When we were growing up, we all had our heroes whether they were instantaneous or somehow more than a few days old.
If we were lucky, we might have had a hero that totally made an impression on us at this stage in our life and we carried it over into our adult life.
I remember having my picture taken with Tom Harmon, a Universal All American football player from the University of Michigan. At the time, I was a 12 year old playing midget football and I truly had very little idea of who Tom Harmon was.
I learned a great deal about him during and after this picture taking session and learned that he was a famous broadcaster from the West Coast now, but had played football for Michigan many years ago.
Did he become an instant hero to me because he was an All American? No, it was his demeanor and the way he treated me, as though I was a very important person, this is what truly set him apart.
I remember being in Las Vegas as a youngster (we were on a trip to the Los Angles Area to see my grandparents) and being in a restaurant. Low and behold there was Joe DiMaggio, The Yankee Clipper, sitting at a table not too far from us.
I knew a little about him, as my father would talk about him. He was a famous baseball player that played for the world famous Yankees.
At this young age, I still remember the grace and attitude that he demonstrated while signing autographs for the people around him. He never got upset and always treated the people with grace and patience.
These are the memories that I had in my mind, my heroes, the ones who were downright human and treated their fans with grace, patience and humility. This is what I remember and why they were important to me.
Today, we put into perspective, the importance of a mentor as our instant heroes because they are there to give us advice, to give us the entrance into our own Promised Land.
Sometimes we might go too far as to whom these people might be, as they seem to put their shoes on the same as we do and they wear the same kinds of clothes that we do.
We have a tendency to put these people up on a pedestal, sometimes thinking that they can walk on water or do certain things that the “normal” individual cannot do.
It has been my observation, that most of the mentors in my niche of online networking, are down to earth and easily approachable. What sets them apart is that they have done the work and done the sweating to earn their place as a mentor.
A good mentor will tell you like it is, not try to sugarcoat the process or give you a false impression that the process is easy and anyone can do it.
A good mentor will tell you that there is a lot of hard work but that the process will eventually pay off if you are willing to do the work and stay the course. They will teach you how to fish but won’t do the fishing for you – as that is entirely up to you.
There are many good mentors within this niche, but you have to align yourself with one that you relate to and one that you can trust.
When you find your mentor, learn to trust their judgement and ideas. Learn that from whence they came, their experiences, their mistakes, and their victories all contribute to who they are today and how they will teach or mentor you.
But most of all, realize that they are human beings with their own set of understandings and their own set of mistakes. They are not perfect but in turn, they can help you get to where you want to go, if you just let them.
Surrender to the process of learning and make the journey one of fun and experience the joy of arriving.
Mentors – heroes? Possibly, but usually when you get out of the starry eyed state, you begin to realize that: “Hey, I can do this and I am fortunate that I have someone who takes the time and effort to be my mentor”.
That human being who just happens to be there because of their own hard work and effort, but also takes the time to help me realize that I can put on my shoes the same way they can. My hero, possibly, but most of all my mentor!
“It is not what I want from you but rather what I want for you!” — anonymous–