Modeling is one of the most useful ideas in personal growth. Finding someone who is already achieving the results you desire in a certain field, learning what they did to achieve those achievements, and then essentially repeating it are all examples of modeling. It’s similar to making a meal from scratch by following a recipe.


For instance, I once met a man who, over the course of two years, increased his income from $40K to $400K. He explained how he accomplished it after I asked him how. He advocated doing more of the things that have historically brought you financial success and less of the things that have historically cost you financial success. But despite how absurdly straightforward this concept may seem, I found that it actually worked effectively when I tried to put it into practice. In just over a year, I was able to double my income. For instance, I found that selling items made me money, but producing products made me absolutely nothing.


However, I’ve discovered that the opposite idea also works rather well: If you find someone who isn’t obtaining the outcomes you desire in a specific area, don’t follow their instruction. Of course, this is an oversimplification, but I find that it’s generally rather accurate.


Why would someone purchase a diet book featuring an image of an obese physician? Wouldn’t that be similar to enrolling in a martial arts class led by a white belt?

I read that the popular diet’s creator, Dr. Atkins, had an autopsy done, and the results showed that he was fat and had plaque-clogged arteries. And Dr. Phil, well, he doesn’t seem particularly fit to me either, but he makes an effort to give his diet credibility by highlighting folks who are incredibly overweight and are placed enormous pressure to lose weight (virtually anyone can lose weight with the leverage of national TV behind them).

Other fitness publications, including Body for Life by Bill Philips and Body Rx by Dr. Scott Connelly, are at least authored by persons who seem to be in good physical shape. I particularly enjoyed reading Connelly’s comment that he would challenge all the other diet doctors to join him in a bathing suit. I wonder why not.


Of course, health cannot be judged solely by outward appearances; Brian Maxwell, the founder of Power Bar and a former elite marathoner, passed away from a heart attack earlier this year at the age of 51. So perhaps you don’t want to emulate him either.


Although it would appear that anyone might theoretically offer helpful advise on any topic, the reality is that many of the time, advice that seems good simply doesn’t work out in practice.
Because of this, modeling can help you save a ton of time. The individual who is now achieving the outcomes you desire has probably already tried and abandoned a number of ineffective tactics. And it’s clear that they’ve discovered at least one tactic that, at least for them, does work.


On the other side, take care to avoid being stuck in a situation where you are always looking for guidance from people who aren’t giving you the outcomes you want. As an illustration, I frequently observe single people who want to get married asking other single people for tips on how to find a partner. These people also receive a lot of well-intentioned counsel that will not help them.
The greatest people to ask about getting married if you’re single and want to get married are those who are already married. Duh!
Additionally, their advise will probably be significantly different from that of eternal singles.


It’s incredible how few people take the effort to put this relatively straightforward idea into practice. Are there any current areas of your life where you would like to start seeing improved results?

Can you locate one individual who has previously achieved such goals and spend some time getting the specifics from them? Or perhaps track down a book authored by a writer who has attained such outcomes? Then, you stand a decent possibility of achieving those outcomes for yourself by simply acting in the same manner (nearly mindlessly and blindly).
It’s not simply for models to model.

Thoughts of Pavlina