It’s been my good fortune to have inspired and motivating mentors in my life. The first that comes to mind is a kind and nurturing stake Relief Society president that taught me how to minister rather than administer, how to plan with a purpose and how to invest in individuals. I think of her often and the way she has shaped me as a leader.
Then there’s my therapist. I saw a counselor for nearly two years. She taught me so much about ownership…learning to own my feelings, my behavior and most importantly, my greatness. She’d always hug me goodbye and say “Go be awesome JBrink.” She was a huge advocate of me getting more education, speaking publicly and trying hard things. I know she smiled from heaven when I earned that PhD.
I’m grateful for a wise man who saw potential in me then had the courage to push me to do more. As a result of his influence I’ve accomplished dreams that were tucked so deep in my heart that I barely knew they were there. He put me on the path to earn my doctorate which led me to BYU and Utah, where I met my husband. What a beautiful life we are living as a result.
Those are just a few of the people who have mentored me. Who are the people in your life that have helped to shape and develop who you are today?
I suspect we all have special people who’ve made kind investments in our progression. The more I reflect on the various people who’ve nurtured me, the more I want to give. I’m grateful for the ebb and flow of life that allows us to be takers and givers. Right now is a giving season for me. Our daughter is the primary recipient yet my heart is stretching to others. Just recently I’ve started working with a 13-year-old young woman in my ward. We’re doing our Personal Progress together. And I love it. I’m learning as much from her as I hope I am giving to her.
There’s something about one-on-one time with someone; coaching, loving, nurturing and digging deep to draw out potential and infuse confidence. What if every one of us were to prayerfully identify someone that we could help along the path of discipleship?
Here’s an invitation:
1. List individuals who have mentored you in some way. How did they help you? (think of teachers, your parents, family, Church leaders etc)
2. What qualities and skills do you have that could be helpful to someone else? (go beyond obvious outward talents. we all have unique, God-given talents that are meant to be shared.)
3. Identify a young person that you want to help… talk to their parents and leaders to get permission.
4. Find a way this young person can be helpful to you so it’s a reciprocal process. Help them to feel useful, needed, and trusted.
5. Act…and be sure to note what you’re learning in the process
Perhaps this talk from Elder Richard G. Scott will help inspire you.
And please share your thoughts and process!