Friday 15 December 2017

The Power and Purpose of Mentoring

Not Been Here Before
We are all called to complement one another. No individual has it all. There is a place for the eloquent just as much as there is a place for the seeming less eloquent. How much better the world will be if only this mind is in us all. No one is better. No one is greater. We are all who we are and can do with one another in getting to the zenith of our potential. What each need is to have a teachable spirit. How many of us do? Eloquent, passion or zeal will not take the place of knowledge.
"Passion does not compensate for ignorance." (Samuel Chadwick)
Our first mentors in life, whom we don't have a choice in picking, are our parents, guardians, and authority figures over our life. Their importance and the importance of the mentors we later choose, by an act of the will, is undergirded by the words of the Holy Book. There is a promise (a blessing, enablement, a multiplication, an increase, an explosion of raw energy, etc.) attached to it.
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." (Isaac Newton)
None of us has been here before. None of us is here to practice how to live. We are each here to live life as we go along. Hence, the power and benefit of giants (mentors) who had to tread the same, or similar, the path before us. A proverb is my local dialect that says, "a child cannot have so many clothes than he will have more rags than the adult." Those rags were not bought from the market. They were acquired in the grind of everyday life.
"The true tragedy in most people's lives is that they are far better than they imagine themselves to be and, as a result, end up being much less than they might be.” (Earl R. Smith II)
There are more heights we can climb up to if only we would submit (humble) ourselves. If only we will be truly open to learn and hone our gifting, then the sky will be no limit for us. Just how much brighter we will glow if we allow ourselves to be mentored by those who have gone ahead. You don’t buy experience in the market, you know. it does not just fall from the skies. You get it by living it. There is a lot you can learn from those who have lived the life you are seeking. Never take that knowledge – their experience for granted. You don't have to re-invent the wheel. You can start from where they stopped.
“Your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think and ask the right questions so that the world doesn’t go to hell if you take a day off” (Jeffrey Pfeffer)
When it comes to a mentoring relationship, like any other relationship, it takes two to tango. It takes the teacher’s (mentor’s) willingness to seek for and teach, and the disciple’s (mentee’s) humility to submit to be taught and groomed. The mentee (student/disciple), however, does not have to wait for the mentor (teacher) to take the initiative. The mentee can take the initiative. As Paul R. Martin notes,
“Mentoring takes place as we watch, listen, serve, follow, learn, read, glean, emulate.”
The onus is on each of us to find someone who we respect in the area we want our life to progress. Then, begin to understudy them, to find out what makes them tick. (It does not have to be a formal arrangement. You don’t have to let the person know. However, if you are able to, there is more value in a formal mentoring process.) No true success just happens. Success leaves tracks. It leaves clues. It is predictable. It is our responsibility to find the tracks and clues so we can replicate them in our own life. It is our responsibility to allow the predictability of life work for us, not against us.

Will you?

Links to Related Subjects:

More Thoughts on Mentoring:

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” (Oprah Winfrey)

“Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” (John C. Crosby)

“You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself” (Galileo Galilei)

“No man is capable of self-improvement if he sees no other model but himself.” (Conrado I. Generoso)

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own” (Benjamin Disraeli)

“Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.” (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” (Bob Proctor)

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” (Steven Spielberg)

“You cannot transmit wisdom and insight to another person. The seed is already there. A good teacher touches the seed, allowing it to wake up, to sprout, and to grow.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)


  1. An insightful read. Thank you sir for this. Many youths, myself inclusive, have issues in finding the right mentors. People are too busy to guide these days or even listen.

    1. Hello Prosper. Thanks for dropping me a note. Yes, time is very valuable commodity in today's world. Time is money. Money is time. Money is replenishable, time is not. So, both parties have to be innovative. For, mentoring has to be a win-win for both the mentor and the mentee. An example of being innovative might include finding something you can do for free for the mentor. This might free the mentor up in working with you, or thereafter. Think of what you can give. That is the secret to hypnotizing a person. This is for getting a formal mentoring relationship. While, working on a formal mentoring, don't lose the value of informal mentoring opportunities also. Hoping this helps. Feel free to let me know anything I might have left out.



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