The importance of mentors
Your associations are one of the most powerful influences that determine whether you will stick to your goals or get forever derailed.
Dr. David McClelland of Harvard University concluded after 25 years of research that the choice of a negative “reference group” was in itself enough to condemn a person to failure and underachievement in life. His discovery indicates that your reference group is more important in determining your success or failure than any other single factor.
“Associations are both subtle and powerful.” —Jim Rohn
Finding a mentor is somewhat similar to getting a mastermind group, where the main difference is that a mentor is more like a coach and a trusted advisor.
Experience takes time
Over time, experience teaches us quite a lot about these potential consequences of our decisions, but it’s never perfect, especially when we’re younger. This is why a mentor is so valuable. A mentor usually don’t have an emotional stake in your choice, so they can usually look at the options for what they are and help you walk through those options. Mentors play a powerful role in helping you make decisions outside of the influence of your emotional responses and they can be invaluable, especially when you can tell that emotion is clouding your judgment.
Guide through life
A mentor can help us walk through the consequences of various choices that face us in life. A professional mentor can help us make good career decisions, for example. A trusted life mentor–perhaps an older relative that you trust, a pastor, or just someone you respect in the community–can do the same thing for your personal decisions.
Now, a mentor is someone you don’t necessarily seek to be your best friend. Mentors are someone you can ask for advice occasionally, and they will respond. You want someone that’s very high level. They’ll give you insider knowledge for strategy and planning.
You are who you associate with
Your associations don’t shove you in a direction; they nudge you ever so slightly over time. Influence is so subtle that it is like being on an inner tube out in the ocean; you feel like you are floating still, until you look up and realize the subtle current has pushed you half a mile down the shore.
Jim Rohn explains:
“You will become the combined average of the five people you hang around the most. You will have the combined attitude, health and income of the five people you hang around the most.”
Invest in Mentorship
Isn’t it interesting that the top performers in the world have the highest-paid coaches and trainers? Which comes first?
I know that getting the top trainers, coaches and mentors comes before achieving breakthrough performance. Having people who push you to excel is critical, regardless of how successful you are. That’s why those at the top still invest heavily in their trainers and coaches. You can never pay too much for someone’s well-earned experience and guidance. They give you the advantage of the shortcuts they’ve discovered. Their road map identifies the landmines so you can avoid them. Their hard-earned wisdom can help you accelerate your growth.
You’re never too good for a mentor or coach.
Here are a few pieces of advice on finding a mentor:
How Do I find a potential mentor?
A. There are so many ways to find a mentor.
“It’s so easy these days with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to reach out to people.
My first mentor I found by emailing, and asking to sit down for a chat.
Keep your eyes open for potential mentors in everything you do. It’s easier than you think when you are specifically looking and asking often.You must show your commitment or strength or it will never happen. That means being committed to listening to them when they do respond.
Take action on what they say. No one wants their great advice to fall on deaf ears.
We offer solutions
List ten people you admire that have done exactly what you want to do and might seem a little bit out of reach.
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Thank you for reading and listening! You are awesome! 🙂
Peter is Podcaster, CrossFit Coach, Security Professional and productivity expert. He is the founder of FLAWD.se and the author of Security Encyclopedia: SakerhetsBibeln.se. Peter blogs about health, technology and productivity. Peter is on a mission to help you to Focus, implement success disciplines and to Win in life!