3 Solid Reasons Why You Need A Mentor ~ Welcome to Obinna Onyenali's Blog Welcome to Obinna Onyenali's Blog: 3 Solid Reasons Why You Need A Mentor

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

3 Solid Reasons Why You Need A Mentor

Highlighting the importance of mentorship in business, career, sports, education, etc...
Raw talent is not equal to success. It has to be refined for the end-product to emerge. No matter the possibilities your innate abilities hold, they still need to be tinkered if they must leave the realm of ‘promising’ to fulfillment.

One of the major needs of our time is proper mentoring of young men and women to enable them go ahead and fulfill the dreams they carry. But it’s quite sad to observe that many a youth in this generation are so big-headed that they find it hard to submit themselves under the tutelage of a mentor, who is capable of helping them reach the zenith. Everybody wants to be the boss. 

There is nothing wrong in being the boss, but nature teaches us that you have to first be a student before becoming a master. Imagine what would have become of Lionel Messi and other sports greats if they didn’t have someone to help them hone their skills. Many kids didn’t rise above playing street soccer, not because they were not skillful enough, but lack of proper mentorship botched their aspiring dreams.

I once read the story of Jesse Owens, who rose from abject poverty in Alabama, to become one of the greatest athletes of all times. Some of our parents were not born when he made the headlines, though :) Owen was bred in penury but had in Charles Riley, a mentor and trainer, who helped him unleash his record-breaking talents.

He once approached Coach Riley to ask him what he could do to succeed in his chosen field, and Riley charged him on the import of diligence, focus, dedication and sacrifice in realising one's goals. Imbibing the instructions of his coach, Jesse Owens went on to win four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, and subsequently broke many records in an award-laden career. He owed his success to his mentor, who to him was God-sent. 

In most cases we point at poverty and deprivation as causes of setbacks in life, but the stories of uncountable heroes, who dared their inhibitions, show that no one is so poor that he can't overcome his 'handicap'. I think the thickest form of poverty is the poverty of the mind, where people are not able to see beyond their physical limitations. The best gift you can give to a young person is not money, helping him to discover his true self is the best thing you can do for him.

Let's now look at some of the reasons why you require the services of a mentor:

1. They possess the qualities you need. Mentors are reservoirs of vast array of knowledge in the area you are working towards making great attainments. By reason of so many years of experience, they have garnered valuable information that a humble and willing mind can tap into.

2. You can easily leverage your mentor’s bulk of experience instead of reliving them all over again. Some mistakes should simply be avoided. Show me two persons that started out together in life; one has a mentor, the other doesn’t and I will show you the difference between both at the end of the day. You have two choices, living a life of trial by error or being guided by proven mentoring hands. I would advise you to go with the latter.

3. To correct you when you are about deviating. Incorrigibility of many is their undoing. Since they think they know too much and no one should tell them how to run their lives. I know some accomplished personalities who still tell stories of how they would from time to time go to their mentors for direction on critical issues.

However, I would like to clarify some things: It’s not everybody that you see sounding nice is worth being called a mentor. Better be ‘mentor-less’ than have a wrong one because that could be the highway to a wreck. There are a lot of wolves in sheep clothing out there, whose major concern is to milk you of your resources. Please beware.

Your mentor must be someone who has accomplished what you are dreaming to accomplish or similar. He should also have integrity. I don’t want to know how much a person knows if his character is questionable, he doesn’t fit the description.

Remember, your mentor is not there to give you money, his level of attainment not withstanding. He is there to teach you how to catch fish, not give you the fish. So don’t be disappointed if he’s not shelling out cash to you. Absorbing what you learn from him will in no time make you a ‘fish distributor’. Yes, please mark that sentence.

Everybody has the need for a mentor and I have mine. To see far as a career person, you need someone on whose shoulders you can stand, because it will give you an added advantage in an ever competitive world. Students, who are in their formative years, need mentors most, to guide them on attaining excellence in their studies, career choices and other innumerable things.

‘He that walketh with the wise shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed’ is a word of wisdom that cannot be ignored. Investing your time in appropriate mentoring will have a long lasting effect on your career and life in general.

If you want to experience a change, then you need a change in approach. See you at the top!

Photo credit: Quote Palettes

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