Many people might look at mentoring as something that might be done in athletics or at the local school. Those types of mentoring are very important, but there are many different forms that mentoring can take.
Mentoring can be defined as any action that inspires another. Every time we watch someone and make a mental note of what they are doing, in regards to their character or conduct, we are being mentored.
When you greet a person in the hallway with a hello, or a smile, or give a person a compliment, someone might be watching you.
Mentoring is about the choices that we make in life, and the way that be observe the world and the decisions that we make regarding how we act in it. Mentoring can happen at any time. It is something that we receive and something that we give.
Where are mentors found? Well, mentors are all around us. They are everywhere that we look. Anytime there is a sharing of knowledge or a teaching of experience, there is a mentor.
There are a number of different kinds of mentors we can seek out, both in our personal and professional lives. A mentor is an individual whose principles and values have dictated their decisions in life. They can teach us about effective living, humility, contentment, interactions with family and friends, and keep our priorities straight in a world that often threatens to corrupt them.
They can really be anyone. They can be a parent, they can be a school teacher, coach, or a person from history. They can be either living or deceased, but they all have one thing in common. They are good leaders. My mentors are Ara Parseghian and Mike Krzyzewski. I have learned and been mentored by their amazing leadership, wisdom, and the examples they set for others who have followed them. My first mentors were my parents. Their lives have been an example in industriousness and humility, qualities which I believe had a significant impact on my life.
So mentors are literally everywhere we look, and you can find one just about anywhere. My parents used to always say, that everything that you know today, you have learned from someone else. Life is a learning opportunity, and those lessons are being taught all around us by mentors.
Finding a mentor becomes very easy by identifying: a) if you need one.
b) on what area(s) you need a mentoring. c) Identify people within your vicinity or reach that have such qualifications.
d) Reach out to them. This can be done through calls or by setting up a meeting with them and requesting that they mentor you.
The importance of having a mentor are:
a) A mentor supports your growth.
b) A mentor guides you by giving your constructive feedbacks.
c) A mentor is always available for you to draw from their vast knowledge and experiences.
d) A mentor helps you set realistic goals and helps you achieve them too.
e) A mentor eggs you on even when nobody else does.
f) A mentor believes in you even when you don't believe in yourself.
Goodluck on your quest and may you find a wonderful mentor.
Something I have learned along the way is that "asking for a mentor" does not always generate the results you think it will. If you start aligning yourself with those that you admire in small ways. For example, join a project that they lead, set up small meetings that you can ask questions about them and their journey, because most people like to tell their experience but not in a "formal - I am your mentor" way. You almost have to "sneak" up to the mentoring relationship with someone. It does not always work, and some people are unobtainable for a meeting series that is daunting to think it will be a commitment for several months long. You, as the mentee have to be flexible and meet them where they are on any given day.
I believe it's important to find people that are both years ahead of you in the field you are interested in and that you just enjoy their work ethic even if they are in a different career to gather perspectives that you didn't know existed.
One ultimate goal is learning as much about yourself and others so that you have a deep knowledge of others' lives and what you are continuing to strive to be because one day you might notice someone is looking at you for their mentor path. :)
If you have anything specific - please do let me know