Wise Fathers Series – Appoint a Teacher, Invest In A Friend, Think Happy Thoughts.

Wise Fathers Series

There is a book that I continually read throughout the years. It is a book of sage wisdom that is over 1800 years old. Though the focus in the book is Religious/Spiritual, I have always found that a “Truth” is a “Truth”. It does not only apply in one specific area of life. It applies across the full spectrum of life and activities.

My hope is to share these insights daily. I hope you enjoy.

Appoint a Mentor

“I want to make my own mistakes”

It’s funny the things that stick in your mind. I made that statement to my mother almost 20 years ago when I was a teenager who thought he had it all figured out. Man was I foolish back then.

Imagine that you need your appendix removed, you go to meet with the doctor. He tells you that he will be removing your appendix and it should be a relatively quick procedure. He asks you if you have any questions. You notice that he is quite young and are curious as to his experience and background. You ask him what medical school he studied at? He replies that he did not go to medical school he has been self teaching, using a trial and error process. He has always wanted to be a doctor and likes to figure it out for himself. In fact you will be his first appendectomy, but he is confident, because the pig he practiced on yesterday seems to be fine.

Exactly you would be out of that room in an instant. Looking for a REAL doctor who has had proper training an learned from those that have come before him.

Find your Teacher/Mentor:

This is not just about finding a conventional teacher, ie. enrolling yourself in a course. Its about discovering what your path is and then looking for those you can learn from. Life is a constant learning growth process at every stage of your life you will become aware of new directions that you want to take, of areas you want to improve. You must then find people who have already gotten to where you want to be.

In some cases you might find that a conventional teaching scenario will serve your purposes, in other situations you might decide that the help you need will not be found in a conventional educational setting, and you will need to find the mentor that can guide you.

All you have to do is ask:

When it comes to having someone mentor you, often all you have to do is ask. I remember about 6 years ago I had met a very successful private banker. We had become acquainted through playing squash. At a certain point I decided that I wanted him to help me achieve a more powerful business persona. I asked him to be my mentor. He responded “Can’t we just be friends?”. I told him that would be great, but I also wanted him to mentor me. He became my mentor and for the next 2 years guided me further along my path.

Action steps:

Decide where you would like to be a year from now.

What skills and information do you need?

Who can teach/mentor you?

Go and speak to that person to request a mentor-ship.

Invest In A Friend

Friendship is not a passive thing. Friendships are build on trust, sharing, giving, intimacy and sacrifice. Investing in a friend is not about having lots of casual friends it is about cultivating a relationship with a single person who will share in your desire for personal growth and mastery. It is better if the person is not your spouse and is of the same gender as you.

The benefit of this close friend is threefold.

1. Increased retention of knowledge – It has been said that if you want to really integrate what you learn then teach it to others.

What ever you are learning share with this friend. Your friend will hopefully question, challenge and add to that which you are learning. This will offers you that ability to more solidly integrate your learning and to also develop new ideas.

2. Accountability and Support – When we go it alone, it is so easy to fall off course and give up. When you have a friend that is holding you accountable and cheering you on, you are far more likely to succeed. Share your goals with your friend and the steps you plan to take. Empower your friend to edge you on when needed.

3. Feedback and Confidant – The right friend will have the courage to give you honest feedback on your life direction and to give constructive suggestions. You friend should also act as a strict confidant. There are times when you need to share whats on your mind and it is important to know that you have someone who you can confide in.

It goes without saying that this should be a reciprocal relationship.

Action steps:

Begin to look for someone who fits the bill – Honest, courageous, giving, trustworthy.

Work to cultivate this special friendship (It doesn’t happen overnight)

When the time is right share your intentions.

Think Happy Thoughts..About Others

This bit is about judging others favorably.

When we get in to anger/frustrated/Judger mode, we lose the ability to thing clearly and effectively. It’s amazing how somebody cutting us off on the road can turn us into and insane monster. We seem to reflexively assume the worst in others.

Cultivating the habit of seeing others actions in a positive light can help us to eliminate tension and stress. It can help us to develop a more understanding nature.

For example: The next time someone cut you off, you can think to yourself, maybe there is a family emergency that they need to get to. Maybe he forgot to pick up his 6 year old from school. Maybe she just got fired. Maybe he just lost a loved one.

You might be thinking to yourself, but what if the person is just a jerk? That may be so but how will the stress and tension from that thought serve you.

As a general rule people are not out to get you, more often than not they are so consumed by their own life struggles that they aren’t even aware that they offended you. And if they were aware they would most definitely apologize.

Action step:

Today, when you find yourself in a situation where you are feeling frustrated by someones actions, try and judge the person favorably.

Enjoy the day.

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