When people talk to me or ask me for advice, they’re never just talking to me. They’re getting knowledge from a number of people that came before me. I’ve been fortunate enough to have many men be a part of my life and model true manhood for me. At a time where we’re at a lack of positive role models, especially for men, I was lucky enough to have great models of manhood in my life. Where one man was weak, another one was strong and I was able to have positive influences from multiple sources. They all played a significant role in defining for me what manhood looked like. Even those that I didn’t know on a personal level helped shape and mentor me through their books and messages. I was able to read their words and hear what they had to say without physically being in a room with them.
The word “mentorship” is used a lot today, especially in business. People seek mentors to get knowledge they didn’t have access to before. While this is one thing that mentors help you with, this isn’t all they do. When seeking a mentor, you want to be connected to them as a person, not just what you can get from them. Mentors impart to you what they know and who they are. They teach you, not just in what you can do, but in who you are to be. Mentors help accelerate you to a new place in life. They’re like a fast track. You can stand on their shoulders and avoid mistakes by learning from the mistakes they made in the past. They go deeper than surface level advice, but they help mold you into a greater person:
They prepare you to replace them. Mentors want you to go further than they did. In the Bible, Moses prepared Joshua to replace him. Joshua was to take the Israelites to the Promised Land so Moses trained him up, giving him a series of tests to prepare him to do what he couldn’t do and be able to do it when Moses was gone.
They provide learning opportunities. Mentors may instruct or advise you to do something and you may not understand it right away. Make sure the mentor you have is someone you can trust. If they tell you to do something that you don’t understand, you can trust that you will understand later and they’re guiding you for your good. It’s a learning opportunity and it won’t be for nothing.
They help you multiply yourself and live beyond your moment. Even though they are there to pour into your life, they help you see that what you’re working toward is bigger than you. They help you see that you’re not just here to advance yourself, but to leave a legacy that others will benefit from. They help you to think beyond the moment and create something long lasting.
Mentors help you to get further faster. When you see someone great, chances are you are seeing a collection of knowledge, time, sweat, and hard work from a number of people that helped them get there. No one can succeed alone. We need the help of others to get us where we’re going. It’s because of the work of great mentors that following generations are able to succeed.