We will undoubtedly face different challenges throughout life. We often feel very alone when we face difficulties. This underlies the truth that as human beings we were created to be relational, not solitary, in our life journey. We need others to become our complete selves. In a society that is heavily individualistic, it’s no wonder why loneliness is such a plague that is growing from generation to generation. But, the good news is that one of the ways to combat loneliness is the art of mentorship. This tool guides us to confide in others and learn to grow, moving forward in the midst of the trials we face.
In The Art of Mentoring, by Harold Taber Jr., he speaks on the impact that mentorship can have in our personal lives. We may think of mentoring as something that is only used within our business lives but not in personal matters or impactful decisions, such as choosing a job, problems in relationships, and making significant financial decisions. What role can mentorship play when we have these important decisions to make? Mentorship provides an outside perspective and helps you factor in a variety of aspects that you may have not thought of before, or had thought of, but needed clarification. For example, if you are on the fence about taking a particular job, and you speak to a mentor about it, they give you advice based on their knowledge of you as a person, and the goals they understand you keep. Such as, “Actually this doesn’t align with your goals at all. Maybe you should apply to the other job instead because it’s more in sync with your ultimate goal.” Sometimes all we need is that little nudge from someone else who has the wisdom and advice to push us forward.
Life will undoubtedly bring us unexpected pains and hardships. Whether it be the passing of someone close to us, or a situation that feels so devastating we don’t know how to move forward, having someone we can go to who is a stable, discerning voice will make all the difference in our situation. Afterall, if we are struggling in our personal life, the rest of our lives will reflect that internal struggle.
Harold helped build a mentorship program at Biola University’s business school with the goal of planting these truths in the lives of students. He tells the story of a mentee who didn’t feel it was necessary to have a mentor. After the mentee met with his mentor and they were vulnerable with each other, their relationship became foundational for the both of them. The mentee was alongside the mentor, as the mentor's son passed away. This solidified for the mentee that the mentor was a solid person to approach in the midst of painful situations and difficult trials. They had walked through a devastating situation together, and it cemented the commitment of their relationship.
We don’t get to choose the things we go through in life, but we do get to choose the people we go through life with. Invest in yourself by letting others be a part of your life, and let them speak into your journey. It’s not easy to build this kind of relationship with someone, but it is invaluable when we look back and feel grateful for the wisdom we’ve received.
Within my own life, there have been mentors there to guide me when my own mind is not enough to make a wise decision, pray for me during times of deep despair, and walk alongside me through all the different paths life has taken me. I hope that in reading this you will consider mentorship as much of a treasure as I do. Harold Taber, Jr., shares with us the art of making the independent decision to be dependent, to mentor others, and to be mentored.
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Editor: Jessica Carrera, Associate Editor at TSE Worldwide Press, holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in writing from Biola University. She aspires to touch the lives of others through her words.