+ “Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
I often speak of three things that I believe are significant in helping young people grow - 1. Having a clear Purpose and passion in life, 2. Empowering environment, which includes people and places, and 3. A critical friend or mentor.
Have you ever pondered how many people there are in your life that have had some level of influence upon you to help you become who you are today?
I’d like you to consider these four tenets when you consider a critical friend or mentor to support you in seeing your possibility:
1. Is a positive Role Model. An individual who exemplifies in word and action what it means to be an ethical, responsible, and compassionate human being. Someone who has a reputation for character and solid principles you wish to emulate.
2. Is a skilled listener. They really get to know you – your context, gifts, strengths, fears and challenges, your individual personality and your aspirations. They are a trusted ally, or advocate, who works with you and on behalf of the your best interests and goals.
3. Is a facilitator. They are a thoughtful person who provides access to people, places, experiences, and resources outside your normal environment. Allowing you to develop a diverse range of perspectives, through real encounters, that challenge and provide alternatives.
4. Is unapologetically honest. A person that doesn’t just encourage you, but will also tell you the blunt truth when you are moving in the wrong direction. They become an important sounding board who will help you with your struggles and help you to clarify your principles and beliefs.
The right critical friend or mentor will help you discover and develop the true possibility within yourself to succeed in all aspects of life.
Who are you allowing to influence you and are they worthy of that influence?
Instead of pairing up with someone who will reinforce your weaknesses, find someone who will challenge you to acquire new strengths through new horizons. You decide.