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Having a Mentor has a Deep Impact on our Lives

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19th Dec, 2017
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Having a Mentor has a Deep Impact on our Lives

“Chachu, I want to become an Astronaut when I grow up,”

Said my 6-year-old nephew, while he was playing with some toys. His words put a smile on my face. I looked at my brother who was sitting on the opposite side of the dining table and could see a similar smile on his face too. I could feel the happiness that was radiating out of my brother. Any parent would be happy if they saw their child being so ambitious.
This incident took place earlier this year during my visit to my home in Calcutta. Although it might be very common, it made me ask myself a few questions, what happens to our ambitions once we grow up? Why are so many of us confused about the purpose our lives? Why can’t more people be happy with their work life?
In today’s fast-paced world, where things are changing every minute, getting an hour of free time every day is considered to be a luxury. But, even when we get that hour of free time, it is usually spent on relaxation or entertainment. Procrastination kicks in and whatever plans we had made to use that 1 hour for self-development gets delayed to the next day. This process keeps on happening day after day, till it reaches a point where we simply give up. This is the reason why the guitarist in you never got a chance to perform at his first event or the writer in you never got her first story break.
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Now comes the main question – Is there any way to take out some time from our busy lives and dedicate that time towards self-improvement? The answer is yes, there is not a single way but rather multiple ways to do that. Over here we will take a look at two such methods.
First, we have to understand that the key to success is not through being busy but rather being productive. A very important skill that one should pick up in order to become more productive is time-management. Time is the most important thing that we have, and if we learn to manage it, we can really become successful in our lives. The book “7 Habits of highly effective people”  by Stephen R Covey talks a lot about time management and habit formation and anybody who is looking to get the most out of their day should give it a read.
But, what if you fall asleep after reading just one page of a book? How can you learn time management without self-study? Well, the answer is simple; get a mentor in your life. A mentor will teach you not only about time management but many more useful skills and will also help you to stay on track throughout the entire journey. Let us analyse this situation from another point of view. Imagine that you are a car.
Motivation is like fuel. It only helps to run a vehicle which in this case is you. But a vehicle cannot run without an engine. In human beings, our purpose acts like the engine. Even with engine and fuel, you still cannot drive a car if there is no steering wheel. Dedication is the steering wheel. But can you drive a car if there are no roads? No, so you need a road, a direction. Planning creates the road for you. But I don’t think anybody would ever want to drive a car with a single gear? Experiences and failures are our gears. Sometimes you will move at fourth or fifth gear and sometimes you may even need to put your ‘life’s car’ on the reverse. What about windscreen wipers? Yes, we have them too, education, it helps us to see the world clearly.
Mentor is like google maps UpGrad Blog
Horn? Come on, that is your voice, both verbal as well as written.
Rear view mirrors? Your memory.
Headlights? Spiritual learnings
Backlight? Your work
Indicators? Your presence.
Entertainment system? Whatever keeps you happy.
AC? Mindfulness
But all of this will not work unless you start the engine and for that, you need a key. In the case of our lives, the “key” is our decisions.
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Now comes the most important question, where does a mentor fit into all of this? The answer is simple, the mentor acts like “Google Maps”. You may have all of the above things, but if you are using a wrong road map, no amount of dedication or motivation will be able to help you to achieve your goals. Just like “Google Maps” your mentor helps you to find the right track, gives you proper notifications, makes sure you have your route and time mapped out and get there when you need to. Even without a mentor, you can still achieve your goals, but sometimes it is better to have somebody by your side to help you in your journey to greatness.

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Shubham is a part of operations and services team of UpGrad. Additionally, he is a freelance digital marketer who specializes in Instagram Marketing. Prior to joining UpGrad, he was pursuing Master's in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Can a person stay busy without being productive?

Yes, it is possible to stay busy without being productive. Being busy is a state of mind that can be both productive and unproductive. The word “busy” simply means being preoccupied or involved with something. But it can also mean being excessively involved and occupied with something which does not have a fruitful result, such as scrolling on social media. To “be productive” means to produce something that adds value to the world, and that sometimes creates new value. People engaged in productive activities are usually busy.

2Besides motivating, what other things does a Guru do?

Motivation is a critical factor that affects our productivity and effectiveness. Many people aren’t motivated to do what they need to do because they don’t have a mentor or a Guru. Mentors can be instrumental in helping you stay focused on what you need to do, by providing guidance, feedback, and support. A guru is an experienced person who provides advice, support, and encouragement to help the younger generation grow, learn, and reach their potential. The truth is, in being a mentor they are exhibiting expertise and imparting knowledge, not imparting wisdom.

3Why do working professionals need a Guru?

Working professionals need a Guru, someone who can help them stay focused on what needs to be done, provide guidance, and support them when they need it most. Professionals often find themselves with a lot on their plates. It can be hard to find the time to properly focus on their career development, but having a mentor can be invaluable in helping you. The mentoring relationship doesn’t need to be limited to just business topics, a mentor can help their mentee work through any issues they are facing, whether it’s a personal issue, a career issue, or a financial decision they need to make. This allows mentees to feel comfortable discussing anything with their guru, which helps them develop the ability to ask for what they need and want from their professional life.

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