Success is more than just a word; it’s the result of a process. And it’s easier to devise a plan for your course of action by anticipating the pitfalls and bumps along the way. But if you have to prepare for every challenge as it comes, you’d take a lot longer than you would if you had already been ready. Therefore, it is crucial to understand that you can always continue to learn and improve.
Once you come to this realization, it becomes much easier for you to focus on not only achieving your potential but pushing the limits on what you believed to be possible. Consider how far a dwarf can see compared to a giant. And consider how far a dwarf can see when they’re standing on the shoulders of a giant. The ultimate lesson in humility is to consider yourself a dwarf but to aim to see farther than the giant by standing on their shoulders.
Would the world remember Plato as they do if he hadn’t been a student of Socrates? And would the world remember Aristotle as they do if he hadn’t learned from Plato? And would the world have known Alexander as “the great” if Aristotle hadn’t mentored him? Perhaps these remarkable individuals would have accomplished many great things. Still, the world’s history could have been different if any of them had believed they didn’t need a mentor on their journey to greatness.
Why Do You Need a Mentor?
Having a mentor to learn from can change the course of your life significantly. You don’t need to learn a hundred lessons by making a hundred mistakes when you can learn these lessons from somebody who has made the mistakes already. In doing so, you will save yourself critical resources. It does not guarantee that you will not make mistakes, but it does mean that you will make different mistakes and learn new lessons that you can then share with those that come after you.
You already stand at a point where many have come before you, and it would be unwise if you were to repeat their mistakes. You are not saving time by skipping learning and getting right into the action, hoping to learn along the way; you’re only setting yourself up for failure and spending more time than you would have otherwise as a result. While you shouldn’t expect the journey towards success to be short and certainly avoid shortcuts that may help you save time for a while but stunt your development in the long run, you shouldn’t set yourself up for exhaustion either.
Who is a Mentor?
Once you realize the importance of having a mentor, know that it is equally important, if not more, to find somebody who is an experienced mentor. This can be tricky, especially when so many people make a living by selling promises and dreams. Self-proclaimed mentors and fake gurus have contributed to so many people deciding not to go through the trouble of finding a mentor at all since it can be a hassle in and of itself.
Beware of Scams
Many keen learners eventually end up becoming self-taught by learning from their failures or after getting disappointed by the fake gurus who are arguably more common than mentors. Those who understand why it is necessary also know that a good mentor is invaluable. You can’t find them as quickly as you can come across fake gurus on the internet.
When there is a will, there will be ways. So if you want to improve in a particular field of interest, you will naturally make essential connections that will open new doors of opportunities for you. You will recognize and appreciate people who have something to teach you. Perhaps it sounds more appealing to get to a single source of knowledge catered to your specific needs; many mentorship advertisements rely on this appeal to attract customers. But such advertisements’ vulturous exploitation of insecurities and vulnerabilities can send genuine learners into spirals of disappointment.
How To Find the Best Mentors?
The best entrepreneurs not only have the interest to learn but also dedication. And they equip themselves with the knowledge that allows them to get to the avenues of information that they know to be vital for their growth. You may come across the best mentors in your field by conveying that mentoring you will also benefit them and the community.
Remember that selfishness is a trait that holds people back no matter what they’re doing because people do not want to engage with or facilitate those they do not see as beneficial to others. The essence of mentorship is to give back. A mentor gives back to the community by sharing essential lessons. A mentee gives back by improving these ideas by either refining them or making them more accessible, in due course, making their mentor proud.
Being kind, supportive, and willing to contribute to the community can help you more than it will possibly help others. So when you find a mentor you resonate with, it can go a long way if you can convince them of your potential to encourage them to invest their time and effort in you. Ultimately, you can go even further if you develop the skills and knowledge to help those who will come after you.