Great projects are always built from a pattern or blueprint. In this lifetime there is no greater project than the deliberate development of our own lives. Therefore, we each need a “blueprint” – something or someone to look at and pattern ourselves after – if we want to make change and progress. We are all influenced by someone. Since this influence will determine, to some extent, the direction of our lives, it is far better to deliberately choose the people we will permit to influence us than to allow the power of the wrong influence to weave its effect on us without our knowledge or conscious choice.
Each of us should be in constant search of people we can admire and respect; people after whom we can pattern part of our own behaviour. Regardless of our age or circumstances, we are never beyond the reach of influence. The key is to find unique human beings whose personalities and achievements stimulate, fascinate and inspire us and then strive to assimilate their best qualities.
Never under-estimate the power of influence. Find people who have value and arrange your life in order to be able to spend more time with them. Even a small amount of time can make a great deal of difference when it is spent with the right people – people who educate, encourage, inspire and assist you in moving in the right direction.
There are two ways to get an education. The first is via the School of Hard Knocks where the tuition comes at great expense and consumes time you will never retrieve. In today’s environment where information is so readily available, only a fool would choose such a long and arduous path, laden with death-traps to kill dreams and eliminate fortunes. Of those who enter, few will graduate, because the price and the sacrifice required are just too high. Of those who actually do graduate I have not met one who didn’t wish he or she could have taken an easier route.
Fortunately there is an easier route. It’s quicker, a lot less painful and costs a fraction of the price required by the “Hard Knocks” institution. This school is called “The School of Prior Learning”. The only people qualified to teach at this institution are those who have gone before and paved the way themselves in the endeavour of their choice.
It is worth whatever time we must take and whatever we must invest to make a study of people who do well. Gather their ideas and the information from all of the available sources. Read the books. Attend the seminars. Spend time gathering the knowledge that success requires. Study the habits, the language, the manner of dress and the disciplines of those who have succeeded.
We could all use a little coaching. We must all make certain that we have access to our own select person or group (mentor/coach) to whom we can turn for counsel when the winds have changed so often that we are no longer certain if we are still on course. Others can help us to examine our actions objectively to ensure that we have not drifted too far away from the fundamentals.
There is great value in an outside voice – someone who can provide an objective appraisal of how we are and what we are doing. An objective appraisal from someone whose opinion we respect will enable us to see things that we would not see on our own. Objectivity, brought to us in the form of wise counsel from one we trust and respect, can lead us to early and accurate information about ourselves and our decision-making process. It can prevent us from reaching faulty conclusions based on familiarity with our environment.
Regardless of what type of business you are in or contemplating, someone has gone before you and ‘that someone’ is usually willing to teach you what they know and share their own lessons with you. Remember, however, you must understand there is a big difference between those who are willing to teach and those who are qualified to teach. It is your responsibility to make the distinction.
We are wise, indeed, if we discipline ourselves to take counsel and suggestion from someone who cares, lest life and circumstances force us to take it from one who does not care.
Ask yourself this question, “To whom am I listening? And what makes them qualified to teach me? Common sense ought to tell you never to take financial advice (for example) from someone who isn’t making several times your income!
Model the successes of others. Don’t be too proud to follow in someone else’s footsteps. And especially model someone who is already doing what you want to be doing; who is already successful, healthy, wealthy and wise.
Hero worship shouldn’t disappear with adolescence; at least not if we’re smart. It can and should be a life-long source of inspiration and motivation for us. Many of the most famous and influential people we know have had their mentors and heroes to which they aspired.
Henry Ford came from a childhood of poverty, illiteracy and ignorance. Over a period of ten years he mastered these three handicaps. Within another twenty-five years he became one of the richest men in America. It is well-known that he made his most rapid strides in business from the time he became a personal friend of Thomas Edison. From this we can begin to understand what the influence of one mind upon another can accomplish. Mr. Ford’s most outstanding achievements began from the time he became associated with men such as Harvey Firestone (industrialist who established the Firestone Tyre and Rubber Company), John Burroughs (writer, essayist and Naturalist) and Luther Burbank (Botanist, horticulturist and pioneer in agricultural science). Through his association with these four men, Henry Ford was able to add to his own brain power the sum and substance of the intelligence, experience, knowledge and spiritual forces of these men.
It is said that during the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy read and re-read the biographies of Winston Churchill and other great men. A man of courage himself, he nonetheless drew from the well of inspiration in his time of crisis.
We all need to know that what we’re trying to accomplish can in fact be done. Perhaps it will take an almost superhuman effort, but if we harness all the power at our disposal, our resources and determination, we have to believe that it can be done. When we model ourselves after those who have achieved greatness, take on their character, their strengths, their determination, we in turn become like them and better ourselves in the process.
Saying: Men should be weighed, not counted. The mentor or coach can guide us on result oriented tasks and can be there when we need him and having mentor can hold our finger and cross the difficult roads and mentor must have two qualities, he must be one of the top in his field and must be well wisher for others and he must be able to help us and guide us on our difficult times of our journey.