4 Ways to Maximize the Wisdom of Your Mentors

When was the last time you sought for advice?

While on the way home from Tagaytay, we chanced upon a baranggay having festivities, and the men were participating in a game — the palusebo. It was my first time to actually see it done, since I just get to read about it in the text books. At first, each of them took a shot on grabbing the flag on top — but the pole proved too slippery (there’s probably too much oil). Then later, they helped each other by climbing on backs and standing on shoulders. With no surprise, the big men were at the base and the lighter ones reached for the flag. So, that’s how they succeeded in getting the flag.

During the holidays I took the opportunity to meet with mentors and ninongs — they are people who are “big men” in their field. I wanted to consult them since I was 20 years younger than most of them, and still trying to reach my “flag” amidst the slippery climb towards my life goals. I am grateful that they are there to support me with their wealth of wisdom. This reminds me of the expression, “standing on the shoulders of giants.” Here’s what it means:

The metaphor of dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants expresses the meaning of “discovering truth by building on previous discoveries”. This concept has been traced to the 12th century, attributed to Bernard of Chartres. Its most familiar expression in English is by Isaac Newton in 1675: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” (Wikipedia)

The goal of talking to mentors is to build on their discoveries, and even achieve further and bigger. Don’t assume that your mentors don’t have time for you. Ask them, and you’ll be surprised that they will make time. Why? They love you and want to see you grow and succeed. Ask and you shall receive wisdom!

The mentors who spent time with me are busy people — but they took a chip off their precious time to help me climb up. Here are 4 ways to maximize their wisdom:

1. Ask for Specific Advice

Mentors want to know how they can help you. Be specific on what you need from them. Don’t go unprepared; have an agenda. Beforehand, identify the problem or confusion that you’re facing, and be able to frame it properly with a question. A specific advice would sound like, “With my experience and skill set, what business should I go into?” or “I’m having a problem deciding between these two things…what do you think?”

2. Take their offer and follow through

I was surprised of the extent of my mentors’ willingness to help me build my business. What’s important is to follow through with their offer. Give an update by dropping an email or messaging them.

3. Reflect and Document your New learning

Listening to them is not enough. Take time to write what you’ve learned — reflect and expound. What are the implications of your mentors’ ideas and advices?

4. Execute!

The best and fastest way to reach goals is not to take too much time thinking and planning — more time should be done executing! And so that’s what I did, and I was off to a great start!

Most importantly, let’s not forget the “Big Man” up there. He wants to lift us up all the way to Heaven, and He sent Jesus to show us the way, and the Spirit to prod and inspire. When life gets slippery and we’re about to fall, let us seek the wisdom of our Big God Who gives hope, courage and strength to rise.

Reflect:

1. Have you visited your mentors recently?

2. What wisdom have they shared with you that you should be already executing?

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