Finding an ideal mentor can be around the corner. Often they seem bigger than life and unreal in many ways. Unlike Snoopy, Leprechauns, the Easter Bunny, or Santa, mentors are not whimsical. Mentors are usually real people or those who have died. They have had a successful track record. They set an example for us and taught us moral and excellent principles to live by. They were natural teachers for us and gave us inspiration. Mentors give us shortcuts and a proven way to exceed beyond limits.
In business we are always looking for the next opportunity, the next connection, and chances to connect with active and engaged people. Do you have a mentor? Where have you looked for one? Do you scour the neighborhood or look for online for connections? Do you literally go from one activity to another? Do you meet people for lunch? Is there a business you’d like to mimic?
I have found that a mentor can come in any size or age. There have been many for me along life’s journey. I was lucky to have a great professor who mentored me into the teaching profession. She was confident, knowledgeable, and loved keeping children safe and spirited. Her openness to teach, exemplify, and share stories still resonate. She even had a television presence and taught us presentation skills that helped her.
I was fortunate to have a great Spiritual Director when my children were teenagers. She had studied the material I was learning. She had raised her family and been a student at the same time. She was non judgmental and supportive. Her values and sense of humor was one that I needed. She died several years ago. I was blessed to have her in my life as a mentor.
Two women with large families set examples and helped me through the adventure of raising children. I needed these people, because my own mother had died when my children were babies. Both were available and I didn’t even realize their impact until years later. They taught me the concept of being flexible and how to flow with changes.
As I journeyed through my teaching and counseling career, I found the best mentors were actually children, teenagers, and people willing to work through difficult moments. Their attitude and gratitude to improve helped me to learn. In some cases, they taught me to play again. Their ability to adapt to technology with ease and fearlessness has encouraged me to podcast and learn software programs. Children attempt lots of sports, games, and try things without reservation. Their openness to trusting others and enjoying life is contagious. Adults who have failed develop a resilience that is more than admirable.
Take the first step forward and begin looking to people around you. Perhaps there are several men or women in your past that led you to this point in time. Put yourself on the escalator of success in helping others.