In 1987, I drew up a business plan for “Dan L. Hays, Multi-Talented Person.” I did this because I’d taken some career tests which indicated I worked best with a goal structure, and when I had a plan in place for where I wanted to go. I was developing my skills in writing and public speaking. The mission statement for this plan was “to fully steward my God given talents in a God directed yet goal oriented manner.”
I thought it was appropriate to include role models – persons with qualities I wanted to develop as I went through life. Below is the role model portion of my business plan.
I have decided to take on several role models, because of attributes of each that I admire and wish to emulate within this plan.
Theodore Roosevelt, in his life, paralleled mine in many ways. He was a sickly child, doted upon by a largely female family system, after the death of a domineering father. Teddy was devoted to the memory of his father, yet felt his father had failed at a crucial test, and was mindful of it. I have a similar awareness.
Teddy was aggressive in learning and growing. He believed in a life of vigorous physical exercise, such as boxing and walking, both of which I have engaged in. He was enamored of the cowboy life style and moral code, which encompassed cheerful perseverance in the face of obstacles, moral integrity, honesty and a dislike for hypocrisy. He was an avid reader and student. He believed in confronting and challenging his fears in order to overcome them. Most importantly, he perceived himself to be a success. Also, he, like I, had a strong pull to and need for solitude, to balance his involvement with people.
Teddy liked to accept challenges, be well informed and have opinions. He had much determination and perseverance. He was a man well acquainted with grief, and had learned from it. I hope to emulate these successful patterns of Teddy Roosevelt.
C. S. Lewis was a scholarly man of quiet and modest habits. He disliked some of the pretentious trappings of modern theology. He was a philosopher and theological commentator. He liked solitude and long periods of quiet contemplation. He lectured publicly, but maintained a sense of privacy about his personal matters. Lewis had a strong system of personal and literary support.
An aspect I most wish to emulate about Lewis was his wonderful and free imagination, which he let loose full force in The Chronicles of Narnia, an ingenious and brilliant creative effort.
I also wish to emulate his theological commentaries, with their sometimes nonconventional philosophical slants. Lewis also managed to avoid the pitfall of the excesses common to creative souls.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was a technical craftsman of unparalleled excellence. He crafted and shaped his narratives, editing and revising very diligently. His works dealt with major themes, but also had a psychological slant from which they could be interpreted.
Hawthorne believed in being aware of and dealing with the dark side of human nature. He felt not to address it would be naive, because he had concluded that the viewpoint which most fully explained human nature was to acknowledge original sin.
In developing his craft, Hawthorne lived out a long apprenticeship of learning his trade. He was supported by a wife who devoted her life to encouraging his work. He, like Lewis, had a strong literary support system. He, too, avoided the pitfall of the excesses of creative souls. He had two sisters devoted to him and to his work, and a strong and healthy family system. Hawthorne was a very shy and retiring individual, and he also sought much solitude.
Chuck Yeager. He was a brilliant and dedicated accomplisher. He had an unflinching self confidence, was aggressive in challenging new areas. He was very competitive and had an excellent sense of humor. He knew what he wanted and went after it. He was a finisher – completing what he started. He was very dependable, and possessed high integrity. As a pilot, he was very intuitive and instinctive, yet also believed in the importance of doing his homework and studying the parameters of the craft he was flying. He was an avid learner, and eager to acquire practical knowledge. He was very straightforward, and spoke his mind plainly. He had a dogged perseverance. He was a poor boy who grew up in hard times, cared little for fame and wealth, and shunned superficiality.
Yeager was extraordinarily calm under pressure – he maintained an even strain, yet he knew the line between aggressiveness and recklessness. He felt his fear and was aware of it, but not controlled by it. He had an exceptional ability to focus, to concentrate on the task at hand. He withstood jealous and envious opposition to his success.
To balance my serious nature, I also choose to have a humorous model, yet I am undecided at present who to choose. Mark Twain comes to mind, but is unsuitable. He was not a God oriented man, and there is a bitterness and biting sarcasm to much of his humor that is unpleasant to me. James Herriott is also appealing, because of his technique of humor through exaggeration, but is unsatisfying in ways. Therefore I will continue to search for a humorous model.
Looking back, I think I have honored those role models and kept them in mind on both my healing journey and during the development of my creative talents. I’m satisfied with how this part of my plan worked out.
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