The Pursuit of Happiness
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Throughout history, all great women and men have always attributed their successes to mentors, people around them in their formative years that helped mould them and their thinking.
Sachin Tendulkar attributed his technique and playing style to Mr Achrekar, Sachin's success is part of modern cricket folklore. Mentors are guides who can explain complex problems in simple ways so that people can understand and benefit from these learnings.
In today's’ world competition is stiff and many are vying to be the best but often face challenges in trying to find the right mentor who can guide and play a defining role for those who seek this information. In an ideal world, every young human should have a mentor they can meet in person, however, in reality, this isn’t the case. So, what does one do? - Luckily since the turn of the century, the world has become more social and knowledge is more freely available now than ever.
Before charting the course to finding the right mentor and the right advice, we must first know what we want:1. Chart your goals
Know where you stand today and where you want to be in 10 years, 20 years and so on. This good help defines what you need to get there.
2. Map your Needs
Once you know your goals, you will know what you need. Defines the skills you need to learn to achieve your goals.
3. Know Thyself
Write down your values, your motivation on this journey of self-improvement. Writing them down will give clarity and make you more self -ware.
Once you have gone through the process of mapping your needs against your goals and framed them within the boundaries of your personal motivations and values, the methods listed below can be useful for any individual to find “virtual mentors”.
A mentor’s role is to share his knowledge, his experiences for succeeding using this knowledge and ultimately defining a value system that helps grow the individual emotionally, - the role of emotional balance and harmony should not be underestimated.1. Gaining the Right Knowledge
Read, Read Read! From Bill Gates to Warren Buffet everyone advocates the need to read books. Books and articles are an invaluable resource to learning from others experiences. They help broaden your horizons and expose you to new tools that can be used to tackle everyday problems.
Some argue that they don’t have the time to read books but there are tools available like audio books or the app “Blinkist” that condenses the key points from each book. These enable an “on the go” approach to learning.
Each published article is based on the research and vetted for authenticity, so the veracity of these articles cannot be questioned.
For those that argue that time is an issue, try taking out time from Social Media, watching television or some other activity and use this to enhance your view of the world.
2. Verify Your Skills
No knowledge is useful unless it can be applied. If you need to learn about negotiations - apply techniques that you learn in everyday life if it is financial valuations that you need to apply, read the stock market and see if what you have learnt is applicable.
But more importantly, bounce ideas off like-minded people. Be more social in the real world. Interact, share and test your ideas and experiences with others. Join social clubs, sports teams or Non-profits, this will enable you to not only test your theories but also learn a different approach to the same problem.
This approach is akin to the fail fast approach taken by many start-ups. They have an idea, they roll out a product and see the response. If the response is positive, their idea is verified. If not, they try a different approach.
Remember failure is part of the learning curve. Edison famously remarked “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
3. Defining your Value System
Ultimately for any individual, the value system defines how far one is willing to go in achieving what they truly believe in. Once you know your values we can truly go about our tasks. What is important to us, is our truth alone.
Never let your aspirations exceed your values. Emotional intelligence and internal happiness are key to your holistic success. Ex- Pepsi CEO, Indra Nooyi talks about the importance of donning many different hats each day- In office she is the CEO and makes critical decisions in a top-down approach that defines the course for a world leading organization, but every night she comes back to her family and must recognize the needs of her family members - She can’t be the CEO at home and can not to be as accommodating in her role as a CEO.
Emotional balance is largely unrecognized but all great leaders of the modern world will emphasize the need to search for internal happiness. This keeps one balanced and energized to tackle the rigours of everyday life.
Always be humble, know that you don’t know everything, be nice and always have good manners! A virtual mentor process is a tool for holistic success and “Pursuit of Happiness”. This Hollywood classic is a great way to understand what this article talks about.
To re-iterate mentors are only guides and it is up to the mentee and the conviction to become a better version of yourself that is the driving force to genuine change.