Tag Archives: lifelessons

On Choosing Mentors – 3 Things to Look at

How often have you asked your dance teacher about the mechanics of astrophysics? Have you ever gone to a basketball coach to ask them about tennis? My guess? Rarely, if ever.

Then, when it comes to your career, the one thing you’ll be doing for over 40 years of your life, why do you go to the most convenient sample?

Often, especially when you are starting out, you go to your parents and teachers. While that’s an excellent support system, they are not always the apt system that you’re looking for professionally. Mentors play a massive role in shaping your future. They don’t control it. But they can make your career path easier, better, and sometimes, faster. 

There is a notion that a mentor chooses you. Sometimes. Maybe. But for the most part, you choose your mentor. You make yourself available and active in circles where you’ll find your mentors. If you sit at home all day, your parents automatically become your mentors. If you go to networking nights designed for tech startups, that’s where you’ll find mentors for the Tech fields. If you go to networking nights for artists and singers, that’s where you’ll find mentors in those fields. So, finding mentors is a two-way street where you actively seek them out and they reciprocate your initiative by mentoring you. 

While finding mentors is an essential aspect of any field, looking at the current trends in bias against women in workplaces, the right mentors become even more important for women. Vittoria Adhami, a  Professional Life Coach, also corroborates that these biases against women are ingrained in society and can hurt women’s chances of success.

All this discussion points to a very important statement- we need to choose our mentors wisely. We need to choose people who believe in our capability, have been in our field long enough to guide us and have the ability to adapt.

People who believe in your capability

While it’s all good to surround yourself with ambitious go-getters, not everyone is a type A personality. People learn and act on their own pace. Finding people who are ambitious but differently ambitious from you may actually hurt you more than help you. They won’t be able to see your work the way you do and so they can’t guide you as well as someone who knows how you work.  Your mentor must see your capability and your potential. Choose a mentor who sees the future you as opposed to the present you. Don’t find someone who flatters you. Definitely not, but find someone who gets you and is willing to guide you.

Have been in your field long enough

20-year-old CEO’s sound like a great idea. They are inspiring and envy-inducing. But do they make good mentors? Let’s see. To become a CEO today, in the start-up culture specifically, is honestly, quite easy. Anyone can become the CEO. It’s not surprising then, that 90% of all start-ups fail. Experience counts for a whole lot in life. Mentors who’ve ‘been there, done that and survived it’ are the ones who will help you tide through the tough times. From bad business deals to a shifting topography to hostile company take overs, an experienced mentor can help you through it all.

Ability to Adapt

While society’s attitudes take a while to change, their behavior can easily change. The market works on behavior. The global market is a dynamic caricature of society. It shifts and molds itself according to the way the world is changing. The Internet changed everything. Tomorrow, something else might. Find a mentor who is changing with the times. A mentor who has continued to grow in her/his field and personal life. After a certain point in someone’s life, our professional and personal lives tend to mesh. A mentor who has grown personally will take those learning to her/his professional life and will be able to learn some new, some useful and some futile tactics. She/he will be able to guide you through those learning as well.

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5 Steps To Stay Inspired

“Inspiration is a moment. Its impact is a lifetime.”

Inspiration is fleeting. It comes and lasts for a minute before it evaporates and gives way to the monotony of life. Being inspired and staying inspired is a whole different ball game. How does one hold onto inspiration and use it to remain motivated?  Inspiration can be of any form. Sometimes inspirations lead to epiphanies, sometimes inspiration leads to desires or even sorrow. More often than not, inspiration leads to action or a  tangible idea. An idea to do something or make something. These ideas, no matter how big or small can lead to amazing life changes and decisions, however, many times these ideas get buried withing the first few days as lethargy and inaction take over.

As life moves on, we condition ourselves to let go of our inspirations and ideas because we think we’re too busy or that we aren’t inspired anymore, whereas in reality, we never truly break down our inspiration into a workable tangible solution and hence we lose motivation.

In order to keep the motivation and inspiration alive here are 5 steps to follow whenever inspiration strikes.

I – Innovate

To remain inspired, innovate upon your inspiration. Whatever your inspiration led to, try to make that idea better. Try a bunch of different ideas to make your current idea better. Look at it from different perspectives, different angles.

D – Design

Once you’ve figured out two or three of your favorite innovations for your idea, pick one and design it. As in, take it to completion in theory. How would your idea look if everything went right?

E – Expand

The next step is to expand on that idea. See what other components can be incorporated into your idea. Expand your idea to

A- Alleviate

Alleviate all the other ideas. At this time, stick to one idea. Design it. Expand it. And then alleviate all other ideas to stay focused on one idea.

S – Start Over

Once you’re done, now you can chase a new inspiration.

To be inspired is a gift. In this monotonous life, we often lose the joy of being inspired. So when inspiration strikes, take it by the horns, disregard what someone else says and follow it through. Many times your inspirational ideas may end with no major impact in your life or in society, sometimes they may also disappoint you, however, don’t stop being inspired. Take a step back and then start over. Always start over because even inspiration can’t evade you forever.

Hope inspiration finds you soon. Till then, let’s be friends on Facebook and Twitter?

I’ll see you next week,

Love,

sr