Over the course of the past six months, I have been investigating the "trickle-down" effect of mentoring in the workplace. The trickle-down effect of mentoring is that it enables employees to be more productive and innovative. This is because behaviour is a function of the relationship between people and the environment.
So you went from being a slacker with unrealized potential to a mover and shaker in the world in 13 steps. Or more likely, you just read all the blog versions of the whole book (without skipping over too much, I hope) and you are wondering a bunch of questions. I will answer the questions first and then get to the ones who have gone through the 13 steps.
Most people feel something missing in their lives. So, how do we bring meaning into our lives? How do we begin to feel truly alive? Do something crazy! Help someone else. Choose to make one small positive change in the world. When we start thinking about helping others, we raise not only their hopes but our own heart vibrations. Our hearts rise up beyond the petty slights and missteps of daily life and begin to focus on a bigger picture.
When you are mindful of your daily life, your life is one of being present. Of really living and not just killing time to go virtual. Learning to care and to matter may be one of the greatest commodities in the age of ideas because then your work, play, study and relationship times become chances to experience, feel, think and grow. Live each day like it was the only one you have. Care about people and learn from everything.
The young clients I work with tend to be addicted to: video gaming, magic cards, junk food and/or cannabis. Many would say that their addictions seem to provide a level of comfort -- a buffer from an unsafe world. Having an addictive nature means that you have a passionate nature. So, how do you take these passions and make them become something generative?
So here you are, taking another stab at "making it" in life. Your parents are cautiously optimistic.You are non-committal. Your dog still thinks you're amazing (but he likes Yanni). It should go well. You're older. You've had a few "challenges" under you belt and you've survived. You're not on the street or in a cult or both. Then why so nervous?
In a positive stage of your life, you're meeting with people who will accept you for following your purpose and sharing the qualities of passion and striving that you have in common. Each positive action builds upon itself. Each setback becomes merely a minor bump on the road you are travelling on and everything leads you towards your bliss. You may just find yourself unboxed and free for the very first time!
You can study, you can practice, you can philosophize all you want, it means diddly until you test it out there in the "real world." Now comes the next step for a young adult searching to find their success in life: putting three toes in the water. If you get three straight failures, remember Edison took 10,000 wrong tries to find the right filament, creating the incandescent bulb.
What would you do? How would you be? How would you go about it? Who would you seek out? What if it wasn't what you thought it would be? How would you know when you'd arrived? Be careful for what you wish for. I am going to give you the keys to make whatever you want happen as long as it is for the benefit of all who are touched by your choices.
Bill Clinton at the DNC said what white- and blue-collar workers have known for 30 years: you need to invest in people to have an innovative and productive economy. My coach, used to say "you get corn, if you plant corn." Neither in government nor in business have we been planting corn. We quit planting it almost 30 years ago when we got rid of middle management in government and the private sector, and as the economy reveals, we are losing.
Now meet your greatest challenger: the time-stealer. He (or she) is fun, charming, great to be with, someone you are happy to do things with, gets all your jokes, just all around great to kill time with. Yes, the time-stealer is a time-killer. You never get it back, and yet, you value the time spent with them.
Until I started working at The Mustard Seed, an organization working with individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty, I asked and was asked "how are you?" a lot. The reply I got was almost always the same: "I'm good, thanks, and you?" But one girl changed my mind, and taught me to listen. As important as I've realized this practice is in everyday relationships, it is even more important when working with vulnerable populations.
We need to own what we do. The truth is that it is the things we do just for ourselves, things that we do on a daily basis, things we do when we are inspired but also when we are sick of doing them that builds character and creates something I call Generativity -- the things that one does that improve the quality of life in any way, moment by moment.
At some point in our childhood, we have had some negative incidents happen to us that have caused us to be self-limiting. These become tapes playing in our heads so often that we don't even notice what they say anymore but they effect every decision we make. Here is an example of changing the loops:
Historically, the act of apprenticeship began when a person reached somewhere between the ages of 10 and 15. However, that practice changed rapidly with the inclusion of child labor laws and free education for children -- both great movements but both came at the cost of the influence of experiencing a one-on-one mentor; someone to influence the success of a person in their adolescent years. The following is a guide to finding the proper mentor for an individual student.
Put three toes in the water. Why three? Do one thing and it works, and it could just be "luck." Do two things and it can still be an anomaly. Do three things and now you have a pattern. If you get three straight failures, remember Edison took 10,000 wrong tries to find the right filament, creating the incandescent bulb.
Craig and Marc Kielburger are founders of Free The Children and Me to We, a social enterprise. They are authors of "The World Needs Your Kid: Raising ...