What is a mentor and why are mentors important? One of the most profound exchanges that can take place between two people is the relationship between the student and the mentor. The relationship is not one that’s taken on lightly. And with all of the modern day chaos that can be experienced, it can seem like taking the time to mentor or be mentored is low on the priority list. But time must be taken for it. This is both a growing experience for the student and helps the mentor realize the true value of what they’ve learned over the course of their lifetime.
What Is A Mentor And How Does Transformation Happen?
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For the student, the mentor is a figure of incredible developmental prominence. A transformation happens that brings the pupil from unconsciously plodding on down the road of life with little awareness. Once the mentor is found, another path is illuminated. This is the path that shows the student the boundless potential they possess. It’s also latent expertise the student never knew they had. And with the right tools and focus of effort, this transformation happens.
Transformation is never an easy process. And on the path to finding a mentor there may sometimes be an inevitable messiness. The important thing is to not give up. The right mentor is out there. Patience and discernment, while following instincts is paramount in this process. Then ultimately, the answer to the question: “what is a mentor” is found.
Once you understand the many ways mentorship can enrich your life, you’ll be hard pressed (after you’ve found a good fit) to make any kind of argument against your decision to go out and find one in the first place. So just keep in mind the ’empowered you’ that will emerge once you’ve taken in the expertise that’s been offered and apply it to your life diligently.
It’s very easy to feel isolated in this world of instant gratification and constant stimulation. While this might be good for convenience and a greater sense of independence (in terms of having your physical needs met) it can come at a significant cost to your mental/social health. Having a consistent mentor for what it is you’re trying to do with your life can help you. Remember that the “you” with no guidance will never truly achieve your potential. The addition of this all important person in your life will help you realize how much more you can do when you have someone in your corner professionally, personally, and spiritually.
It’s already so difficult finding the motivation to improve your life. Yet when you find a person who has not only found this motivation, but has also applied it effectively, inspiration is found. This is a person that’s created something lasting: a lifestyle, a set of principles, and a mode of moving through the curveballs life sometimes throws.
We all walk around with sets of beliefs and ways of living. Some may be useful and positive, but others are potentially destructive and need to be examined.
If we are to become the fully actualized, best version of ourselves, finding trust between you and your mentor is key. Only then will you be present in the moments when your mentor objectively evaluates what he/she sees in your patterns. This honesty gives you the secret to how you can potentially change these negative behaviors.
A good mentor sees the direction you’re heading in your life intuitively. This person cannot ‘give you anything’ per se. They also cannot ‘make’ you grow. The growth happens on your own. What they can do, is set up the opportunity for you to have a series of experiences where you grow, change, and transform on your own.
Under their careful guidance, this growth will come from both from their wisdom and also your willingness to embrace the process. That part is up to you.
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Because mentorship is a two-way street, there is no half-way method of going about the process. When you choose your mentor, it is because you see something in them that could help you in a profound way. That feeling must be mutual. This person must also see in you the potential to carry on the knowledge that they’ve spent so many years building and trust that you won’t waste it in trivial or frivolous ways.
With this mutual respect and trust comes the desire to see you move forward. Opportunities must be utilized effectively, and they can be if you’ve chosen your mentor well.
There’s also a chance that they can introduce you to others in their sphere that will help you practice becoming who you are working toward being in ways that they cannot. This is a tough tightrope to walk, because all too often people tend to ‘use’ mentors to climb without embodying the lessons they teach. Do not do this.
When you’re fully empowered. You are able to practice who you want to be with more efficiency. This comes from the confidence and assuredness of purpose that a mentor can provide. How then to maximize this efficiency? Continue to practice what you learn from your mentor on your own.
Remembering that your mentor is just another person like you is key here. This is because it gives the power to utilize the principles they are teaching and not worship the “person” that they are.
Giving too much power to the person sets up an unhealthy dynamic that could potentially overly enlarge the mentor’s ego. If this happens, and if they allow this to happen, then it may be time to evaluate why they are seeking the mentorship role in the first place. It may be because they like feeling valued or relied upon more than the actual teaching and giving part of mentorship. If this is the case (and you pick up on it) run away from this person as fast as you can.
This process is ongoing and its ultimate actualization may occur many years or even decades after you cease regularly working with your mentor. But a good mentor will inspire you to at least engage with the notion (or imagined experience) of one day passing on what it is you’ve learned from them to a worthy student of your own. It’s true, becoming a mentor is not for everyone. But if you feel called, a good mentor will give you tools to do this as well.
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Where you find your mentor largely depends on the area of your life that you’re looking to improve. This could also be the aspect of a given practice that you want to deepen. More specifically, you must decide if you’re looking for a spiritual mentor, a professional mentor, a mentor who helps you with your personal relationships, or even a mentor that relates to your physical fitness (like a personal trainer).
Some of these areas can be merged. A mentor that deepens your Yoga practice could be doubling in the areas of spirituality and physical fitness (since this practice has benefits for both). Or perhaps you’re choosing a life coach in the areas of business and personal habits. There are also specific mentors who can help you maximize your earning potential by helping to change your behavior. For instance, a person from the Tony Robbins team might be useful here.
This, of course, is an example of the kind of mentorship program that you invest in with an allocation of your financial reserves. It’s important that you look at this not as an expense, but as an investment in your future. It’s one of the best possible ways that you can spend money. However, not all mentors have to be paid for either. In some cases, it’s actually preferable that no money be exchanged depending on the kind of mentorship taking place. But this choice is ultimately yours.
So, what is a mentor and are you ready for one? Some would argue that there’s no time like the present to improve yourself. But also remember that it takes work. You must be ready to commit. It would be far more beneficial to engage with a mentor under the right circumstances and with proper preparation. This way your journey is less likely to be interrupted by all the distractions that life can throw your way. But once you are ready to bring yourself fully to improving your life, finding the right mentor is an important asset that will lay the foundation for a brighter future.