What is a Mentor?

Dear Sister,

What is a Mentor? I have been thinking about this question quite a bit the last few weeks.

Webster’s Dictionary gives the following definition: to teach or give advice or guidance to (someone, such as a less experienced person or a child) : to act as a mentor for (someone)

I believe the true definition of a mentor is someone who is or has what you want and is willingly to help you get it.

To ask someone to be your mentor is like asking a taxi driver to give you a ride to Cleveland when they have never been there before. Or asking a Catholic what a Mormon believes or vise-versa. It’s impossible to give someone advice or instructions if you haven’t had the same or similar experiences. Does this make sense to you?

I am reminded of a movie called: The Pursuit of Happyness. This story illustrates this concept perfectly! It is the true story about a young man named Chris Gardner. It is the ultimate rags to riches story. I love the following quote: What do you do and how do you do it?

I joined Toastmasters International last year. Initially I chose a mentor from the people that meet in my group every week. The young woman was very dynamic and she is a breast cancer survivor just like me. She was not on the same page that I was. She was more interested in doing things on her own schedule than she was on helping to achieve my goals on MY time frame. It didn’t take me very long to get frustrated with her and find someone else to help me.

Six months later, I exceeded my goal. I wanted to complete six speeches in six months and be ready to participate in the first contest of the year. I completed eight speeches, and although I qualified for the first contest, my mentor believed that it would be a good idea to wait until I had a little more experience before I tried to play the game with the professionals. She did not want to set me up to fail. This logic made sense to me at that time.

I attended the first contest and participated as an official Timer just to observe how things worked from start to finish. One young man participated from our area. He had just completed his sixth speech. He came in second place in a three person contest. I was thinking: That could have been me! To say that I was disappointed would have been an understatement.

I am getting ready to publish the Second Edition of my breast cancer memoir. I have corrected the typo’s and added a few things to it. I have also changed the cover. I am in the process of looking for another mentor to take me to the next level and achieve my next goal: I want to be a Motivational Speaker and share not just my book, but my messages with the world!

Who is your mentor? Why did you choose them?

Enjoy your day!

Chris

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