Power of Mentorship

Recently, I was reading Chip Dodd’s book, The Needs of the Heart, and came upon this simple and powerful truth: “So, this is our first time through life…Of course we are in need of being guided!” We all need guidance. We only live one life and have one chance at the next step. And we’ve never been to the next step that we are headed towards. It is a curious behavior, then, that we act as if we shouldn’t need guidance towards our next step in life.

This is the foolishness of the “self-made man.” There is no such thing. Hard workers? Yes. People who have succeeded against all odds? Yes. But these are not self-made individuals. There are certainly people around them, who deserve some credit in making them who they are; Even and perhaps especially, their enemies. Even if we only learned by observing another person, we were guided by their example. There are no self-made people. We all need guidance.

People love YouTube and various how-to websites. Why? Because, you can find guidance for so many things: Guidance to rebuild an engine, air-brush your selfies, or improve your singing voice. What’s more, we can receive guidance without ever admitting to others that we are lacking and that we need help.

We need mentors and guides for our next step in life. We are often quite successful in a few areas of life because we’ve had mentors who could guide us in those areas. We succeed in our careers perhaps, our hairstyling, our ability to serve others, or our self-discipline. But there are other areas, that if we admit it to ourselves and others, we are lacking and missing something. They are often the most important things: peacefulness, enjoyment, trust, courage, compassion, and openness. Could it be that we aren’t just complete failures? Perhaps we have needed some guidance.

Start this way. Admit your need. In scared space, we hide our needs and meet them covertly. In sacred space, we admit our needs and trust for their fulfillment. Everyone needs mentors and guides in life. If your life is full of nice space and scared space, you probably haven’t had someone help you explore the sacred spaces in life.

Why not start by noticing the people you admire and tell them. “I see how you enjoy life. I would like to enjoy life that way.” “I admire how you speak honestly about your disappointments. I don’t do that, but I want to.” “I like how your sincerity towards others. Where did you learn that?”

Mentorship works better when we ask for it directly. It allows the mentor to speak freely, knowing their insight is desired. No one wants to be a nag. So ask a friend, a grandparent, an employee or the team here at Sacred Space.