I decided to call an old friend and find out how he was and what was going on in his life. We talked about our families, work, relationships and current commitments. Somewhere in the middle of our conversation, I said ‘if I were to go back to school now, I would graduate with a first class’. I mean, there are just some things you realize as you mature and as you learn from your experiences; things that would make you do it better a second time around, if given the chance.
With the benefit of hindsight, you can now say what was really important, what factors you could have tweaked to significantly improve your outcome, and so on. I proceeded to mention some things I would have done differently and further analyzed how much of a difference today’s technology would have made if it was available to us back then. He agreed to a great extent but did not fail to point out that if we went back in time and had today’s technology back then, we may still be challenged by our lack of exposure. At this point, I could not help but say ‘I guess that’s why we all need mentors’.
I think the wise thing to do is have a mentor for every aspect of our lives – career, marriage, raising kids, pursuit of purpose, business, spiritual development, financial growth, etc. A mentor for every aspect! I assume there are some people with enough accomplishments and experience to serve as mentors in more than one aspect. That would limit the number of mentors required to cover the key aspects of our lives. It may require some time input but I think the time we would save and the benefits we would gain as a result of making better choices – choices based on wise counsel received from good mentors – would more than make up for this investment.
I believe I can confidently say that everyone needs a mentor; someone who is way ahead on your dream path, who has done what you hope to do or at least something similar with commendable results, and can give you wise counsel or serve as a model to help you accomplish what you want to with better results and without making as many mistakes as you would without their input. We may feel like we’re doing well enough in our different areas of endeavor at the moment but a good mentor could help us do even better.
I have a few mentors – some of which I have never met one on one, but I’ve read their books and listened to their lectures; a few I learn from by observation because they’re close enough; and yet another group I have access to and can walk up to every now and then and ask for direction. I don’t think they know I’m their mentee… and that works just fine for me for now.
How about you? Do you have mentors? And if you have developed the capacity to be a mentor, are you mentoring anyone?
“Stand at the crossroads and look… ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest ….”
‘A good mentor is like a bridge over the turbulent waters of inexperience and lack of foresight’ – Anietie