You affect people’s lives because, whether you know it or not, your attitude and actions impact others throughout the day. You are an example of what you believe and how you think. So how do you want to affect those around you? Positively, I hope. If you project kindness and abundance, then you will attract the same.
The proper definition of mentor is a wise and trusted counselor or teacher. I have no argument with this definition. I have several mentor relationships where I coach, constructively critique, encourage, hold accountable, support and cheer on my mentee. But, I think all of us are capable of casually mentoring others even for a moment, without establishing a true mentor/mentee relationship. And the most wonderful product of mentoring is not only the knowledge and attitudes that are passed on, but that the mentor learns from the mentee. The mentor hones their skills, reinforces their skill sets, and builds a better world one mentee at a time.
Mentors are all around us, both living and dead. Certain individuals will impact society for centuries or even millennia to come. Jesus, Ghandi, Buddha, Einstein are examples of mentors. They teach us by their thoughts, actions and legacy. They can become our mentors. If they affect our lives profoundly and we pass on their knowledge, we are not only teachers, but mentors for those that learn from us.
When we are honest with ourselves and reflect on what we know and don’t know, we can seek out mentors to help us learn what we don’t know and help us overcome our weaknesses. We can seek out accountability partners who will keep us on task or at least working towards our goals. You can do this for others.
Mentoring is sometimes viewed as a one way process, the mentor teaches, the student learns. But I think mentoring is more fluid than that. I think we have mini-mentoring opportunities each and every day. If you are a parent, it is your duty to mentor your children. They naturally observe and learn from you every day. Mentoring is serious business, one that can be incorporated into your life and be a source of joy and satisfaction, a fulfillment of your purpose.
So congratulations, now that you know you are and can be a mentor, a shining example, each day, you can affect lives in a positive way and improve yourself in the process. Learn by teaching and teach by learning, it’s a two way street. Use the strengths and lessons that you have learned through your own struggles to help those who may be going through the same thing. You may not even see results right away, maybe not at all, but you never know, that one brush with mentoring today just may change someone’s life forever. Never underestimate the power you have to affect others, and use that power wisely.
Take care, stay well, and be safe.