Whilst the concept of mentoring has been around forever, the idea of having a range of Life Mentors is new.
In the past we would seek guidance from the elders in our community, but today this practice is far less prevalent. Could this be because we are just expected to know about things, because technology is making wisdom less relevant or because feeling not good enough is the hidden curse of our modern existence?
I believe that we all need help and support along the way. Did you learn to drive without help, did you figure out the computer on your own or did you jump in the pool for the first time without supervision?
Life is full of new challenges. Whether at work, in the home or on the sports field, we can all benefit from others help in bringing out the best in us.
A mentor is someone who has walked the path before. He or she has direct experience of something that now faces you. Starting a family, getting into business or simply coping with life. These are all activities which create inevitable scars. Why should you get your own scars when a mentor can help you avoid the negative experiences that they have already endured.
Mentoring comes down to answering the question: “what would you do if you were me?”. A mentor should never make choices for you but should help you articulate your options by painting a more complete picture of the possible ways ahead.
So to answer the question at the heart of this post, you should speak to an appropriate mentor about all your big choices in life. Why wouldn’t you? Why would you go it alone? Why would you risk making avoidable mistakes?
Find mentors whom you trust, respect and admire. Work with them to clarify your vision and goals (see my recent post on this) and speak to them openly about your doubts, your feelings and your hopes.
Life can be a bitch. Get the help and support you need.