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3 Reasons Why You Need a Mentor

3 Reasons Why You Need a Mentor

Why is it that our parents typically invest in our sporting, musical and educational careers, but then not so much in helping us in life, careers or business?

Remember those piano or guitar lessons you loved or hated? Were you forced to go to tennis lessons?

Maybe your parents wanted you to be the next Tiger Woods, Roger Federer or Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, or maybe they simply just wanted you to learn how to swim. Whatever their intention, it was most likely a good intention unless your father was Damir Dokic, or Andre Agassi’s father. They wanted you to be better at something. This coaching process seems to stop and very few continue on throughout life with a coach or mentor of some sort.

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I wish I had more cricket coaching when I was younger! “If only” is a popular phrase!

I remember spending hours in the nets practising the wrong things and not improving my skill, until I engaged a professional batting coach too late in my career. As a result, I don’t believe I reached my cricketing potential and I have to live with that!

Here are three reasons why you need a mentor right now.

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tennis lifehack
    1. Achieve your potential

    We can only self-teach so much! A solid mentor or teacher can provide us with information we need to send us on the right track faster.

    In order to grow and achieve our potential, we need help from experts we trust, admire and respect. It might be a mentor, a coach, paid or unpaid, or someone we look up to who has the experience and passion to help us improve. We can’t learn everything ourselves via trial and error; life’s too short.

    At age 25 in 2004, I engaged my first business mentor for $300/hour as I saw the value in learning and fast tracking my learning from someone in my industry. I’ve always invested in my education, because I highly value each titbit of information I gain, which I believe is the best long-term investment you can make.

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    2. Gain the tools before you need them!

    I’ve seen a psychotherapist for 10 years to help me be better at life and handle a raft of issues, even when times are good! It’s better to have the tools ready for when times are bad. I have the tools to handle most situations and if I get stuck, I know who to call on.

    Most people invest in their physical wellbeing (i.e. at the gym), but not necessarily their emotional and psychological wellbeing, for which I am a big advocate. Both are equally important.

    3. Don’t stand still or risk moving backwards!

    Knowledge lasts a lifetime and gives you the tools today to be better from now onwards. People who don’t learn tend to stand still and only have knowledge and experience from their past. Information from the past also poses the risk of becoming out-dated so arguably these people are in fact moving backwards!

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    If you want the answer to how to reach your potential, then get a coach or a mentor and always have one. I’d expect to have made many more runs had I learned how to bat properly from a younger age.

    Featured photo credit: photo credit:

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

    Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

    Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

    The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

    Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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    Program Your Own Algorithms

    Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

    Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

    By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

    How to Form a Ritual

    I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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    Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

    1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
    2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
    3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
    4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

    Ways to Use a Ritual

    Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

    1. Waking Up

    Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

    2. Web Usage

    How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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    3. Reading

    How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

    4. Friendliness

    Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

    5. Working

    One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

    6. Going to the gym

    If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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    7. Exercise

    Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

    8. Sleeping

    Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

    8. Weekly Reviews

    The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

    Final Thoughts

    We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

    More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

     

    Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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