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Get Thyself A Mentor

Sue Dyson -- While there are many secrets to success, they are only secrets until you know about them. I'm about to let you in on a little known "secret" shared by many successful people.

Ask any person who has already succeeded in their chosen field, and they could likely provide you with the name of at least one other person who has inspired them in their success. This is the process of mentoring.

Mentoring can occur in whatever field you have chosen for yourself, be it business, healthcare, trades, or even parenting.

You may be wondering what exactly is mentoring? Formal mentoring involves a close personal relationship with someone who has succeeded in your chosen field. A mentor is someone who is doing what you want to do, or, more specifically, being how you want to be.

A quality mentor generously shares their knowledge and resources. They may live by the philosophy of "More for All, Less for None." They consider themselves successful when their mentees (that would be you) succeed.

A mentor agrees to take you under their wing and show you the ropes, so to speak. They share their own resources with you, help you develop your own, teach you to develop critical decision-making skills, and simply provide you with moral support in your journey towards success.

There are formal organizational structures that match up mentors and mentees, particularly in student situations. Sometimes, too, a mentoring relationship develops casually, in work, and parenting situations. This is also just as effective.

You can set up a formal mentoring relationship on your own, if this is what suits you. To do so involves identifying and approaching someone you would like to be your mentor, someone who's qualities and abilities you admire. A formal mentoring relationship is a time/energy commitment. As mentioned previously, though, most successful people have been helped in this manner themselves and acknowledge the benefits of giving in a mentoring situation.

Mentoring is a truly reciprocal situation. As a mentee (again, that would be you!), you may feel you are getting more than you are giving. You really need to just allow the mentor to give. Your job is to gratefully receive all they have to offer. No greater gift could be given to a mentor than for them to see their mentee succeed.

This formal method of mentoring involves sharing your thoughts and ideas with another person, and them sharing theirs with you, guiding you along the way. It isn't always this definite, though. Read on, I have a few suggestions for finding a mentor even if you are painfully shy or socially isolated.

We may not all have the opportunity, or the courage, to approach someone and ask them to mentor us. If you are currently in a socially isolated situation, or -- up 'til now -- have lacked the courage to approach someone, there are alternatives to having a living, breathing, face-to-face mentor in your life. Consider these points:

Choose a person with qualities you admire, who has passed on. Read biographies, study their philosophies. This can be a close family member or friend, or even someone like Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, or Amelia Earhart. (Okay, some of my personal favorites!) Studying successful people you admire can inspire you to success.

Another alternative -- and don't limit yourself to just one -- is to study from afar, someone living and breathing who has those qualities you admire. They don't need know you to mentor you. Their successes and the way they conduct their lives can inspire you to your success.

Consider the way Michael Jordan has conducted his life. At the top of his game of basketball, he wanted to try baseball. That took what I consider great courage.

Whomever you choose, they will demonstrate qualities you admire. This is what I have done with Robert G. Allen and Mark Victor Hansen, authors of The One Minute Millionaire. It was in this book that I first discovered the benefits of mentoring. They inspired me to think outside the box I was in, to take a good look at what I wanted in my life and make plans for achieving my goals. So, though I don't know them personally, their words have affected me personally. I truly appreciate what they have given me.

Hopefully you are now imagining a few ways to find your mentor -- living or not. It could even be a combination. Don't limit yourself! You could have a casual, one-on-one relationship with another within your field whom you consider a mentor, someone who has already been through the trials and tribulations of your professional journey. You may wish to arrange a more formal mentoring relationship in your work situation. Then, you could chose a distant, less formal mentor to follow for your personal success development.

Which ever method or combination of methods you chose, mentoring gives you the support you require to succeed.

Article by Sue Dyson, publisher of SuccessfulMama Ezine, dedicated to empowering women in the creation and pursuit of their personal goals. Sign up for SuccessfulMama Ezine today at: http://www.SuccessfulMama.com.

© 2004 Sue Dyson

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