The classic superhero movie plot is one in which there is a crisis, and everyone is living by the status quo. The scene is set as an ordinary world, with ordinary people living in dire circumstances. There also exists a seemingly ordinary individual and a mentor, likable in most aspects, but this person is somewhat rebellious. The story shows on a small scale how this individual challenges rules that don’t make sense.
The story typically juxtaposes the hero in question in his little village versus what’s going on in the community at large. Then there is a major crisis that breaks out which calls for a leader. This “hero” feels like he holds the key to making a difference but does not want to get involved. This individual battles with the idea of rising up to the opportunity of being a hero, but then rationalizes why he is not the right guy. Until something happens, deeply emotional, that directly involves this individual. The initial reaction is denial, then it moves to anger, then deeper isolation, and somewhere along the line, a mentor comes to move the hero into the situation.
The hero in question initially rebels at the idea of evoking change. It’s a game that goes back and forth between the mentor and the “hero” until this hero realizes that if nobody rises to the challenges the problematic situation, there is a lot to lose. Eventually, all the skills that have been learned eventually come into play. He begins to see how his mindset and skills align with the problems. He sees that his passion all along has not been against the rules at home or in his little village, but his real issues were against the oppression and evils being perpetrated in the society. At this point, the leader arises, the superhero answers to the call, and begins to take action.
In the story of your life, you are the hero. The seed of purpose within you is your call to action. You have been created to solve a problem that society is faced with, and the more you live life not fulfilling purpose, the more the world suffers for it. The problems in the world that catch your attention somehow align with your innate potential. The skills you have may seem irrelevant, but they must be developed. Until they are developed, you will continue to feel inadequate in meeting the challenges that present themselves in the world.
In order for you to fully emerge as a hero in your story, you need a mentor. A mentor is someone who will guide you as you emerge in your journey of purpose. A mentor will hold you accountable, teach you life lessons, and show you “the path” to follow. A mentor is not there to stifle the expression of your purpose, even though it may seem like so in certain instances, rather the mentor has foresight and can see more objectively where your passions may blindside you.
Success always leaves a trail. For you to fulfill purpose identify someone who you consider successful in your field, who is willing to teach and coach you, and is committed to your growth and development. While I believe it is necessary that you have personal accountability, all you may initially have access to will be the biographies, books, and CDs of someone you consider a success in the line of what you’re passionate about. Start with that and devote yourself to learning as much as you can from that person. As you do this, be sure to have an accountability system that will keep you in check and walking a straight path to the fulfillment of your purpose.
Here are a few characteristic of mentors to lookout for:
- Understands the dynamics of your passion, and has similar and advance skills, talents and abilities as yours.
- Recognizes the potential in you, and believes in your ability to achieve your goals.
- A person of strong character. Men are not perfect, but this person must be someone of high moral standards.
- Demonstrates effective communication skills both verbally and non-verbally.
- Able to hold you accountable and call you to order without fear of consequences.
- Emotionally intelligent enough to know when personal feelings are a conflict of interest, and is also sensitive to your emotions as a mentee.
- An individual committed to continuous development and self improvement.
This is not an all inclusive list, and not everyone may have all the other personal qualities that may suit you, but a person who possesses these characteristics is fit to mentor you. I’ll also add, don’t expect your mentor to be your friend. He or she is primarily a coach to help you fulfill your purpose.