“Every kid needs a mentor. Everybody needs a mentor.” Donovan Bailey
I believe our legacy will be defined by the accomplishments and fearless nature by which our daughters and sons take on the global challenges we face. I also wonder if perhaps the most lasting expression of one’s humility lies in our ability to foster and mentor our children. Naveen Jain
Who was your first mentor? Your fondest memory of a mentor? Our parents are typically our first mentors but, throughout our lives, we do connect with other people who guide us and help us grow. Growing up in a large family, I had several early mentors in the form of my parents, siblings, uncles, aunts and a few favorite teachers. I remember a dear teacher who not only encouraged me to write, but she also read my poetry to the class and it gave me the desire to do more. When I moved to the USA, a shift occurred and not only was I alone, I felt down because I believed that I didn’t have enough mentors. In retrospect, it wasn’t an entirely accurate perspective because mentors come in different forms and we have to be open to receive the grace and guidance they offer. So here are some ways to mentor others:
1. Volunteer at community centers
2. Encourage others in your place of work/field of study
3. Join a Mentoring Group and work with assigned mentees
4. Use your blog/writing/creative work to connect with those in need of help
5. Connect with your school district and offer opportunities for all kids especially graduating HS/College students.
What is the greatest lesson learned from mentoring? Extend a hand to others and keep the chain growing. Keep in mind that it requires sincere not forced reciprocity. If others are not sincerely open to the idea, move forward. Aside from my extended family, I had other mentors. The yoga and spiritual communities I got involved with in the USA served as another mentoring group that helped me to create a sense of family in a new country. There were also dance instructors and a few professors who championed me in college and graduate school; their gentle nudging and support helped me through some rough patches. We can have short term and long-term mentors. What distinguishes them from others is that they show sincere, consistent, and nonjudgmental support. They want us to succeed. We can be the change in the world for others too by our random acts of kindness and our commitment to do work that uplifts others. Who have you mentored?
The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people. John C. Maxwell
What you want in a mentor is someone who truly cares for you and who will look after your interests and not just their own. When you do come across the right person to mentor you, start by showing them that the time they spend with you is worthwhile. Vivek Wadhwa
Have you had a mentor that disappointed you? How can you move forward? It’s very easy to remember the hurts and slights from people who were not true mentors to us but, we don’t have to become bitter because of the actions of a few. The best way to overcome such acts of inconsideration is to be a mentor/helping hand to others. When we think of mentoring, it’s easy to only think of those outside of our immediate surroundings. Don’t forget to lend an ear or encourage those around you to be a mentor to others as well. We can train our kids to develop additional skills by encouraging them at what they do best and helping them find others who might benefit from their knowledge. The same can be said for helping our friends and family find such resources.
1. Volunteer at need centers and offer your skills
2. Participate in events that bring in people searching for new experiences
3. Join a martial arts, exercise, cooking, running or any interest building club and create a Mentoring Group
4. Give time to hospitals, religious/spiritual/tutoring centers that need extra hands for their clients.
5. Mentor your kids and also Connect with others who can mentor you and guide you to people who would benefit from your help
One thing I know for sure is that time spent with people who wish us well and support our struggles and our successes is like a shot of healthy energy and life affirming goodness. Don’t waste your time in the company of negative energy and people who don’t care; they will just suck all your energy, create stories and drama to drag you down. Such company is like feeding pearls to swine. Keep the company of those who can guide you and remind you to give back to the world you wish to change. Go do it!
What are your thoughts? What do you do to mentor others? How about your fellow bloggers not just your buddies? Do you struggle with it? Do share!
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Mentor Me. Have you ever had a mentor? What was the greatest lesson you learned from him or her?
Positive Motivation Tip: Mentor others freely and joyfully and see the magic spread around you.