While enjoying blogger and good friend TuanNgo’s recent posting, I felt the need to go into detail about mentorship and how I feel about it. I will definitely expound upon this in greater detail in later posts as I am absolutely certain it will come up again as it is an integral part of how I feel about the world at large. I have only edited is insomuch as it makes sense as a blog post by itself rather than a response, and fix that annoying error I made with my own quote.
This was initially in response to his post about creating extensions of one’s self, and having relationships take a sour turn through the process of learning and aspiring to greatness — Ambition.
I have indeed experienced mentorships going Southward. I never take it personally though I used to. What I make of this is that while the mentor was giving you capabilities and experience that would undoubtedly strengthen you, a lot of the time it really seems as if they would rather keep you around. Maybe you perceive them as holding you back, or they see you rising to a point they feel they can’t teach you anymore and you are a flight risk. Perhaps it is more of a personal reason such as I point out below from my own experience.
I have mentored others, and personally, I get to a point I need to “push them out of the nest,” per se, because some pupils begin to latch on as if you are their saving grace or prophet. I understand that it is adversity that creates circumstance for growth. You go to college to learn and have access to great minds. You don’t really learn how to put what you have learned to work until you get into the job market and realize that the job you have is completely different from the perspective you had before going to college and the way through.
As someone being mentored, I am the type of person who asks all the easy as well as personal, difficult and probing questions. I have come to you to learn what I can, and if you agree to mentor me I am going to literally tap you dry of all knowledge you are willing to impart upon me. I’ll say that’s pretty demanding, and can understand when mentors “shut down.”
I will always have this perspective, however:
“If I am to train, motivate, enthuse, and put in time and effort into someone, and they leave my business, training, or companionship, no matter how close I was to them, I know that the world is better off with them having this experience and I have truly done my part to do some good in the world.”
Perhaps they needed some personal growth or insight that I could not provide. Maybe they reached the next level and needed a new challenge. Maybe I was just one step in their epic adventure toward their dreams. I’ll be completely grateful to them for coming to me as a sage and allowing me to make a lasting mark on their life, and the world as a whole.