What up Survivors,
Life is tough. Most of the time, you’ll usually feel as if you’re lost in the dark with a million roads to take but unsure of the right one. Not to mention, what shoes should you wear during your journey (unless you’re a hobbit), what you might need during your trip, and how to survive along the way.
One of the best ways I’ve found to address this issue is finding someone that has walked the path before and can serve as your guide. Everyone needs a Yoda. A Dumbledore. A Gandalf. (Insert super wise old person here). Someone to show you the way.
You might be saying, “Well, sure KC. That sounds great except I can’t find someone like that and even if I did, how do I get them to put that time into me?” I’ll be honest, I’m still trying to figure that out myself. I would say a majority of people are. It’s an ongoing process. Still, hopefully by sharing my experiences and what has worked for me in the past, I can help you get your feet off the ground.
So here are the 5 steps to finding your Yoda:
1. Make a list of the people you look up to (Could be alive or deceased):
Think about who inspires you. Who has already accomplished what you want to accomplish. Who has had the same goals or aspirations as you? This helps get your thoughts on paper and also shows your potential prospects. Yes, I included deceased. You can still have role models that have since passed and they can still act as your guide. Whether it’s through their biographies or life teachings, I’m sure there is a way that you can access their life wisdom.
2. Pick one that you want to begin learning from and contact them.
If your role-model is deceased then you can begin learning from them right now and the rest of this list is kind of irrelevant. Pick up their biography, any book they’ve written or try and contact someone who knew them or knows a lot about them. For example, for Walt Disney, you might want to contact someone who has written about him extensively. If your role model is your grandpa, talk to your mom or dad and try to learn about him from their conversations.
Otherwise, if they are still alive, lay out a path in which you can contact them. Go to their class or business or whatever and try and make contact. Tell them you want to learn from them. Express to them why you admire them. Try and talk about their interests in passion rather than trying to make it all about you. This should not be flattery. This should be genuine appreciation of their actions and accomplishments. Everyone seeks the recognition of their importance in the world, no matter who they are. If this doesn’t work, offer to donate money to a charity of their choice if they agree to have lunch with your or coffee or whatever. Try and incentivize them.
3. Start learning or move on.
If they accept to mentor you, great! Begin learning from them. Ask them meaningful and well thought-out questions. Ask them about their life experiences and what they’ve learned. Ask for their guidance on decisions you have to make. Try and learn as much as you can from them! You should be putting in the majority of the effort to honor their time that they have committed to you.
On the other hand, if they say no, you only have one choice. Move on. Although it is good to be persistent, you want them to keep a positive image of you. Don’t be annoying. If they say no, politely ask their reason and if there is anything you can do to maybe change their answer. For example, if they say that they are too busy, ask if you can assist with any tasks that could free up their time. Somehow make it as convenient as possible for them. If they still say no, then politely thank them for their time and move on. Pick another mentor. Everyone you look up to has at least one story or experience you can learn from. No one is a waste of time.
4. Begin to put into action their teachings.
Although this is easier said than done, there really is no advice for it. You just gotta do it. Start small. Do the little things. Those will create a snowball effect which will allow the bigger changes to happen.
5. Last but not least, build a relationship with them and treasure it.
It doesn’t have to be all formal and official. Build a friendship with them. Do what you can to express your gratitude and repay the time they put into supporting you. Constantly thank them and let them know the impact they’ve had on your life. Relationships are one of the most important things in all of our lives. Look at Gandalf and Bilbo or Dumbledore and Harry. Although these are fictional characters, myth derives from truth. These relationships do exist, it’s up to you to go out and find them.
If you follow this Roadmap, you may just receive the guide you need to lead you down the right path.
Your Friendly-Neighborhood Best Friend KC ❤
If you have any more questions or have a request for what I should write about, feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment below. You can access it by joining the Survivor family by clicking on the dropdown menu located on the homepage.
Much of the advice I listed above comes from a book called How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. If you want to check it out, click on the link below.