The Untold Truth About Mentors, and Why You DONT Need One
I think there is a misconception about what a mentor truly is. A mentor is someone who guides you, someone wise, someone you trust. A mentor can be your confidant, advisor, coach, or even your role model. Many people swear by their mentors and frequently credit them with much of their success.
Yet you do not have to choose just one! The mentor-protégé bond is certainly a special one, but this does not mean you are limited to the knowledge of only a single source. In the early years of my adult life, I was hoping to find just one person to guide me and direct me, but I never did find that person.
Over time, a few things became clear to me:
1. There is no single person who can provide us with every answer. So why abide by one mentor who you know cannot meet every requirement? I discovered that I could learn more, not by following the advice of a single person but by observing a multitude of people.
2. There is no perfect role model. I used to believe there was such a person and that I would simply model myself after him. All I would have to do is watch and do the things he or she did. Unfortunately, I haven't met that person yet.
3. There is no perfect person. Very few people possess all of the qualities that I think define success and happiness: great friends, career, health, family life, finances, social life, leisure, spiritual life, community involvement, etc. Most of the very successful people I've met had one or some of these, but hardly any had all of them. So why compare myself to the perfect person who doesn't exist?
4. I didn't have all of the answers, and I never will. I knew that I was going to make mistakes, but what I discovered was that it was much easier to learn from other people's mistakes than to make all of the mistakes myself.
To me, my mentor had to:
--- Take a personal interest in my development and support me in the avenues I take.
--- Help me strive toward the highest of aspirations, not only in career but in the satisfaction of life.
--- Want to share his knowledge and experiences, in hope that I reach a high level of achievement.
--- Show me the need to fulfill all responsibilities, both at home and away from it.
--- Care about the well-being of himself and his family.
--- Be a great overall example.
Needless to say, I still haven't found that one mentor yet.
Since I couldn't find that one special person to guide me, I needed to create a mentor. Now, how does one go about doing something like that? Well, it's not as hard as it seems. You first have to determine what you want. That is most important, not only because it's part of the mentor process but because it directly concerns what will make you happy in life.
Once you figure out what you want, find the people that have it or know how to get it and make sure they are willing to teach you how to get it. You don't even have to know them personally. As your mentors, they can teach you through a variety of ways: books, audio tapes, lectures, seminars, etc. A mentor then can have millions of protégés.
Here is some additional advice in finding mentors:
1. You can learn from practically anybody. In essence, anybody can be your mentor. Not only can you learn what to do or how to behave, you can also learn to avoid the wrong paths that others have followed.
2. Identify the key people in your life. Mentors can be close family members like parents or siblings, and they can also be public figures. Again, don't believe that you have to have a close relationship with your mentors. Public figures can be key people in your life because they can have a profound effect on how you live it.
3. Find people with specialized knowledge. If certain people have written an insightful book on a particular subject or have inspirational life experiences to share, then they might be possible mentors who can help in motivating you. Plus, if they are famous, they are easy to watch via television or the Internet, and their material is not difficult to find.
4. Try to ask as much as possible. Ask people for advice, ask them how they got where they are, ask them how you can get the same things. Also ask yourself what certain people would say or how they would act in specific situations. The more prepared you are, the less likely you'll make a mistake in the future.
5. Mentors can simply be people who are happy in life! Salary and position don't matter as long as there is contentment and commitment. Mentors can range from athletes and politicians to religious figures and stay-at-home mothers.
I have hundreds of mentors. So how many do you have?
This article is part of an Internet Course titled, "Self Improvement 101: The 62 Essential Truths about Improving Your Life! To get a Free Copy of the course ( $59.00 Value), go directly to http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles101.html
COPYRIGHT (C) 2004 by Self Improvement Online, Inc.
David Riklan is the founder of http://www.SelfGrowth.com, the #1 Rated "Self Improvement" site on the Web. He creates resources, such as his e-book, http://www.selfgrowth.com/products/top101.html, E-Course, & FREE newsletters http://www.selfgrowth.com/products/newsletters.html, to help you achieve success.
Need Help? Look Within First
After eating a turkey and dressing sandwich for breakfast, I am raring to go! For those of you who wrote and asked where the article was last week, I appreciate the fact that you look for it! I apologize for missing it, and to make up for it I have posted on my website a web log and pictures of the barn raising party we had last week. Look for the link on the front page of www.creativemasterminds.com.
