How to Choose a Mentor?

Makiling_Chrome_04 Apr 2016

One of the mentors that I consider in life is my rich dad. If that sounded familiar to you, then you probably have read about Robert Kiyosaki’s book (Rich Dad Poor Dad). However, I’m not referring to Mr. Kiyosaki’s rich dad, it just so happen that my life was also influenced by a real life and self-made rich dad, who served as an adoptive father. My rich dad showed and taught me to always be full of dreams, hope and be the best hard-working version of yourself. Outside of those business or career oriented traits, what I really value most from my rich dad is the practice of “family day” on Sundays (and time for the Lord), which he instilled in us when we were younger. This practice is something that I firmly hold onto, and I’m committed to also pass on my kids.

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Eight years ago, during an overseas work assignment in the US, I met another mentor. Even though we didn’t get a chance to meet each other in person, through his Purpose Driven Life book, Rick Warren touched my life and mentored me in the aspect of being a husband, father and in all other forms of nurturing our relationships (be it spiritual, personal or business). The application of his principle is an ongoing challenge, but I’m grateful to have that life lesson that served as a constant reminder. Because our fast-paced world can most of the time caught us in its strong current, that without an anchor to secure us, it’ll be easy to get carried away. So if you want to equip your ship with its own anchor or you’re curious to find out more about what I’m talking about, you can revisit Chapter 16 of The Purpose Driven Life or use the handy Google search.

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Both lessons I’ve learned from my rich dad and Rick Warren served as my guide in the way that I’m trying to raise my family. And because of that, I have a confession to make. I have this weakness, wherein I’m not easily amazed at a career success of an individual (I can acknowledge and appreciate it, but I have a tendency to look beyond it), and I’m more concerned with what’s going on in his or her personal life. It’s something that I don’t understand myself at first, until I realized that I’m unconsciously searching for another mentor. And that’s also what I wanted to ask you? What are the qualities that you look for in a mentor? Or to put it simply, how do we choose a mentor?

There’ll be a wide range of answers to the above question, and there’s no right or wrong answer (because I am not your teacher and I will not check your papers.) But kidding aside, I would imagine that our answers will normally be based, from what we currently value and lack in life. In my case, if I’ll look within me, my heart’s desire is to be a better husband and father. That desire made me to be on the lookout for excellent individuals in their field, who also happens to be dedicated in being an excellent spouse and parent altogether. For some of us, it may sound impossible, especially if we haven’t heard, met or seen someone who fits the above descriptions. Or maybe, just maybe… it can either be the future version of you or me, who’ll be open to commit and be guided by another mentor, named Leonard Sweet. In his book 11 Indispensable Relationships You Can’t Be Without, he shared the following guides in choosing a mentor below.

  1. Watch how they treat their spouses.

  2. Are the walls of their study permeable to their kids?

  3. And do they spend time reading and reviewing, blurbing and blogging other people’s books and manuscripts, or do they consider themselves too famous for that?

Mr. Sweet’s questions totally struck me. If I’ll be forced to share my answers, I’ll be ashamed of it. Which is great, because it’s an awakening, and what I was exactly seeking for. A road map for individuals who are intentional in being a better spouse and parent. And if we’ll adopt Mr. Sweet’s guidance, we are paving the way for the next generation to have something very valuable to emulate and propagate. Not to make the process of choosing a mentor easier, but to let our hearts be more open and careful in deciding who to follow. I appreciate you and your time. Thank you for dropping by.

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