“I’d like to hand in my letter of resignation.”
I will never forget the moment I spoke those words to my boss. It was almost three years ago now and marked the end of my first (and last) regular job.
I’d love to tell you I was all cool and confident, but in reality, I was shitting myself (figuratively speaking).
Let’s rewind for a moment.
Just 30 minutes earlier, I was sitting at my desk, body shaking and tapping my foot wildly. See, for a few months, I’d become incredibly unhappy in my job. I can’t quite remember why or how, but I’d woken up to the fact that I didn’t really want to be doing what I was doing, and wondered if I’d be able to live a meaningful life by continuing on the path I was on.
There had to be more to life than this.
I’d started reading blogs about people doing things unconventionally, while still being able to make a living, and thought to myself: “If they can do it, what’s stopping me?”
It was in that moment where I had one of my biggest personal A-HA moments:
“No one’s going to make life awesome for me.” (Tweet this)
After deciding that resignation was a very real possibility, I decided to tell my dad. This was easier said than done. My parents are pretty old school, and I was terrified at the thought of what my dad might say.
But this was too important to me. No one’s going to make life awesome for me.
I messaged my dad on Whatsapp (super personal, Bryan) and he instantly replied:
“If you’re not happy, you’re not growing and/or you’re not adding value to the company, the admirable thing to do is to resign, but most people don’t because it’s easy to just cash your cheque at the end of every month.”
Thirty minutes later, I’d resigned.
I sometimes wonder how things would have turned out if my dad had said something different (love you, Dad).
I didn’t realize it at the time, but in that moment (and countless others during my life), my dad acted as a mentor.
But what if we don’t have a father-figure to drop wisdom-bombs like my dad did? We see all the time how “find a mentor” is a critical component to success in life, but where do we turn if our dad doesn’t fill that role?
Traditionally, the answer has been to look in the business world for someone doing what we want to do one day, but when I spoke to Doug Stewart, my friend and expert on mentorship, he revealed a side of mentorship I never knew existed.
According to Doug, there are ‘mentors’ all around us if we know how to look for them. And the best part is, we can tap into their wisdom right now, without the formality of asking someone for guidance. This new school of mentorship is what Doug calls the “5.5 mentors”.
DOUG STEWART’S 5.5 MENTORS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
The World View Mentor
The first mentor is called the World View Mentor, which is what most of us would consider a traditional mentor. This is someone who sits way above your perspective. Doug describes it as an astronaut or a fighter pilot who is able to see past our perspective and help us to navigate toward our vision for ourselves.
The Street View Mentor
If the World View Mentor has a bird’s eye view of our situation, the Street View Mentor is there alongside us. This is someone who is able to recognize when we’re going off track and quickly points out that we need some readjusting. Some examples would be a best friend, sibling or girlfriend/boyfriend.
The Time Machine Mentor
Time Machine Mentors are people from the past, whether famous or not. The beauty of the Time Machine Mentor is that there are no constraints in terms of schedules or availability. We are able to learn from their failures, experiences and wisdom via their books and memoirs whenever we want.
The Stealth Mentor
The Stealth Mentor is all about learning from the people we interact with each day, without them even knowing! The truth is, there is plenty of wisdom all around us, but it’s up to us to take advantage of that and use it to move towards a better version of ourselves. I’m watching you 😉
The Categorical Mentor
The Categorical Mentor is best compared to a filing cabinet and involves selecting certain aspects of different people we admire while ignoring others. Even some of our biggest role models have traits we would prefer not to emulate, which is where the Categorical Mentor is so effective. We can simply go in, pull out a ‘file’ and implement the parts we want to embody.
Finally, we have the Anti-Mentor, which Doug refers to as the half mentor in his 5.5 mentors model. The Anti-Mentor is slightly paradoxical in that they are one of the most important, but shouldn’t take up a lot of our time. This is someone who we absolutely do not want to model, and so use them as a reminder of who we don’t want to be.
The mentors above were inspired by Doug’s TEDx talk, which you can find here.
Looking back, that exchange with my dad was the first real taste of mentorship I’d received (the most powerful, anyway). But after learning about this new model of mentorship, I’ve been learning from others ever since. Yes, I still recommend finding a traditional (World View) mentor but don’t neglect the power of some of these other roles.
I’d love to hear from you: Which kind of mentor could you start learning from this week? Shoot me a tweet @BryanTeare and lemme know!
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