In this 4-part series called “Teachology,” we’ve been talking about how to live beyond the boundaries of your life by developing the heart of a teacher. We will not be remembered for the buildings we’ve built or the organizations we’ve formed, but by what we’ve invested in the lives of other people.
During these four weeks we’ve talked about the four aspects of a teacher: culture-makers, truth-seekers, experienced guides, and today we talked about wise mentors; why all of us need mentors in our lives.
You do understand that there are people in the world who are smarter than you, wiser than you, more experienced than you, and even (I know it’s hard to believe) more accomplished than you. And all of these really smart, successful people have one thing in common. They are more than willing to teach others how to do the same thing they’ve done. Why? Because they’ve been taught themselves. One of the most important aspects of mentors is that they make it possible for us to gain insights into life without having to make all the same mistakes ourselves.
Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” So today we talked about what mentors do. We talked about the EIEIO approach to mentoring. We talked about how mentors operate in our lives; the four different roles they play. But most importantly, what you need to understand about mentors is they must be enlisted. People can’t volunteer to be your mentor. They must be asked, which means they must be approached, which means that you must have the courage and the humility to reach out and ask other people to help you grow, learn, and become the person God created you to be.