Christian Gladiators? Athletics as a Metaphor for the Christian Lifestyle
When Paul first arrived in Corinth in the middle of his second missionary journey, Acts 18:2-3 reports that he joined Aquila and Priscilla in the occupation of making tents. This fits in well with what Paul himself wrote at about that same time. For example, in 1 Thess. 1:9, he says: "Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you." Similarly, in 2 Thess. 3:7-8, Paul states: "We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat any one's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you."
You lost your job. Your partner left you. Your car was re-possessed. You find your life barren like the desert.
Thinking for Success - The Same Method Does Not Work For Everyone
I am always concerned that there are so many books available on the subject of being successful, but unfortunately many of these books are read and then discarded.
It can be challenging to think about going to the next level. Especially when you're completely overwhelmed by the thought of taking the next step. Are you catatonic? "Stuck on still"? Moving nowhere, fast?
Make Motivation Stick
Motivation is the elusive elixir. Not only does it help people do good work, and do it faster, but it also helps them feel good about it while they're doing it. Yet motivation always seems temporary, fleeting. We call a meeting, bring in a motivational speaker, and fire up the team. Yet, we know it won't last.
How to Make the Most of Being Let Go
Being let go; suffering redundancy; experiencing downsizing are all very different ways of saying the same thing. Your employer doesn't want you any more. Suddenly, that place; those people you've been bitching about for years, seems so much more attractive than it did yesterday - and you are going to fight tooth and nail to hang in there. But wait, maybe there's something in you that relishes the chance to move on and do something different.
Forgotten Your New Years Resolutions Already? How To Get Back On Track
How quickly we forget. We are only a few weeks into the New Year, how many of you have forgotten that you even made any New Year resolutions.
Desire + Action = Outcome ? Anxiety & Panic
This is my mathematical strategy I use to achieve everything I want in life. Allow me to explain?
Fear of Failure
The fear of failure is more deadly than failure itself. The fear of failure paints so many imaginary scenarios which petrifies you and renders you immobile. Most folks have buried their dreams because of the fear of failure, which graduates into the fear of stepping out.
The Secret Motivation Strategy That Never Fails
No matter how much you want to make your dreams come true you still need some practical ways to keep yourself motivated over the long term. You need the ability to keep going in the face of setbacks, disappointments and short-term frustrations. i.e. a motivation technique that works.
Your Most Important Opportunity says a top UK Personal Development Coach
For some people this article will turn out to be one of the most important things they've ever read.
When the Universe is aligned, all things are possible. Kismet, Karma, Synchronicity and Serendipity work together in unison to provide for us when we sometimes least expect it. Often it is there, but we are too blind to see. Blinded by stress, our jobs, our finances or our illnesses, we often miss what is right there in front of us.
Motivation and Change: Creating Your Daily Success Program
I get some of my best ideas for my column from my clients.
Are You a Self-Saboteur?
Take this questionnaire to get clear on what you may be doing to undermine your own success and happiness in life. An explanation of your score awaits at the end.
How To Be Motivated To Create The Life Of Your Dreams
When it comes to motivating yourself to be a better person, to do better at work or to create a happier family life you need to understand the importance of taking control of your self-talk. You really need to know how to motivate yourself through thick and thin.
What Comes First the Action or the Feeling?
In other words, it is in the "doing" that we appreciate and learn the meaning of an action or activity, not simply in thinking about it.
As you prepare to take your first steps, could there possibly be something holding you back?
Nothing To Lose
I stormed out of the office and headed for the patio area in front of my office building. It was October 2003, and everybody knew what happened. Ever since our division consolidated in February 2002, there had been more "closed door" conversations than ever, and when they involved me, I usually came out angry. This time I was madder than ever. I was sick of the office politics, sick of the cliques, sick of people sneaking around the rules ? and you can only take all of that being sick so long before you explode. After complaining to my supervisor for the umpteenth time about the state of affairs, we both cracked. I told her I was disappointed at the lack of morals and integrity, and she told me that I needed to just shut up and get professional help for depression if that's what it took to quit complaining. Here is the ironic part: I have a degree in psychology.
Courage Is A Gift
"It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. -Epictetus, the 1st Century Greek Philosopher
|home | site map|