If you think that you have to be better than those around you to succeed, you will always fail.
Nothing is possible in life without other people and, as many wise people have shouted from the rooftops, the people you surround yourself with define your possibilities.
For those who think mentorship is a drag:
The word ‘mentorship’ grinds the yawn gears for some people. Some of you will hear the word and picture something you perceive as extremely boring. Mentorship is not limited to these boring images we may have in our minds of tutoring and textbooks and being forced to learn things because we are ‘supposed to’.
Mentorship is an unspoken part of life that kind of just is — everywhere, all the time. It is so much that it is whether we like it or not. You have been being mentored and you have been mentoring others your entire life.
You had a mentor to show you how to walk and how to talk. Someone mentored you on how to eat your food and how to wipe your butt. Eventually, you received mentorship on sex and relationships.
The best thing you have ever done in your life would not have happened without mentors. The worst thing you have ever done would have never happened either. Some mentors show us the right way and some show us the wrong way, but there are always mentors all around, none the less.
We are all mentoring all the time. There is someone, somewhere, learning from a mentor how to play the piano at this very moment. There is also someone, somewhere, learning from a mentor how to prepare heroin. We all have and are mentors, we have no choice in this. The choice we do have is whether we will acknowledge this fact of life and — if we do — who our mentors will be.
In this light, mentorship cannot be boring or that would mean every single thing you have done in your life has been boring, and this is clearly not the case.
Mentorship is a crucial key to success.
What you want to be in life may be new to you, but it is not unique to the world. You may have an alternative way to do it, but it doesn’t make it a new path. Some people have set the pattern for greatness in that field. — Marjorie J McDonald
When we take responsibility for our own life and success, we get out of the problem and into the solution. By taking responsibility for the mentorship we receive in life because we will receive it with or without our permission, we give ourselves the most valuable thing of all — choice.
We are always making choices, but without acknowledging the power of mentorship, our choices will be uninformed.
You are who you hang around.
We have heard it said a dozen ways.
To name a few…
Show me your friends I’ll show you your future. — Unknown Author
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. — Jim Rohn
Birds of a feather flock together. — Popular Rephrased Version of William Turner Quote from 1545
Why is it that we say these phrases over and over again, yet we do not heed their call?
Many people get caught up in thinking they are supposed to have it all figured out. This causes an aversion to acknowledging mentorship and the role it plays in our development. In reality, the greatest and wisest among us never stop learning, growing and questioning.
Great minds never stop reaching for more — on purpose — and they all reach for mentors to show them more, to teach them more and to show them the way.
Many people think that to be successful, you must show that you are better than others and already know everything. This creates a culture of domination and competition. It is difficult to receive mentorship from someone if we are busy trying to compete with and dominate them.
There is great wisdom in knowing that the key to success, in anything, is not surrounding yourself with those who you are ‘better than’ — but surrounding yourself with those who are ‘better than’ you.
This story was prompted by a beautiful piece on learning from grief and becoming a victor instead of victim by Marjorie J McDonald.
Written by Holly Kellums
Originally published on Medium.com