The mentor/student relationship used to be the norm in society. There used to be masters and apprentices in the skilled trades prior to the industrial revolution. That was traded in for the queen bee and worker drone business model that most of you are participating in right now. But mentorship as a concept has been making a huge comeback lately (although not enough of a comeback that the WordPress spell check recognizes it as a real word).
The first time I ever heard of a life coach that sounded pretty weird to me. And now it seems like anyone can become a certified life coach online as easily as they can become ordained in some quasi-religion.
Did I have any mentors growing up? Not really. Neither of my parents (or none of my parents if you count step-parents) ever taught me a thing about religion, politics, finances or relationships. Which left as my only source of information on those topics: government schooling. And the default state government position on those topics is:
- Religion. Your life is meaningless because you are a random accident of the cosmos and it is illegal for you to discuss religion except to belittle it.
- Politics: The only moral choice is the political party that the teachers union supports because they will give us pay raises in return for a unified voting block and aside from that truth you may not discuss politics.
- Finances. Rich people are evil. Your government should be your sole source of dependence.
- Relationships. Have sex with whatever you want and if it happens to be female abort the accidents that will invariably happen.
Thank God I met my mentors (also, that sentence is illegal at a high school commencement speech today).
I wasn’t looking for mentors, I just happened to find some when I began my business. Of course I wasn’t even looking to get in to business, some things just happen because random circumstance sometimes has to be shoved out of the way to make room for God’s plan in our lives.
But enough digression. Based on my life and the values that I was brought up with:
I would have no desire or prospects of prosperity. I never would have started a business. I probably never would have had a job for longer than a year, because I was brought up not to take responsibility for my actions and if I got bored with something it was alright to just quit. I’m sure that I would have worked only in menial, low-paying jobs because I did not have an ambitious bone in my body. In fact my dream job would be one that I never have to innovate or take initiative or take any work home with me.
I was decidedly apolitical, so I never would have bothered registering to vote. I also never watched the news so at least I wouldn’t be wasting time with the latest media-enabled cause du jour. *cough*occupy*end cough*
I would probably be spending 40 hours a week on television and gaming. I certainly would not have read another book beyond high school (hey, I made it completely through college without reading a book). So age 17 would have been the height of my learning.
I would be a devout atheist looking down on religious people as weak-willed sycophants.
And with all that going for me I would have been trying to find a girl willing to cohabitate with me as an exclusive sex partner.
The one thing that might be similar in my life is that I might still be writing – because that’s something I’ve been good at for nearly as long as I can remember and it’s been easy for me. But, rather than writing on success principles I would be writing Steven King-esque horror fiction or possibly philosophical works on why there is no God and life is meaningless; possibly condemning some otherwise good, open-minded people to hell if they agreed with my writing.
That’s the direction I was heading in. In fact I was pretty much already there in a lot of areas. And it took a long time to change direction; to change from that useless slob of a human to a man with a vision to help one million people to improve their lives financially, relationally or spiritually.
That’s why I’m so passionate on the subject of personal growth. Growing your mind means expanding your vision. Expanding your vision allows you to see multiple possibilities rather than the one that was spoon-fed to you by Hollywood and government schools.
Thank God, that someone cared about me enough to take me under their wing and teach me some important lessons about life.