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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 October 16, 2019

    Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

    Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

    Do you like making mistakes?

    I certainly don’t.

    Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

    Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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    Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

    Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

    • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
    • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
    • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
    • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

    We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

    If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

    Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

    Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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    When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

    Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

    We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

    It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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    Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

    Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

    Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

    1. Point us to something we did not know.
    2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
    3. Deepen our knowledge.
    4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
    5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
    6. Inform us more about our values.
    7. Teach us more about others.
    8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
    9. Show us when someone else has changed.
    10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
    11. Remind us of our humanity.
    12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
    13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
    14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
    15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
    16. Invite us to better choices.
    17. Can teach us how to experiment.
    18. Can reveal a new insight.
    19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
    20. Can serve as a warning.
    21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
    22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
    23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
    24. Remind us how we are like others.
    25. Make us more humble.
    26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
    27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
    28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
    29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
    30. Expose our true feelings.
    31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
    32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
    33. Point us in a more creative direction.
    34. Show us when we are not listening.
    35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
    36. Can create distance with someone else.
    37. Slow us down when we need to.
    38. Can hasten change.
    39. Reveal our blind spots.
    40. Are the invisible made visible.

    Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

    The secret to handling mistakes is to:

    • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
    • Have an experimental mindset.
    • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

    When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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    When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

    It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

    When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

    Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

    Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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    Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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