In my professional life, I have not had necessarily one mentor, but rather a series of peers from whom I gleaned wisdom and with whom I shared epiphanies.  Sometimes you’ll find a mentor for a day.  Sometimes that mentor lasts a lifetime, or just for a time.  Without mentors, you would have to learn everything by firsthand experience.  Can you imagine how long it would have taken to walk if mom wasn’t there to hold your hand and help you?  Imagine finding a bicycle, never knowing anyone who knew how to ride it, and now you’re tasked with learning to ride it.  You may very well be able to learn it on your own, but at what cost?  Time, injury, emotional distress, and torn jeans all cost.  I taught my son how to ride a bicycle in 5 minutes.  I held the bike for him twice as he tried to peddle, then on the third try, I told him to coast downhill and then start to peddle.  I told him that if you don’t peddle on your own, you’ll hit the ground.  He sure peddled alright, but hadn’t quite got “stop” down.  He eventually learned that too.  By the way there were two lessons in that story; not only is it more efficient to have a mentor, but when the time comes…. stand on your own two feet.  Just like my son, who didn’t know how to stop or turn the bicycle, you won’t have all of the answers when you start.  But start you must, or sit there on the side lines watching “the other kids ride.”


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