Saturday, June 27, 2015

Role Modeling: The Power of the Mirror Principle

Think of parenting.  Think of apprenticeships in the trades.  Think of training to be a professional in medicine.  All are developmental processes, and all facilitate development through a combination of teaching and role modeling.  Development occurs through learning, but learning is internalized through role modeling.  This is the flaw of many "education" efforts in trading.  They attempt to facilitate the development of the trader by teaching.  That creates an informed person, but it doesn't create a successful trader.  The latter requires role modeling--an internalization of what has been taught.

A model in mathematics or physics is an approximation of the reality we're trying to understand and predict.  A scientific theory, at the end of the day, is a model of reality.  A role model is our theory of the reality we hope to achieve; it is a model of our desired reality.  In studying a role model, immersing ourselves in the model, and imitating the model, we make that desired reality part of our reality.

The mirror principle suggests that we internalize our life experience.  Who we spend time with, where we spend our time, and how we spend our time all become parts of our internal worlds.  We see ourselves in life's mirrors, and our day to day activities comprise our mirrors.  Look at what you're doing in your life; look at who you're spending time with:  that's what will be inside your head, and that's what will drive your heart.

When we seek role models, we seek to replace ordinary life mirrors with positive, inspiring ones.  If you're not focused on heroes and heroines, you will not experience yourself as heroic.  If your mirrors don't reflect greatness, you will not experience yourself greatly.  There is no superlative achievement in the absence of extraordinary mirrors.  

Who are the role models that bring out the heroic in you?  For whom are you a role model?  If you understand the mirror principle, you will recognize that serving as a role model for others is the best way of consistently accessing the best within you.

Further Reading:  Living In Tomorrow By Fighting For It Today