Get a Mentor, Be a Mentor


You can never in one lifetime learn everything that you need to learn by yourself. You can never live all the experiences, make all the mistakes, know all the answers or ask all the relevant questions.

You do however need as much wisdom and practical experience that you can get your hands on, in order to make good decisions. You need to learn from other people. From their lives, lessons, successes and also from their mistakes. But in selecting these other people, you need to be careful. You can learn something from every single person you meet, but do you really want to? You can read any book that you can get your hands on, but is that wise? As Jim Rohn said “You can also find a crust of bread in a garbage can, if you search long enough, but there is a better way.”

My advice would be to identify at least one, but preferably more people (that you truly look up to), to have as mentors in your life. As them whether they would mind providing mentorship to you on a continuous basis and if needs be,  PAY them! You need to understand that these people will typically be quite busy people with full diaries, so respect and value their time and use it as productively as possible.

Attempt to meet with your mentor on a frequent basis. Shedule a recurring meeting into your diary with your mentor. Buy them an early morning breakfast, take them golfing, drive them to a meeting…whatever it takes to spend productive time with them. Invest time (and if required, money)…but make this one of your priorities in your planning.

Plan in advance what you want to discuss with them. If you had received advice from them at a previous meeting, give them feedback on how this affected your life and performance.

Listen – more than talk. It is important to realise that the purpose of the time you spend with your mentor, is to learn from them. You can not learn, when you’re yammering on about your own philosophies.

Be open to criticism and be teacheable. Sometimes hearing the honest truth, can be brutal and hard to hear. If you have however chosen the right mentor and if they truly have your best interest at heart, listen carefully at what is said and whether it is holding you back or not. If it is, decide how you can make changes to alter your existing behaviour or thinking.

Ask many questions. Anthony Robbins says that quality questions create a quality life. If you improve the quality of the questions you ask and direct these questions at people who are able and qualified to answer them, the quality of your life will also improve.

Become accountable to your mentor. This speaks to being disciplined. Being accountable on a regular basis to a mentor, will help you work at your goals daily and this will greatly assist you in moving steadily towards your desired objectives.

Express gratitude for your mentor’s time. Say thank you! Always ensure that your mentor feels appreciated and that they are positively contributing to your life. 

 You can of course not only receive and not give. Look at the Dead Sea to see what happens when nothing is given back…death! No even though you might not literally die, not giving what you’re receiving will in the long run have a negative impact in your life. To live with a scarcity mentality and to keep information, skills, knowledge and wisdom to yourself, will end up making you a smaller, instead of a bigger person.

By giving some of your own time to teach and mentor someone else, contributes to making a positive change in this world. Also by sharing and teaching what you know, you revisit the thinking for yourself and thereby the validity of what you are teaching. This keeps it vibrant and relevant in your life.

Get a mentor and be a mentor…why don’t you start today…right now?

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~ by Danie van den Berg on 28/01/2010.

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