So, I’ve decided that this year is going to be a year of change for myself. I intend to change the things about my life that irritate me all of the time. Like that junk drawer that flows into a junk pile, which inevitably ends up in the garage. That’s probably why I hate our garage…
One of those areas of change is going to be to surround myself with even more people who are better at things than I am. A lesson that I learned a very long time ago is that you need to seek out mentors in your life. I think we often want to “be discovered” by someone and have them take us under our wings. It doesn’t work that way. You need to make the effort to seek out people who are more mature or who are better at something than you, and hang out with them. Ask them to go out to coffee with you. Buy the coffee. Come with a list of questions ready, like, “What is the one thing that makes you successful?” “What is the most valuable lesson you learned in the last year?” “If you could tell yourself something when you were 14 years old, what would you go back and say to yourself?” You are in charge of finding your own sources of growth!
I’ve also learned that you need to give back to your mentors. One of my friends, Jana Jones, who I also consider a mentor, once told me that it was difficult to mentor a certain individual because it was all about them…all of the time. It was a very one sided relationship. I heard that comment and decided that I would ask about her life just as much as she asked about mine. I took an interest in how she was raising her kids and how she loved her husband. I emailed to see how her church was going and I made the conscious effort to shut up and listen when she was having a rough day. What happened was amazing… In the midst of caring more about her, I was being fed by our conversations in ways that I had never noticed before. I was growing.
It’s actually easier than it seems. If someone has great kids, ask them how they got that way. If someone has a passion for the Bible that you want, ask them how they got that way. If someone is really good at resolving conflict, ask them how they got that way. The responses you get will mold and shape you.