“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” – Steven Spielberg
If you keep your eyes peeled and have your ear to the ground, you need medical attention and some cosmetic surgery ASAP.
In a less literal sense you can get some great lessons from people you’ve never even spoken to.
There was a time when I used to bother other people about how stuff worked. how and why. Little by little I started noticing that it bothered them. So I started thinking: “OK, questions annoy people and apparently I really should know all this stuff, guess I must be stupid”.
I didn’t lose my curiosity, I just stopped asking and acting on it.This went on until I got to high school and had some teachers who actually rewarded curiosity. By this time however school was of little interest. Hooray for chicks, under-age drinking & music! Or more like awkward conversation followed by touching of the boobs, chunder & music.
It wasn’t until after high school I realized: “Man, I need some help with all this life stuff”. I tried to solicit advice from people I looked up to. Because, you know, parents just don’t understand, man! Some people answered, most didn’t. Around the same time I started to really get into books. They gave me so much information to me, they even referenced their sources so that I could go and check them out for myself.
Then it dawned on me. Whoa… These authors are my mentors, they can’t even refuse to be! The same thing happened with my music. Sure i’d studied my heroes but now I could really see what they’d been teaching me. I also started to understand and appreciate the advice that my parents gave me. Thanks mom & dad, it’s been invaluable!
Why are mentors so important? First of all they’ve made the journey you want to make, so they’ve experienced a lot of the things that you’ll encounter on your way. Secondly there’s probably a quality to them that you admire and/or would like to incorporate into what you do.
With so many tools available today you can basically find out any damn thing you want, you just got to search.I should also say that even though books, documentaries, interviews etc are AMAZING ways to find mentors who can’t refuse to mentor you, try to get atleast one IRL too. Why? Because I say so. More importantly, even though you can learn a lot from other media they aren’t interactive. You can’t ask follow up questions.
Today I have countless mentors, both in the meatspace, cyberspace and in my bookcase. I also enjoy the benefit of being in mentor-mentor relationships with other people. I used to enjoy the mentor-mentee relationship, but I realized along the way that I can learn and teach more effectvely by being an equal.
Quote-ie-pie! Oddly by two different John C.’s!
“The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people.” – John C. Maxwell
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” – John C. Crosby
Here’s a good video to kick you off!