On finding a life mentor.
The other day I was browsing through a book when a quote caught my attention…
“We like to say we don’t get to choose our parents, that they were given by chance – yet we can truly choose whose children we’d like to be.”
-Seneca, On the brevity of life, 15.3a
There have definitely been times while growing up when I’ve felt the need for a mentor or a role model. You grow up having this picture imprinted in your head of your parents to know everything and have the answer to every one of your many questions. And yet as you grow older you notice that not every question’s been answered and not every answer was something you could agree upon.
In search of guidance in life, you may realize that sometimes you have to be your own mentor and other times that mentor is a word that can mean so many things. You might feel like everyone else has it all figured out and you’re left wandering the world like an isolated star on the cloudy sky. But a mentor that you so much need will find you in many different shapes and places if you’re willing to stretch the definition of what a life mentor should look like by just a little bit.
One way to find answers to your questions is to get to know those that were here before us.
You can find your life mentor in the words that have been written in a different space and time. Your mentor waits for you in a form of a book. Yes, a book.
Does that sound strange?
It might, but I truly believe the wisdom of those who came before us can help us as a guide in our lives. Whoever says your life mentors have to be your parents or your teachers or friends should immerse himself in the wisdom words of many great thinkers who chose to share their knowledge with the world. Believe it or not many of those struggled with similar if not the same problems as we do.
The great writers, philosophers, and poets can truly help to inspire and give a sense of direction in life. When you feel lonely and hopeless, let those who have lived, show you the way. It is not about learning a few facts of history and putting two and two together. It‘s about finding inspiration to become your best version, to find inspiration to give your best with a sense of courage and pride.
Whether you’re lucky to find it in your own home and surroundings or in books around the world, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that your know that not every mentor comes dressed as your mother. There is nothing wrong in finding your life mentor in a self-development part of a bookstore or on the biography shelf. Books carry centuries of knowledge of those who sometimes are not even among us anymore but can still very much inspire us with their stories and wisdom.
This summer instead of buying who knows what, invest in some quality reads to take with you on your holiday.
It may cost you some money but it will also be very beneficial for your mental health in the long run.
I’ve read somewhere that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
But you can choose who you’d like to hang out with. Whether would that be your parents, your friends or lovers, or simply five authors that you get to know through reading their works, it’s up to you. The important part is that you understand that you have a choice.
So next time when you lack a sense of purpose in life just remember that there are many who have felt the same. Lucky for us their knowledge, wisdom and kind words were made available for the world to use.
Wish you all a week of inner calm and lots of inspiration.
Until next time…
Some of the books my friends recommend:
Do you like more personal posts?
You may want to check this one titled Letters from Costa Rica: You only get one chance in life.