In one of my previous essays I had talked about finding purpose in life. So after deciding what you really want to do, you start looking for great people who have already achieved that goal then those people become your ideals.
Well I believe you should have someone in your mind that you consider has achieved something great to follow their footsteps.
Having an ideal person can sometimes give direction to your life. As you start reading about them you realize that they have faced similar questions which you are currently struggling with and they might have answered those questions for you. Suppose, if that same person becomes your mentor then you have one of the world’s greatest privileges. But if they can’t be, don’t worry, instead you can learn from them by reading books written by or on them. Watch Interviews about them, follow them on social media, try to read every article on them and so on.
More important than having an ideal person to follow is to choose them very carefully. As you will be following their footsteps and chances are you ending up becoming like them. Following a great person can make you do great things but if you end up following a wrong person it can also lead to a disaster.
Who Is A Wrong Ideal?
I can’t answer that for you, as the answer is very subjective, as different people value different things. Someone might value people solely on the basis of their looks and make them as their ideal or someone might do it on the basis of their intelligence or the skill they might have acquired. Well, I am not saying any of the methods are either right or wrong. Instead choose an ideal for a specific thing and follow only the advice they provide related to that.
Here Is An Example
Suppose you admire Steve Jobs for his creativity, creating great products, bringing innovation, etc. But if you would have read more about him you would realize he was not a ‘good’ person.
Things I did not like about Steve Jobs:
- He would steal other people’s ideas and claim it to be his.
- Extremely rude person, as he often interrupted meetings and did not treat people well.
- Created a toxic environment inside Apple Inc. He had made his own team which led to competition within the company.
There are many more things but I think you got the point. So, following Steve Jobs for his personality or behavior could be very dangerous. Even though the world might like Steve Jobs but people who have worked with him would never remember him as a good person.
What I am saying is be aware of what your ideal says and follow only those qualities which might be considered great, for the rest of the qualities grab another ideal!
Here is my list of Ideals for different things:
- Investing: Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch, Vijay Kedia, Mohish Pabrai, Raamdeo Agrawal, Benjamin Graham, Vishal Khandelwal , Sanjay Bakshi, Philip fisher, D.Muthukrishnan.
- Startup related: Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sam Altman, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel
- Behavior: Dale Carnegie
- To avoid distraction: Cal Newport
Do share your list of ideals in the comment box below.
(Thanks to Mojo Handykraftz for reading drafts of this.)