There are three important questions you should answer in the quest for a life of fulfillment. They are: What do I really want, why do I want what I want and how do I get what I want? Personal development experts opine that, of the three questions, the first two are the ones an individual must personally answer while the third question is usually externally determined. Once you know what you want and the purpose for which you want what you want, you are more than half-way through to getting what you want.
The reason why the ‘how’ of getting what you want is not a big challenge is because you can always find someone who has done a semblance of what you want that you can learn from. King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, put it this way: “There’s nothing new under the sun.” When you are clear about the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of your want, the next thing is to search for who has achieved or done what you want to do. This is where having a mentor becomes imperative. A mentor is someone who has already got to the place you want to get to in life. The role of a mentor is to shorten your learning curve. What should take you 5 years to achieve without a mentor may take your less than 2 years with the help of a mentor.
On the importance of getting a coach / mentor, Bob Gass, the author of The Word for Today wrote: “You may be better than most, but without a coach you will never be as good as you could be. Elisha needed Elijah. Timothy needed Paul. If you’re hoping to learn everything from personal experience, good luck – you’ll have to outlive Methuselah.” Bob Gass’ statement is indeed very instructive. It answers, in part, why longevity is not a precondition for a life of achievement. You can put a lot more life into your years by finding a mentor in that particular area you want to grow. Someone said: “Why should I live for 80 years to go through what another man has gone through when I can read the book he has written in 3 days and learn from his experience?
In Hebrews 6:12, the Bible says, “…but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” This is an open invitation to believers to embrace mentorship. Seeing that others have achieved what you want to achieve goes a long way in boosting your confidence to the effect that what you desire is possible. As the saying goes, whatever has been done before is no longer a challenge.
If you are not being mentored in any area of life, it means you’re trying to figure everything out yourself. In the words of Bob Gass, you’ll have to outlive Methuselah to achieve that. After Peter had correctly responded to Jesus’ question on who the disciples think He is, Jesus said to him “…for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” It means there are things flesh and blood can reveal and there are things that only the Father can reveal. The question is, what are the things already deposited in flesh and blood that you’re missing out on? Moses was relieved of the life-threatening burden of judging the entire people of Israel through the advice of Jethro, his father-in-law.
One reason some people never get a mentor is because they are looking for a perfect person as a mentor. Mentorship doesn’t connote perfection in any way. You’ll never find a perfect mentor because they just don’t exist. If you look closely enough, you’ll find something you don’t really like about your would-be mentor. That just goes to show that s/he is human, after all. The important thing is to learn what your mentor does so well that you desire. Anything beyond that amounts to courting disappointment.
Lastly, your mentor may be somebody you have never met and may never meet. The benefit of the information age we are in is that you can reside in any part of the world and be mentored by someone on ethe other side of the globe.