The Mentoring Chronicles 1: ONE mentor is all you need!

The value of what doctors write in a handwriting which we can never understand can only be realised after taking the medicine they wrote for us. The value of what mentors suggest which we can never figure out why can only be understood after doing as they suggested and seeing the results for ourselves!
Sandhya Nagaraj
Published on: 27th April 2016
Mentoring and cooking are two entirely different things. Actually, what I really mean is that mentoring a batch of students, and cooking rice are two different things. Rice- if one grain has baked, the whole batch is cooked. How simple! But this is not so with mentoring, and that is precisely what makes it an entirely different ball game.
What do you think is the most important ingredient in mentoring? I'm not talking about teaching a theoretical subject here. Mentoring is something that will leave the mentee with a broader mindset than he/she walked in with, while teaching is about the subject, mentoring is about the student. Now that we've got our definitions clear, what do you think is absolutely essential for mentoring to work? The answer is crystal clear, trust. That five lettered word which is so hard to build and yet so easy to break, that which is valued so much even since the ancient times that they have an adage on it - "it is greater to be trusted than loved"; that which if present between people can make every ordinary day blissful, that which can transform any home and workplace into a paradise. Trust. So much talk about one quality that is found so less in this world.

The reason I write this article is because these days, I see people hopping from one job to another, discarding friends like how does one person less on a planet of a billion matter, moving from one field of interest to another, and sadly switching "mentors" from one to another, all too rapidly. A job change or a break in friendship or a change in profession itself is good if you're sure that you've hit a dead end- not when you've just walked through the main door, and realised you need to open the windows yourself. But with a mentor, he/she makes it very clear to you that you cannot go all the way if you don't have trust. It is better to be honest if that trust is not yet built within you than lie, because that lie might just cost you and your mentor everything. Everybody takes different amounts of time or experiences to trust a mentor, and that is perfectly okay. But saying that you trust him/her while you actually don't is like agreeing to go for skydiving with a instructor you don't believe in! Now your skydiving instructor probably will ask you to press a button to open the parachute, but if at that moment if you decide to detach your rope from his since you don't trust him, I don't have to go into the details of what kind of a disaster you got yourself into! Unfortunately most of the lessons with a mentor aren't in the literal sky, and you really have no idea how high up he/she has taken you, which you might have taken years, if not decades to reach on your own.
So the journey never begins unless you have the trust - no mentor will take you somewhere high when he knows you might cut loose any moment, only because you wouldn't survive the fall. It's probably easier said than done for you, but give your job everything you have, give your friends another chance, and your mentor your trust. There's no other way to know life other than taking a plunge into it!
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