Build Radical Resilience With Me. March 13, 2023
Archery was my first skill to be developed. My cousins who lived 6 houses down the street all shot archery. When I was 8 I did piles of dishes to earn money to buy a bow. It was a great goal and I worked hard for it.
Once I had my bow, I worked with my Uncle Lester to make my own arrows to use. He was quite a good mentor. Patient and attentive, he let me help. I learned a lot about the arrow points, painting choices and attaching the fletching feathers. I got to choose my feather and paint colors. Once I had my arrows I could practice with my uncle and the boys in the back yard shooting into a bale of straw with a target on it.
Then it was off to the archery range. There were varying distances on the range which required an entirely different skill, including understanding the impact of wind and distance had on reaching the target. I grew from this mentoring, both in knowledge and skill.
I view mentoring as choosing to learn from someone who is farther down the path than us in some way. It might be a skill, a way of being, or a particular quality they have that we don’t yet have. They might agree to mentor us, or they might not even know us if it is mentoring from a distance. Co-mentoring is when we learn from each other and spur each of us to grow. It is a thrilling and fulfilling experience.
My next memorable mentor was my music teacher in high school. Faith Reigle taught me many things about singing, accompanying choral groups, composers, different types of music, and a deep appreciation of the joy of listening to and making music. She also taught me that it was possible to be a woman who could balance having a career with having a family. This growth launched me to consider college as a viable choice. Up until this time no one in my immediate family had gone to college. It was an important decision that would effect the rest of my life.
These early decisions to be mentored by someone sealed my commitment to the process. If we choose wisely, we can grow in leaps and bounds by noticing, attending to, and understanding what others do and how they do it. I believe we all need a coach! (Many throughout our lifetime!) We benefit from being discriminating in that choice. There are three important parts of this learning for me. I want someone who knows more about something than me.
1. I want to know what they know.
2. I want to know why they do what they do, and
3. I want to know how they do what they do.
Are you hitting the targets you set for yourself? Would a new mentor nudge you a little further along the path?
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