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10 Benefits Of Having A Great Life Mentor In Your Lifetime

10 Benefits Of Having A Great Life Mentor In Your Lifetime

Everyone needs at least one great life mentor in their lifetime. They’ll give you advice and inspiration that will completely change your future. They’ll give you easy shortcuts that will help you get on the right path again quickly. They’ll even be a role model and guide whom you can follow.

Life mentors are not only the professional ones we usually think of, like teachers and coaches, but also every day people in our lives. For example, some of your current mentors include your friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues.

Life mentors can positively influence us and even change our long-term future. That one tip from an older cousin, or that one moment of inspiration from your friend can totally change your life’s direction by influencing your attitude, thoughts, beliefs, and behavior.

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Your life mentors are everywhere, if you’re only willing to see them. They are your siblings, significant others, grandparents, and acquaintances — to name a few. Keep your eyes open, otherwise you just might miss out on one of your greatest life mentors.

1.  They Will Support You After a Setback

Have you ever felt really down after a defeat, rejection, or failure? Your life mentor supports you when you’re feeling down. They listen to you, and remind you of the big successes you’ve already had in the past. They remind you that while you feel a little down right now, you’ve got to keep your head up, because you still have a bright future ahead of you.

2.  They Believe in You More Than You Do

I’ll never forget that moment when one of my own life mentors looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Believe in yourself.” He said it in a way that really hit me to the core. And at that moment, I realized that he believed in me more than I did! Your mentor knows what’s possible for you, because they can see your true potential. They believe in your because they know you’re capable of reaching your goals. Their belief will fuel your own inner self-belief.

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3.  They Can Give You Honest Feedback

It’s easy to delude and deceive ourselves, and it’s tremendously beneficial to have someone else to be a real mirror in your life. Your life mentors show you who you really are, so that you can see your weaknesses and work on them. They’ll show you where you need to improve, especially when you’re not fully aware of it yet. They won’t sugar-coat it for you, but they also won’t hurt you in the process either.

4.  They Help Clarify Your Situation

When you’re feeling lost or confused, it’s sometimes really hard to define your situation when you’re thinking about it on your own. Getting out outside of your head, and seeing your situation through your mentor’s eyes will help you to get clear on where you are now, how you got here, and where you want to go. When you feel lost, you only need to get clear on where you are now and where you want to go.

5.  They Motivate and Inspire You to Take Action

When you’re making excuses or afraid to move forward, your life mentor realizes this and alerts you. They don’t buy into your unsubstantiated excuses the same way that you do. And they have faced the fear that you’re struggling with right now, so they can help you get past it and move forward. After all, they’ve done this before and they’ve “got your back”. Let their past successes motivate you to move forward.

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6.  They Give You the Map and Guide You

When you’re feeling lost and you don’t know where you’re going, it’s really refreshing when someone else can help navigate you. When your mentor shows you the path that you need to go down, it makes continuing your journey so much easier. They know where you want to go and how to help direct you there. You just need to trust that they can offer some advice to help guide you.

7.  They Teach You From Their Experience

You can leverage and draw upon your guide’s experience and wisdom from their own journeys, which are much like your own. Why limit yourself to your narrow experience when you can learn from your mentor’s wealth of knowledge? Learn from your mentor about when they were in your shoes and what they did to move themselves forward.

8.  They Will Ask You Powerful Questions

Allow your mentor to coach you by asking you the biggest questions you really need to sit with. Sometimes when they ask you that question — that only you can figure out for yourself — that’s when you’ll make the biggest leap. Your mentor’s curiosity has the same power as a life coach — to let you listen to your heart. What does your intuition say? Your life mentor will help you to hear it.

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9.  They Are Your Role Model

Your mentor shows you that it was really possible for them and that they achieved it. And that means that you can achieve the same thing too. Arnold Schwarzenegger followed Reg Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. followed Ghandi. Your mentor is someone that you can model and copy. They are a living, breathing blueprint for you to imitate for your own needs. Thankfully, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel, but you can follow in their footsteps.

10.  They Give you the Tools You Need to Reach Your Goals

Your mentor has the technical know-how and experience that you can draw upon. Especially if you’re working within a very niched field, some of your co-workers, your bosses, and others in your industry can help you to learn the technical knowledge that you need to reach your goals. Tap into their technical knowledge by asking them direct questions.  Learn from what they already know so you can apply it in your endeavors.

Featured photo credit: Bryan Campbell via flickr.com

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Tom Casano

The CEO and Founder of Life Coach Spotter

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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