Life is like a journey whereby people travel on a path perceived to bring them happiness and/or success. To some, this path is likened to be a rat race with neverending obstacles in reaching a desirable destination.
Others who are not so fortunate, struggle and are clueless about the path to embark on.
As a result, many of such individuals just go with the flow, unaware of what and how to take on what life has in store for them.
Many seek mentorship/ guidance on the path they should take, with the faith that they could rely on this particular mentor to lead and guide the way with their proven track record or experiences in life.
The definition of being a mentor differs across individuals, it can be basically summed up to the few below.
1) Wolf in sheep’s clothing “Mentor”
On the surface, this “mentor” or wolf is seen to be keen in coaching and bringing you up in terms of your career or life in general. He appears to be sincere and offers to mentor you, seemingly out of good will.
The wolf is quick to offer his mentorship too eagerly but the truth is, he always had offered to do so for zillions before you. These wolves can usually be found soliciting sheep in the form of managers soliciting new hires who are clueless about how harsh corporate reality is.
They can exploit the sheeps by giving them lower remuneration packages compared to the benchmark with a wider jobscope, constantly justifying themselves with numerous reasons when asked upon.
As naive as it could be, the sheep bites the bait and does as instructed by the wolf with the belief that they can be successful in following the wolf’s footsteps.
It is not until later that they wisen up only then to realise about the wolf’s ulterior and selfish motives.
A good way to identify these wolves is to be alert and reflect upon their reasons and not just accept it with blind faith. If the smell of BS is pungent, how can you not sniff it out?
It is only when you block your nose and lie to yourself that it is a good scent that you will never know the truth. This applies to all situations in life, eg: cheating spouses.
This form of mentorship is as plentiful as seashells at the beach.
They look good and come in numerous shapes and sizes but do not provide real benefits, only as collectibles for viewing pleasure.
2) The Mentor with the Embodiment of Kindness
This mentor finds joy in helping and encouraging others expecting nothing much in return. The motivation to help others can be stemmed by his own experience of knowing how it feels to not have a mentor-like figure to guide him during his adolescence.
Others who have received mentorship also choose to mentor others as they themselves were fortunate to have someone they could lean on.
This form of mentor is often generous in sharing of knowledge and resources and is sincere from the bottom of his heart to help the mentee find his way.
You can literally feel generosity oozing out from his pores with no signs of bullshiting or pretense.
Sadly, such benefactors of benevolence do not come by easily. If you know one, show your appreciation and keep him close like how a paratrooper would safekeep his compass and map in Nazi Germany.
The mentor will not able to tell you which are the right paths to take but he will offer you valuable insights about the considerations to undertake upon choosing one.
So.. What are you trying to say?
It is unwise to judge any individual prematurely to be either a wolf or the embodiment of kindness as we cannot paint life in merely black or white.
Using an analogy about colors, there are 6 basic colors which can be mixed to make a unique color, eg: Blue+Red = Violet. Having a blend of different “colors” is what makes an individual unique.
An individual can be helpful 45% of the time and 55% opportunistic but that does not make him selfish or kind. It is extremely subjective and is largely dependent on the time and circumstances surrounding the situation.
Rather than going through the hassle of finding out about a person and his motives, my answer is to be a Master of your own Destiny.
Carve your own path and lead the way with faith in yourself!
Do not place too much hope on others other than yourself as you cannot control how another person think or behave. They too do not know about you and your desires as much as yourself.
That is not to say to not rely on others.
Rely on people who have cheered you on, stuck with you and withstood the passage of time having braced the winds and storms by your side.
Do not fall prey to others who only approach or get close to you after analysing your worth and how they can benefit from it.
Life is all about making decisions. We make decisions big or small throughout our daily lives. Sometimes we make good decisions and at other times, bad ones.
It is not the decisions that you make which defines what or who you are, it is how you respond and act upon them.
Be prepared and accept the fact that you WILL stumble along the way which is the norm in life. Fill yourself with humility when you suceed and when you fall inevitably at times, brush the dirt off your feet, shed some tears but be hopeful and only look forward.
No one can predict the future or tell you what is wrong or right.
Those that give unnecessary remarks or criticism and judge you according to whether you have followed their advice or not, are there to claim credit or undermine you to prove that they were right.
These individuals derive satisfaction by hearing from you that that they were right in the boosting of their inflated ego and self-esteem with the pretext of giving you guidance.
A person who truly wants the best for you will never undermine you no matter the outcome of any choices you have made; He will rejoice with you if there was a good outcome or encourage you if it went bad.
This person can give you advice and share his own experiences in aiding of your decision making process but not tell you to do this or that because he cannot be responsible for you. Surround yourself with such individuals and brace yourself for the future in good faith!
This is my definition of being the master of your own destiny.