I heard a story the other day of a man who was driving in the middle of a downpour. The rain came down in sheets and visibility was just terrible. The man was unsure if he should stop or keep going. Suddenly he spotted a set of taillights ahead of him and decided he’d simply follow them. They seemed to be going in the right direction, and it was a big comfort to know there was another person on the same journey. Well, he followed those taillights for what seemed like miles, until they suddenly stopped in the middle of the road. The man sat there, his windshield wipers pushing water aside furiously, wondering if the car had encountered a problem or hit an animal. Then, instead of moving again, the car’s taillights disappeared. Frustrated, the man began cursing to himself about the idiot in front of him who obviously didn’t care about those behind. About that time, someone knocked on the man’s car window.
He rolled the window down in the pouring rain to encounter a woman.
“What’s your problem?” the man asked.
“I was going to ask you the same thing,” she said.
“Well, I’m not the idiot who stopped in the middle of the road and turned off her lights,” the man snapped back.
“No,” the woman replied, “but you are the idiot who’s parked in my driveway.”
I love that story because it illustrates some of the key principles I’ve taught my entire life. First, nobody wants to go it alone. We all want to know that someone else is taking the journey with us, and we often prefer following someone who’s just a little ahead of us on the way. Second, and most importantly, whom we choose to follow is of the utmost importance. Many of us end up like the man in the story – we simply follow the first person that seems to be heading in the same direction. But that can leave us looking pretty foolish.
Mentors matter, and having the right mentor matters even more. You see, the right mentor expands your vision. They help you see farther, and stretch your horizons. They help you see more by uncovering your blind spots. And they help you see clearly to discover your best path to success.
That’s why I’ve chosen mentors at every step along my journey. I can’t see it all, I can’t know it all – and neither can you. We all need someone to help us in our pursuit of intentional growth, and the right mentor helps you take massive leaps forward.
Mentors do three things for you:
1. They know the way – so they have insights and wisdom born from experience.
2. They show the way – by generously applying their insight and wisdom to your specific situation.
3. They go the way – by walking with you through your own journey and helping you learn from your experiences.
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