Friday, August 03, 2007

Finding a Mentor

When we want to improve or work on some area of our life, it is often helpful to have a mentor. This need not be a formal arrangement, although it could be. I have read in career books about asking someone to be your mentor and setting up official meeting times. In my life, however, I have generally found the arrangement to be much more fluid. My mentors have been and continue to be people that I admire for their skill in some area. Some have been friends, some work associates, still others teachers. I have parenting mentors that I look up to, friends who are just a few years ahead of me in this adventure of parenting. In my work, I have other writers whose careers and style of writing I admire. In my spiritual life, I have a formal arrangement with my spiritual director to help me along the journey, but there are also those among my friends and family whose devotion to God I admire on a personal level.

The important thing is to choose to emulate some aspect of your mentor's life which is lacking in your own. Observe them, talk to them, see how it is that they do what they do. Most people love to talk about themselves and are happy to offer their hard-earned pearls of wisdom. See if you can incorporate some of their habits into your own life. Admittedly, you are a different person and bring a different set of skills to the table, but often you can find one or two behaviors you can adapt to fit your life which may help you achieve the desired result.

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