Today I am going to talk about a subject that is near and dear to my heart – the importance of mentorship. The Cambridge dictionary defines mentorship as “the activity of giving a younger or less experienced person help and advice over a period of time, especially at work or school.” I truly believe that mentorship is essential in helping you to get from where you are to where you want to be.
Too often, people see others who have gained a measure of success and think it happened overnight. As a result, they may have desires to do something but they have no idea what it actually takes to accomplish it. They see the end result but they don’t see the struggle. The truth is that for most people, success doesn’t come overnight. It takes lots of hard work, dedication, commitment and sacrifice.
So, if there is something that you want to achieve, find someone who has done what you want to do (a mentor) and learn from them. If you want to run a marathon, talk to others who have successfully done it. If you want to enter a specific career, find people who have successfully done it and let them guide you. Let them tell you what you need to do and more importantly, what not to do. Listen to the mistakes they made and the lessons they learned along the way. This information is invaluable. If you want to become a professional athlete, maybe you will never meet the ones at the top of the sport you are interested in, but you can study them. Learn from their example.
Imagine if all children who need guidance (and even those who don’t) had someone who would pour into them from early. Someone to listen to their hopes and dreams and guide them along the paths they chose. Just think about the impact that would have on our world. Imagine how many young people would make better decisions, which would lead to better outcomes. Just think about the lives that would be improved and the legacy that could create.
If you can imagine such a world, what will you do to make it a reality? Where possible, use your knowledge, skills and abilities to lift as you climb. Even as you seek mentors for yourself, also seek to mentor those who are coming behind you. It is an opportunity to pour into the life of another person. It is an excellent way to give back and to serve others. Not everyone has the same opportunities available to them and some are definitely more privileged than others.
Mentorship is beneficial to both mentor and the mentee. You will build a relationship with someone in a capacity that you may not have otherwise done. This relationship will enrich your life in ways you can’t anticipate. If you can’t find a mentor, you can find a small group of trusted friends and you can mentor each other. Try it, you won’t regret it.