Last Sunday we had a lovely braai, just spending some much needed time together. Cornè and his family joined us along with Philip, and we sat around the fire talking. It’s so easy to lose sight of the significance of these get-togethers between the trials and trivialities of life. Rushing to get past the endless list of things to do, we pass by the very human moments that keep us grounded and in tact.
It’s been said that though the world is getting smaller, people are growing further and further apart. With the help of technology, we live in a society that’s never been more ‘connected’, and yet we are slowly losing sight of each other. We underestimate the value of authentic social interaction, though studies have shown just how beneficial the effects of face-to-face communication can be. Not only do we live longer, feel more supported and build better self-esteem, but it also reduces the effects of stress and depression and boosts the brain by enhancing memory and intellectual performance.
So why do we insist on seeing each other through a screen? Apart from convenience and efficiency in the daily grind, why do we hide from each other behind the projected Facebook idea of ourselves? It’s relatively safe to argue that scores of twitter followers won’t leap at the chance to hold your hand when you get knocked down by life. It’s just too much effort, isn’t it? Too messy. Too real.
Perhaps we avoid each other because it challenges us to be present in the moment. Human behaviour can be baffling, destructive and contrary. A person doesn’t always fit into the circumspectly defined profile he has online. A person may agree to something and not honor that agreement. In short, what I’m trying to say is, we can’t control other people and that scares us. So the question you need to ask yourself is: where is your locus of control?
I like to think of our mentoring journey as a method for answering that question for you. Defining your locus of control is essential to any successful relationship, and with us you’re certainly going to be put to the test. Making an 18 month commitment to meeting a hot mess every week, you’re going to need to learn what’s within your power to change- and then do it. To bypass the false bravado, limiting self-beliefs and fear of rejection in your mentee (let alone yourself) is what we’re here to help you do. And just like everything else that’s worth pursuing- it gets really hard sometimes.
That’s why we’re here to support you. Social interaction forms a fundamental part of the mentoring journey, whereby your consistent presence on the outside of a mentees’ life is meant to shift their internal damaging perceptions. When this doesn’t happen straight away (which it won’t) we provide the platform to touch base and talk it through with each other every month. The support and understanding we can gain from these meetings are meant to revitalize and encourage us on this journey, helping us not to lose faith in the vision.
In conclusion, this journey isn’t just about your mentee reaching their potential for a more fulfilled life. It’s also about you growing into the kind of mature person that can recognize their own capacity for change and stick-to-itiveness. It’s about you owning the title of Mentor.