Do You Have a Mentor?

It’s partway through the year 2020 and I’m wonder if many of you are continuing with your resolutions at this point? I know that the yoga classes at my gym were already thinning before the COVID-19 crisis as people that started out coming regularly at the beginning of the new year slowly started coming less often or dropping out. I see that every year as resolutions start to fade in importance.

Goals are good drivers, but also stern taskmasters, especially for those of us that are more type-A and driven. I sometimes avoid putting down goals because I’ve struggled to accept my inability to attain them. I’m working to accept the fact I miss some goals, but it’s a hard balance to strive. The goal has to mean something to work towards it, and it should be hard enough to stretch me, but I can’t be upset for not making it. I also can’t just accept not trying. I am never quite sure how to best tackle this.

Earlier this year I was reading the sqlSkills newsletter and saw an editorial from Paul Randal. In it he talked about improving yourself, the different things you might try, and also the need to post-mortem your previous efforts. One other thing he mentioned was the value of having a mentor.

I wonder how many of you have a mentor that you can call on. I know I’ve tried to help in the past with The Mentoring Experiment, Paul does some mentoring, and there other efforts out there. I think it’s valuable to get some mentoring at different times in your life, and from different people.

I have a couple people that I know I can ask things of with regards to my career and personal growth. I’ve leaned on them at times, asking for advice or feedback on different ways to change my life. My wife is one, but there are a few others that have had quite a bit of influence on how I move forward.

If you don’t have a mentor, I’d advise you to seek one out. Or maybe more than one. Ask someone you like, you trust, that isn’t directly supervising you (spouses excepted here), and that you think can give you honest and supportive feedback on your career, life, or something else. It’s a valuable tool to help you cope with the world and assist you in achieving your goals.

Steve Jones

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