Why You Need A Mentor, Part Three

A few more things that I learned from a mentor, and what a mentor may do for you:

Don’t assume that relevant experience equals competence.  Many of us have experience that is relevant and skills that are transferrable to our work that we acquired from other occupations or pursuits.  However, the assumption that some tend to make is that there is a one-to-one correspondence with skills and experiences from the past into the present.  Generally, this is not so.  Some amount of adaptation is usually needed for a new situation.

Mental and physical energy is gained by knowing why you are getting up in the morning.  At a time when many people want to slow down and coast, I was privileged to have a mentor who was fully invested in his craft and who rose early and stayed up late, not taking competence and success for granted.  What I remember the most was that he was excited and enthused enough about what he was doing that this added the physical, mental, and emotional energy needed for such an investment.  I remember thinking, “how could someone in their fifties have this much energy?  He’s running circles around me!”  Now I realize that it’s a spiral of passion and deliberateness.  Energy comes from doing what we are excited and passionate about.  This passion inspires us to work harder and excel still more.  Yet, we must be deliberate to weed out all of the things in our lives that conspire to keep us from investing in meaningful things.  This takes being intentional, being deliberate, being selective.

Remember that your best work will be done after you are fifty.  I’ve read more than one article lately along the lines of “fifty is the new thirty.”  I believe it!  It’s hard to believe this when we’re young.  But if you keep growing and learning, there is no reason for this not to be true.  While I’m learning alot from many people who are younger than I am, it’s going to be amazing to see what these people are doing in twenty years!  So keep at it!

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