The definition of a mentor is someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person.
Being A Mentor
I like how it says “and often younger person”, because it doesn’t have to be. Your experience trumps age every time. So, if your excuse has been that you have been too young to become a mentor, my challenge to you would be to look at your passions and see where you can help others in specific areas of their own lives that you excel in. You can live tons of life and still be young if you pursue life to the fullest. Most people have valuable information within them waiting to be unleashed and their own fears of self-doubt begin to plague them enough to keep quiet. When we second guess our talents and gifts, we begin to give the upper hand to living a mediocre life. This keeps us holding in valuable information and keeps others going down the path most traveled; mediocrity. The thing is that most people are ok with living out this lifestyle. Well, you don’t have to be.
Finding A Mentor
The first realization in the mentoring process is that you don’t have all the answers. There, I said it. Once you realize this, you are ready for a mentor. You can’t do life well while taking it on all alone. You just can’t. I have tried to do this many times before and have learned that this isn’t a possibility if you want to live a life of greatness. When it comes to accountability, you need people in your life who have already been where you are at. You need mentors who have seen what you have seen. You need accountability from trusted mentors that bring motivation and direction along with these relationships. When you allow for these mentors to speak life into you, your life begins to flourish.
You can begin leading better today by opening up your life and being open to mentoring. For the mentoring system to work efficiently, you need to be open and honest, to bring about helpful guidance. Pride needs to be pushed aside and the desire to become better has to be at the forefront. I mean, you wouldn’t be reading this, listening to the podcast or seeking out mentors if you did not wish to become better, right? You need this inside advantage that mentoring gives to help you through life. Again, doing life on your own is single-minded. Why wouldn’t you take the opportunity to have multiple great minds bringing knowledge and experience from the past and the present and putting it to work?
So, where do you begin to actually make this happen in your own life?
Before you get started and know exactly what you need, you should begin with a self assessment. Where are you really at? What do you really need help with? This way, you know how to select the mentors that you need in your life. There isn’t one person who knows everything you need. If you need help with your finances, then select a person who can give wisdom in the area of finances. If you need help spiritually, select a mentor who lives a deep, spiritual life. If you need help with your marriage, be mentored by someone who lives the ideal marriage. If you need help with your business, be consulted by someone who runs their business with sound principles and produces results. Of course this isn’t difficult to figure out, but it is amazing how many people become complacent and don’t put these ideals into place in their own lives. I am a big believer in the fact that people live out their lives showing their fruits. Pay attention to what people live out well and those are the people that you will want speaking into your life.
Now that you have done this, the mentoring process first takes someone who cares about making a difference. And then it requires you to know what you need help with. For me, I will always have a marriage mentor. I refuse to go back to living with complacency in my marriage. I literally would rather fail in any other area, but that area. That is how serious I feel marriage is. It took me almost losing it to realize it, though. Don’t let that happen to you. Put the necessary safeguards in your life today to prevent complacency. Achieve greatness not only in your marriage, but in every other area of life, too. How? Let’s look at where you are.
Rate yourself with a Poor, Good, Better or Best in the following areas:
Marriage – This one relationship dicates more in your life than any other relationship.
Other Relationships – They get you where you want to be.
Career – This is how you extend your influence even further.
Financial – Make more and bless others by giving more away.
Spiritual – Live a life of purpose and use sound principles that work repeatedly.
Physical – Live healthy so you can give more for a longer period of time.
How did this turn out for you? Even if this didn’t turn out exactly how you wanted it to, you now know where you are and we can now move forward. The next step in finding a mentor is to begin asking. That’s it. Most people will be flattered that you are asking them and will probably say, “Yes.” If they don’t because they have a busy schedule, don’t be discouraged. You know more than one person that you would want to speak into your life. Just ask.
A little about my mentoring story. My life needed a mentor and still does. You see, it doesn’t stop at some magical point where you have it all together. Life doesn’t happen that way. Life happens in baby steps. You begin along your journey with curiosity and you see ideas you want to discover and maybe one day will implement in your own life. You see people who have achieved so much and you wonder how they got there, but currently you are stuck in the daily grind. You pick up learning moments along the way in the middle of your busyness, seeing people who you admire and you decide to take some valuable lessons and attributes from them. If you are smart, you will neglect the bad qualities they have and continue to learn from people who have embraced a life of greatness. But until then, you find yourself in moments of discovery.
You like to assess the environment around you, taking things in and growing with every chance you get. Mentors are there for that. They help you grow, show you the way and are there not only to direct you, but to celebrate with you. Don’t you want your own cheering section? Life is best done best with guidance and motivation. Wise counsel helps you sift through the noise and find your “sweet spot”. Mentors help you find your momentum and they help you see potential in your area(s) of greatness. This is the easiest way you will begin finding success in your own life through a mentor. Sometimes you need someone else close to you to recognize your strengths within. Yes there are strength tests that can identify these strengths, and I have personally taken a lot of them, but it is discussion between two or more people that creates direction. Talking things out not only brings clarity, but it reduces stress. Getting it out helps every area of life.
Maybe you are at a point in life where you don’t feel that you need mentoring, but I can guarantee people who have been right where you are before can and will increase your chances of success. This is something to look for in your mentor(s)- a life full of wisdom to impart on your life. You don’t have to do life alone. Even the greatest people we look up to have had mentors. It is one of the reasons they are where they are at today.
You need a mentor.