by Kevin Purcell, D.C.
We are all mentors to someone -- and have been mentored. It may be in the course of parenting; or as a friend, a teacher, a coach, a co-worker or healthcare provider. At times you may not even know you are mentoring. It is some of the most important work we will ever do; more important that money and more important than winning. Why? Because it lasts and if done successfully it is extremely rewarding for all parties. Being mentored is not necessarily found in rigid programming. It occurs when opportunity presents itself and is often done by someone who cares about your welfare, although it may not feel like it at the time.
We can be most helpful to others in areas where we have struggled mightily and prevailed. In my view, those special circumstances are part of the reward of having over come the difficulties we all experience. Seems to me we are put here on earth to be challenged. How we handle those challenges is part of our character and ensures we can assist others do the same.
On other occasions mentoring is just doing little things over time that we never expect to be acknowledged for. Last week I received a letter in the mail from one of my two adult daughters. It was a hand written letter. Don’t see many of those anymore. What a treat! I don’t think she will mind me sharing a snippet from it:
“Ever since I was little I can remember you supporting any and every project or organization I’ve been part of. If I was making bracelets out of yarn and selling them on the corner, you were buying them. When I was working at the Smoothie place by our house, all of a sudden you couldn’t get enough smoothies. And it was always the best part of my day when you came all the way to Mira Mesa to get a coffee from the Starbucks I worked at as opposed to just going to the one right by the house.”
Showing my family I love them has resulted in me hearing the kindest words of my life.
There is another type of mentoring and it is done in communities. Paraphrasing Rick Warren and others: who we are is the sum of our habits; it is how we habitually act. Being truthful with one another provides the opportunity to grow. It’s never too late. Sharing with others provides the support we need to grow.
Some people feel all that is needed for growth is the desire to change. In truth, we often need others. Good things happen to people who are part of a team of supporters. Depending on one another is not a sign of weakness. Communities provide the opportunity to learn about your self and others. That is one of the most important reason I like hanging out at Endurance Corner.
NFL Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy said “Success is measured in changed lives, strong character and eternal values rather than in material gain, temporal achievement or status.”
Most of us feel a little uncomfortable when put in the position to lead. It's okay; but don't let that initial awkwardness keep you from experiencing some of the most important moments life has to offer. I believe the only things we can take with us from this world are those things we were given. Mentoring or being mentored is a great gift.
Keep On Truckin'