If you search for the term Life Mentoring on Google you’ll find over 51 million results. However, there are very few sites or references that actually use the exact phrase Life Mentoring. Why might that be?
The concept of Life Mentoring is easy to understand, namely mentoring or guidance for life’s journey provided by trained, experienced and willing mentors.
So why has the term Life Mentoring not established itself in common usage?
I believe that the term mentoring has become linked with two rather specific situations. Firstly, an aspiring entrepreneur might seek mentoring from an individual whom he admires and respects. Secondly you might be offered mentoring as part of a company scheme. Use of Life Mentoring as a phrase, to describe more general support, is therefore scarce indeed.
On the other hand Life Coaching has become a recognised product that is eagerly sought by people at all stages of life.
I typically use the analogy of climbing a mountain to differentiate between coaching and mentoring. The coach will assist you in deciding which mountain, when to climb and to test your resolve as you set out on your personal adventure. The mentor, on the other hand, will already have climbed your selected “mountain” and will therefore be able to advise you on the best “routes”, the possible hazards and the most appropriate mindsets to ensure success.
So, as you travel life’s journey should you seek out a mentor or mentors?
My answer would be absolutely yes! Life is tough, but most of your intended roads have been travelled many, many times before. As I say to my clients, why should you get the scars that I have, simply to learn those lessons that I can painlessly provide.
Find mentors whom you like, who want to help you and who have the time to support you for an extended period. Enter into a formal Life Mentoring arrangement with your mentor. Clarify expectations, set timescales and mutually commit to the process.
“Respect people who find time for you in their busy schedule. But love people who never look at their schedule when you need them”