inward focused. By being selfless, we can do our part to make the world a better place, spreading love and hope through our daily actions. It is not only by what we say but more importantly by the life that we live out that shows what each of us is made of.

Soup to Nuts: From the feedback button
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Carrie C reports the blessing of a new van to haul her 5 kids in. "Safely," she happily adds. "See? Visualizing works!"

Good news for me, my oldest son will be visiting in the Seattle area for a few days - a long awaited opportunity to heal a relationship with him, and a chance to spoil my daughter-in-law and grandsons shamelessly.

SisterSally passed her finals for spring quarter.

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Just Desserts: Also Highly Recommended
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