How to Improve Your Life with One Concept

How to improve your life with one concept? Find a mentor.

Mentorship – you’ve heard of it, perhaps you’ve tried it. To maximize its effect, you need to understand it and get out of your own way.

The Right Mentor’s Goal – to make you better

Authors Note: Much of this post is due to the mentorship I receive, of which I am grateful for. Many people are able to achieve success without mentorship. This post may not be for you. If you want to lead & maximize your potential / minimize weakness on your path to success – this may be for you.

The Origins

In Greek mythology, Mentor is a loyal friend and adviser to Odysseus. When Odysseus leaves to fight in the Trojan War he asks Mentor to raise his son Telemachus. Mentor becomes teacher, coach, counselor, and protector. This forms a relationship of trust and pure intentions.

The story continues in a very mythological manner but the word mentor was adopted in the English language to mean “an experienced and trusted adviser.”

Why it’s so important for growth?

Most people judge themselves on their intentions and others on their actions. A mentor’s role is to say “let’s forget about everybody else’s actions or intentions. Let’s focus on your actions.” A mentor does not intend to be your friend but often times is one. This can be tricky. To be effective as a mentor you need to be honest. Translation – friend or not, the feedback will not always be rainbows and unicorns.

Mentee’s Responsibility

We all have blind spots. Few people are comfortable enough to tell you what they are. You need to give your mentor permission to be honest with you and permission to speak correction in to your life. It is not because they want to correct you but because they want you to be better. If you get defensive about the feedback you’re not ready to accept the truth. If you feel the truth is incorrect, you need to find a new mentor.

The number 1 reason for mentorship – so that you can mentor someone else.

Picture this situation: You see or read something from an individual. The information makes you mentally question your integrity, honesty, morals or the meaning of life. You may not realize it but you’ve just been mentored. This means one thing –  YOU are a mentor.

If you are mentored look for someone else to mentor. You are a mentor 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Act accordingly. You’re powerless to teach if your actions do not correlate to your words. The details will vary based on your industry, team, network but the concept holds true.

10 Tips for being mentored.

  1. Choose a mentor who has what you want.
  2. Choose a mentor who lines up with your principles and beliefs.
  3. Give your mentor permission to tell you the truth.
  4. Check your ego at the door.
  5. Put the time you are mentored into mentoring others.
  6. Be respectful of your mentors time.
  7. Listen, think and then speak.
  8. Apply the advice given to you.
  9. Look for mentors who are strong where you are weak.
  10. Carry yourself as a reflection of your mentors.