Successful people often talk of others who influenced their choices and ways of doing things. Basketball players talk of players, long since retired, and their moves, of memorizing each step and working to improve on them. Baseball players speak of time spent with their fathers or a family friend, honing the early skills in a garden or a local hangout. Business leaders refer to the values and relationship practices modeled for them, and how a mentor passed on skills that later proved to be critical in their success.
During the past week, I have listened to people posturing and positing themselves with a new boss. Their efforts continue to be genuine, frank, and searching. If there is a common theme it is this: mentors and leaders are hard to find, strongly desired, and a key part of being successful. Their thirst is real, tangible, and unquenched.
In my response to the new opportunities, I can see the influence and teaching of my early mentors. I am not sure each would recognize his or her influence. Some would clearly argue with me, saying that I misunderstood their teachings. Perhaps they would be right, however a question remains, begging that you and I ask and answer it, if only for our inner self.
Who are my mentors today? What do I most thirst for?
God reminds us of the role he plays in the lives of some. “So, my dear friends, listen carefully; those who embrace these my ways are most blessed.” (Proverbs 8.31) The flipside is not automatic, however some things like peace, mercy, and unconditional acceptance only seem to be found in one place; God.
I look around me and I am thankful for those who spent the time passing on their skills. I wish I had paid more attention in those moments so that I could be more as they were then now. The days seem to be running more quickly now; the question of who I look to even more important than when I was young. Question is; what is my real answer today?