The One With The Torch: Why we all need a mentor in life

shalaka-gamage-608235-unsplash.jpg

While we are all mavericks in our own right & sphere, truth be told we all, at some point of our life, have had a guiding light hold our hand, believe in us and most importantly train us to hone our assets and skills.

Here we are specifically speaking of a mentor - one who does not only enhance our SEL quotient & leadership, but also braises us with dexterity to rule the world.

Therefore, we shall look at mentorship as and when it has existed from times bygone and how it shapes our contemporary belief.  

From The Ancient Times

According to the classicist Gregory Nagy, Odyssey by Homer provides few of the earliest known examples of enlightened guidance that’s still applicable thousands of years later. The Atlantic takes us on a deep dive to understand from where the concept originally began, “Homer’s The Odyssey chronicles Odysseus’s journey home in the years following the Trojan War. As he is making his way back, the goddess Athena appears to his son, Telemachus, in the form of an old family friend, Mentor, to offer him support and guidance in his father’s absence. Their interactions in The Odyssey represent one of the earliest antecedents of the word mentorship.”

In an essay published by Helen Colley on Exploring Myths of Mentor, the critic throws light on the classical stage as well, “Representations of mentoring itself, however, became characterised as a quasi-parental relationship between exceptional individuals, such as Socrates and Plato, or Haydn and Beethoven, and contain an element of emotional bonding”.

Sage brings out the Indian context to this, “mentoring had its origin in India, thousands of years ago, in the form of Guru-Shishya relationship or the ‘Gurukul’ system of education in India.”

To The Contemporary World  

A need of the hour that arose in ancient times has trickled down to the modern age and is one of the key aspects of an entrepreneur's journey - from not making some of  the ‘biggest mistakes’ to taking ‘legit risks’, having the right mentor can shape your life. If you are still thinking as to why having a mentor is necessary, do refer to Inc.com’s 10 reasons why you must have a mentor. Here we surmise in brief:

  • Mentors provide information and knowledge

  • Mentors can see where we need to improve where we often cannot

  • Mentors find ways to stimulate our personal and professional growth

  • Mentors offer encouragement and help keep us going

  • Mentors are disciplinarians that create necessary boundaries that we cannot set for ourselves

  • Mentors are sounding boards so we can bounce ideas off them for an unfiltered opinion

  • Mentors are trusted advisers

  • Mentors can be connectors

  • Mentors have the experiences you can learn from to prevent making the same mistakes beginners make

  • Mentors are free, which makes them priceless in more ways than one

Forbes further lists the measurable perks of having a mentor, “Good mentors help you set a measurable goal. This is a must. Without setting goals, you’ll most likely stagnate or go backward. Without a set strategy of changes or actions to take to achieve your goals, your goals are more wishful thinking than achievable targets.”

Abhijit Bhaduri (Chief Learning Officer, Wipro) speaks in length on how a mentor helps us in finding our element, “Mentors push us past our limits. They prevent us from doing less with our lives than what we would if left unassisted. A true mentor reminds us never to be “average” with our pursuits.”

Humans are not always wired to embrace growth mode; there are a number of factors that can beat us up emotionally & physically. We often set goals and then inevitably fall short. In such a scenario when you have the ambition to become a successful entrepreneur it’s extremely important that you get a mentor on board, they will be your shadow making sure you don’t fall short and that you always drive on the right side of the road, the one that takes you to success.

We hope we covered all the relevant USPs of having a mentor. If you have more to share, hit us up below.

Nayan Khemani