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Finding a World-Class Mentor: Unlocking Wisdom in the Digital Age
In our journey through life, we often seek guidance and inspiration from those who have achieved extraordinary success. The concept of having a mentor has gained significant popularity, as many believe that the company we keep directly influences our growth. However, finding a world-class mentor can be a daunting task. The individuals we admire may be inaccessible, located in distant cities, or simply not available for mentorship. So, how can we overcome these challenges and still benefit from the wisdom of remarkable individuals? In this article, we will explore three considerations for finding a great mentor and uncover an alternative approach to mentorship in the digital age.
The first option to consider is finding someone who aligns with your requirements and offering value to them. This could involve working alongside them in a nonprofit organization or assisting them with their endeavors. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that this approach can be challenging. The mentor you aspire to learn from may have limited availability or may not actively engage in mentoring relationships.
Another intriguing idea that has emerged recently is leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to engage with the knowledge and experiences of notable individuals. By inputting vast amounts of data, including writings, speeches, and stories about a specific person, AI can simulate conversations with them. Imagine asking Steve Jobs for advice on a particular situation. However, it is essential to exercise caution and not rely solely on AI for life decisions. While AI has made significant advancements, placing complete trust in its recommendations may not be advisable at present.
So, what can we do to benefit from the wisdom of world-class mentors? One approach that has proven effective is taking advantage of the unprecedented opportunities provided by the digital age. Unlike prior decades, we now have access to audiobooks that capture the best thinking of exceptional minds and distill their concepts into comprehensive works. For instance, renowned hedge fund manager Ray Dalio, who may not have the time to mentor individuals personally, has shared his insights in a book aimed at passing his wisdom to future generations. Similarly, interviews, presentations, and stories about individuals like Elon Musk can be found on the internet. While we may not have direct access to these remarkable mentors, we can absorb their knowledge through various mediums available for free or through audiobooks.
Consider a scenario where you are surrounded by people who lack success, wisdom, knowledge, or education—individuals whose lives do not align with your aspirations. How can an average person like you seek guidance and elevate themselves in such circumstances? One practical approach is to immerse yourself in the voices of extraordinary mentors and their wisdom by engaging with YouTube videos, podcasts, and audiobooks. This alternative method allows you to virtually surround yourself with the insights of wise individuals who can inspire and guide you, even if you don’t have a personal mentor.
While finding a mentor who excels in every aspect of life may be challenging, you can identify niche experts in specific areas. These individuals may not possess all-encompassing wisdom, but they excel in certain categories that you find valuable. For example, you may admire someone’s parenting skills or their ability to engage in meaningful conversations. By reaching out to them, you can seek mentorship in those particular areas. These niche mentors can offer valuable guidance on topics such as enjoying life, maintaining physical health, raising children, or nurturing a thriving relationship.
Finding a world-class mentor may not always be feasible due to geographical limitations, financial constraints, or time constraints faced by highly accomplished individuals. However, the digital age has opened up new avenues for accessing the wisdom of exceptional mentors. Through audiobooks, interviews, and presentations, we can absorb the best thinking and insights from renowned personalities. By surrounding ourselves virtually with the voices of extraordinary mentors, we can still benefit from their guidance and elevate our lives. Additionally, identifying niche experts in specific areas can provide mentorship in specialized domains. While the path to finding a mentor may not always be straightforward, the digital age offers numerous opportunities to unlock wisdom and drive personal growth.
Remember, mentorship can come in many forms, and embracing diverse sources of knowledge and guidance can help us navigate our unique journeys towards success and fulfillment.
How Can You Find a World-class Mentor?
So, a lot of people, as they are growing up, would love to have a mentor. You may have heard the saying that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. So, it goes without saying, you should try to find some great people to be around, and one, in particular, is a mentor. You have probably seen the books and the YouTube creators and influencers who talk about how important it is to get a great mentor, maybe great mentors that they had. But let’s face it, a lot of us, we don’t know those people. We may not be in the cities where they live. We may not be able to afford the rates that they would charge for mentorship. And some of the people that would be great mentors for us simply are not taking the time to mentor.
How Do You Find a Great Mentor?
