Here is the body of an email on the importance of finding a mentor I recently sent to a friend entering a new “life purpose” career in nutrition…
Success Comes From Picking The Right Mentor in your Field
One of the ways that you can become an “expert” in your field of nutrition is to find a “mentor”…..someone who has a body of work ( books, articles, etc), someone who is an intellectual, someone who has a well defined philosophy that makes sense to you…..and then read everything you can by that person. It will do two things for you as you develop your own unique thinking and philosophy on the subject you want to become an expert on in your own right…..first it will give you a “language” or way of thinking as you evolve your own thinking on the subject, and second is will be stabilizing influence so you don’t get derailed by emotionally motivated extremist positions or voices in your field of expertise.
Every field has them!!!
By “adopting” someone who you admire and believe in, it will stabilize your own thinking as you mature and develop in your field….it will give you a “way to process and think about” new material in your field……ie. it will help you become an independent thinker grounded in an intellectually, well thought out way of evaluating new material.
I don’t know if this person in the article ( I attached an article for them about a nutrition expert) is that person for you, but I would suggest that you search for that person and read everything you can that is written by them.
Right now you have to focus on getting yourself “grounded” in Portland and are going to be significantly distracted for a considerable period of time, but the positive side of that distraction is an opportunity to read everything you can get your hands on that has been written by your mentor.
You might want to “adopt” more than one mentor, but be sure to read your mentor’s ideas in depth. I wouldn’t chose more than a couple of people. In other words, read, read, read your mentor, even while you’re “distracted” putting down Portland roots. Digest your mentor even while you’re getting yourself financially secure etc.
To give you an example, my mentor’s for the last 15 to 20 years have been John Shelby Spong and the magazine “What Is Enlightenment”. I have read everything I could get my hands on from these two sources. I don’t always agree with what they have to say, but they have given me a stable intellectual base upon which I could develop my own thinking and my theory about the spiritual evolution of our primitive ego consciousness.
We can chat about this idea more if you want. My concern is that you use this distracted period of time to continue growing and deepening your intellectual foundation. The course you’re taking might be a place to search for a mentor. Just make sure who ever you pick is scientifically and intellectually grounded.
As you have probably heard me say (from Sam Keen)…….when you go out into the world be sure to check the batteries in your bullshit detector…..there is a LOT of bullshit out there (emotional thinkers). Who ever you pick should be a person who has written in depth in your field…..a person with a very well thought out, intellectually grounded, philosophically sound, spiritually mature understanding of the field you are entering.
The metaphor you could use for this concept is music. You might want to become a musical giant in your ability to play the violin, but to accomplish that goal you will need to train under the best violinist you can find for many, many years. We build our expertise by standing on the shoulders of those giants who have gone before us…….we call those people our mentors.
I can’t think of any thing you could do more important for your over all long term success.
Have a great day!!!