If I were to have a model

I grew up in a religious community that shaped my relationship with having a role model. I have never had a movie star I fantasized about, or a celebrity I would die for, because it was idolatry. So, it has always been difficult for me to have a model in the sense of someone we imitate, who we want to look like in everything, etc.

Through the years though, I have met or discovered people that I really liked. And what I do regularly is to choose from certain people, qualities that they personify for me. Today I’m talking about my model n’zassa. The equivalent of N’zassa would be patchwork, an assemblage of small bits of different things that form a harmonious whole. Here is my model in 3 personalities:

  1. Oprah Winfrey: her realistic and swinging side. My favourite quote from her is: “I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky”. Yes, certain opportunities make things possible, but if we are not ready when they arise we will get nothing. I keep from her that you must prepare and work hard on your projects whether you believe in luck or not.
  2. Michèle Obama: She has a natural charisma and an elegance that speaks to me. She’s not just a president’s wife. In a world where the usual narrative is focused on the more influential of the two in a couple, she never had to do too much to impose it. Intelligent, academic and serene.
  3. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: My kind of feminist! She is elegant and factual in her approach. Her TED talks “The Danger of a Single Story” and “We should all be feminists” touched me deeply and I understood why aggressive feminists don’t move me. It’s not the tone that needs to be raised, nor the level of aggressiveness but the quality of the argument if we want to get there.

Empowerment is a process that does not just depend on your finances. Gaining financial independence gives you access to opportunities that you would not otherwise be able to finance, of course. However, your personal qualities, your personality, your convictions and your vision will give you more or less power. Take the time to invest in yourself. Become a more open person and gain experience. We only have 24 hours in a day and an average working life which is roughly known. Drawing inspiration from others allows us to learn from their mistakes, broadens our vision of what is possible and saves us time and errors. The purpose of this section is to introduce you to examples from which you can draw inspiration. We all have different personalities and will be attracted to people who share our values. You will gain a lot from researching these people and learning how they got there.

Thanks for sharing this moment with me. Next week we will talk about investing. In the meantime, take care of yourself and your money. See you next Wednesday

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