So what do you do about this? How do you find a great mentor? Well, here are three considerations. First, one option is to find somebody that fulfills the requirements that you are looking for and try to provide value to them; maybe that is working at a nonprofit with them, or maybe it is helping them with something. But let’s face it, that can be very difficult. Another idea that I heard recently was that artificial intelligence could essentially absorb all of the data related to a particular person, all their writings, their speeches, and stories about them. And once that is absorbed into artificial intelligence, you can have a conversation with them and say, you know, like, “Hey, Steve Jobs, what would you do in this situation?” I don’t have the confidence in artificial intelligence at this point to be basing life decisions on something like that.
So I will tell you what I have done. I have wanted to learn from some of the most extraordinary people, and fortunately, I have had the opportunity to work alongside some great people. Nobody you have known, but if you are looking for a world-class mentor, one of the things that struck me is we have an opportunity these days that never existed in prior decades. We are able to listen to audiobooks and hear the best thinking from world-class thinkers, people who have done extraordinary work, and then put the concepts together in books.
I will give you an example. Ray Dalio, who runs a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, has had extraordinary success in many categories in life. Does he have time to mentor me? No. In fact, I would be surprised if he had time to mentor anybody, but what he has done is put together some of his best thinking to pass along to future generations in a book. And in fact, I just listened to audiobooks or, let’s take somebody like Elon Musk. Many people idolize him and say, “Hey, he would be an incredible mentor.” Well, obviously, he doesn’t have time to run this. He is running Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company. He is managing the new CEO of Twitter. He has his hands on many other investments. Does he have time to mentor? No. But what we can do is capture interviews of him, presentations by him, and stories about him. So, as we think about if we are people who don’t have access to world-class mentors, we do, though, happen to live in a unique time where you can get some of the best thinking, best conversations, and best speeches right now available on the internet, either for free or through audio-books.
So let’s imagine that you are growing up in a family where you don’t have many successful people around you. You don’t have many wise people or knowledgeable people or educated people around you. In fact, you look at the lives of the people around you and you say, “I don’t want that.” How can you, as an average person, go get a mentor that helps you out of this? Well, what I do is I try to saturate myself and surround myself with the voices of incredible mentors and their best thinking through YouTube videos, podcasts, and audio books. So that is a little different approach than actually getting a mentor, but it is a realistic approach that everybody can do. When I was young, I used to think, “Oh, wouldn’t it be amazing if I could sit next to..” And then I would name some leader, like be a fly on the wall and hear conversations or, you know, say two leaders have conversations between each other. Wouldn’t it be incredible if I could listen to that conversation? Well, these days we have that. We have experts who interview other experts, whether it is Malcolm Gladwell interviewing some famous author or some famous CEO or some famous athlete. Being able to listen to those conversations is a virtual way of surrounding ourselves with wise people.
So how can you find a world-class mentor? There are tips on the internet. Maybe you can find them, but a really great second-best option is finding what they have written and the discussions they have had and saturating yourself with that, whether you listen to them on walks, while exercising, while driving, or whatever you do, finding that wisdom and surrounding yourself with it. That is a great way to offset the fact that a lot of us simply can’t find these incredible mentors who will allocate time out of their schedules to help us in our personal lives.
I have also observed that although I may not have one mentor in all categories, there are people in my life who I do admire in specific categories. Like, for example, I might admire a person in parenting. I may not think this particular person is great in every category, but in the area of parenting, I can ask that particular person questions. Or a person who is good at socializing and conversation. And I could ask that person when you approach a room where you don’t know everybody, what is your mindset? What preparation do you do to have thoughtful and productive conversations and engaging conversations with people?
So, in other words, we may not have one mentor who has all sorts of wisdom in every category, but to the extent we can find little niche experts in our own lives, that may be possible. And it might be simple things, like how do you enjoy life? How do you stay physically healthy? What have you found works well in raising daughters or in raising sons? Or what has worked well in your relationship and investing in your marriage? All those sorts of questions you may know people who do that category well, and they at least can provide a mentorship in those particular categories.
All right. Well, thank you for joining me here today. If you would like more information on me, you can find it at aaronhall.com. If you would like to follow us on other platforms, just search for Aaron Hall, Attorney, on the various other social media platforms. And if you have other questions, I would be happy to see about answering them in future YouTube live videos. Feel free to add them in the comments below. It was great talking with you today. I hope this was helpful, and let’s stay in touch. You can sign up at aaronhall.com/free if you would like to receive those exclusive training videos for people who are trying to avoid common problems in small businesses. Have a great day.