Through history mentors have been a priceless resource offering apprenticeships in an array of areas like education, art, philosophy, religion, politics, and craftsman. The expert training the young and inexperienced person aspiring to become a master.
Mentors take the camaraderie of like-minded people to the next level having lived the life we want to live and providing clarity from first-hand experience. We hear their stories, in vivid detail, of struggle and confusion, miscalculations, misunderstandings, and poor judgment. We hear their outcomes from well-thought-out plans, poorly devised plans, and acts of sheer spontaneity.
Early on I dove into books because the internet wasn’t the limitless resource it is today but it’s nothing like the one-to-one tutelage from an experienced individual. Mentors are invested in our growth and seeing us succeed. They help us understand the growth process by bringing the one-dimensional words of biographies into High-Def by applying their knowledge to our daily challenges and offering tips and suggestions. When feeling confused and uncertain, they help us reorient, trust our intuition, and most importantly give ourselves love and grace as we learn and grow.
Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.”John C Crosby
Where do we find a mentor? The same way we find like-minded people. Explore areas you find stimulating and rewarding. Groups are a gathering place of people wanting to share similar passions and interests. So, try to find a book club, a church, take a class or seminar, join a support group (available for almost anything), a professional networking group, or find a hobby club. Don’t forget the online value offered in blogs, workshops, forums, YouTube channels, Ted Talks, podcasts and the countless supply of well-being apps. These help to keep us engaged and focused.
When in a group setting, pay attention to the values and beliefs behind someone’s opinions. How do they react to challenges, both interpersonal and intrapersonal? What are their goals? During conversations, let your guard down and be sincere and lighthearted sharing your thoughts about the group’s topic. Ask them questions like what’s their favorite book that made a positive impact on their development, or what their biggest challenge with “xyz” was, or what currently interests them and why. Eventually you’ll gravitate towards someone. Make an effort to get to know them. You’re laying the groundwork for a friendship and a possible mentorship. At the very least, you’re finding like-minded people who will support and encourage your personal or professional pursuit and that’s encouraging!
To be honest, I believe finding a mentor is more of a serendipitous occurrence. It’s a relationship about chemistry and connection so it can’t be forced. Be patient. The right mentor will reveal themselves to you when the time is right.
What the great mentor is always looking for is a person who is willing to tap his genius, to put it through the refiner’s fire, to do the hard work to develop it. Indeed, mentoring is the medieval art of alchemy-turning plain old human steel into hearts and minds of gold.Oliver DeMille
You can also find a paid mentor like a coach, consultant, or instructor for just about anything. They provide support, keep you accountable, and have strategies for what you’re trying to accomplish so you have less struggle and confusion but trust me, the hard-work and commitment required remains the same.
Through the past three decades I’ve remained dedicated to my growth and while there have been, and currently is, times where I’m without a mentor, I do the only thing I can do and that is stay committed to my personal development. I continue to engage in events or groups that explore my interests, and I pay it forward as a supportive presence or mentor for others. I trust I’ll find a mentor when I truly need them. ❤
Keep it Simple,