"It's not about finding the one. It's about preparing yourself to be the one." -Jefferson Bethke
What if the movies that were promoted among us shared what dating, courtship, relationships, marriage, love--what all that stuff really looked like? What if the media didn't condone and celebrate a masquerade of men and women selected to compete for the attention of one lucky individual of the opposite sex... who would eventually choose which one they liked best? What if the news didn't always feature Hollywood's hottest couple, followed by news of their horrific breakup? I would venture to say our expectations would drastically change on how we pursued and engaged in intimate and meaningful relationships.
Here's the bottom line: your significant other, he or she, doesn't need all that pressure that comes with being "the one" or that perfect soulmate. If you're going to set that standard, then be ready to watch your partner crash and burn, over and over again. Then, prepare yourself for let down after let down, over and over again.
One of my mentors told me some time ago that pain is our best teacher. After the pain of regret and the pain of failure, grace offered me a different perspective. Grace says it's more about giving and less about getting. God is more concerned with our holiness than He is with our happiness.
If you're on the hunt for that perfect someone, good luck, because (1) everyone of the opposite sex is born into a fallen world with a sin nature, just like you; (2) you're setting a standard that probably cannot be reached; and (3) you're probably walking by wonderful bachelors or bachelorettes, every single day, who could or would be great companions.
Am I saying that you should throw away your checklist of attributes? Not necessarily... It's certainly important to be intentional. And there's nothing wrong with being aware of what you're most attracted to. But, remember to be flexible. After all, you are human. And do yourself a favor by asking for God's help. He's a pretty good resource to have in your corner, since He created man and woman and the institution of marriage. Plus, He knows your heart better than you do and He truly wants what's best for you. He'll also provide wise counsel, if you choose to seek advice from couples who have winning relationships that are anchored in sacrificial love.
"Most of us begin by looking for worthy models to follow by reading about them in books. Start there. But don't leave it at that. Look for people who will give you access to their lives." -John C. Maxwell
Or maybe it's mentee? Call it what you wish, but it's a critical position to be in for someone who aspires to grow. And aren't there enough reference guides for those seeking a mentor? Who you should look for... What characteristics or qualities they should have... But what about the mentoree? It's just as important to know what one must do in order to be mentored effectively. Although this is certainly a topic that can be discussed extensively, here are a few quick tips for the student who wants to be mentored.
Edify and Ask: If you want to be mentored by someone who does what you aspire to do or who has what you aspire to have, then establishing contact with that person is the first step. In a world saturated with technology and social media, it's not as difficult as one may think to retrieve the contact information of any given individual. If direct contact information isn't readily available, then it's time to get some networking in. Once contact is established, it pays well to pay a compliment. It will be one of the best investments you ever make. Most people are willing to do you a favor if you are willing to sincerely edify them. After edification, be bold and ask for the outcome you wish to receive. If you ask not, you have not. The worst someone can say is no... And if that happens, chances are, someone else has also seen a great deal of success as well, so you're in luck. However, if the timing isn't right for any particular high achiever that you truly want to be mentored by, then continue to ask. Your patience and persistence will likely win them over.
Be On Time and Take Good Notes: If you want to be mentored by someone who does what you aspire to do or who has what you aspire to have, then it's import to respect their time and the information and experiences they share with you. Time is finite; one of our most precious commodities. It's something we cannot get back once it's spent (or invested). Don't allow the time invested in you, by any given mentor, to be time wasted. That begins by making sure you are prompt when it comes to any meeting between the two of you. In addition, always be prepared to ask good questions and take good notes. You may even consider sending your mentor a series of questions, via email or text, prior to any given meeting. This will communicate to them that you are seeking their mentorship on purpose and you are willing to be timely in your meetings. Also, consider using some type of voice recorder during your meetings (or record any conference calls). This can help you stay in the moment, referencing the conversation later, versus having your head stuck in your note pad for your entire allotted time together.
Take Action and Keep Growing: If you want to be mentored by someone who does what you aspire to do or who has what you aspire to have, then after you put pen to pad, put your paws to your plans and go to work. Nothing says to your mentor that you are serious about the time and resources they have invested in you... like you going out and taking massive action. I've asked several mentors if there is anything I could do for them to repay them for their gift of wisdom, and they have all basically said the same thing: "The best way to repay me is to go accomplish your dreams and goals." Why is this? Because most successful people, who keep the main thing the main thing, never forget that they didn't get where they're at by themselves. And one of the best investments one can make if they have seen success, is the investment of their time, touch, talent and treasure, into the person who has a big dream in their heart and a fire in their belly. Honor your mentor by allowing your actions to speak louder than your words.
When you're playing the role of mentoree, remember to be humble, be teachable and be grateful. This is a topic I will soon touch on again (5 Solid Questions to Ask Your Mentor), so stick close to my blog. If you find something good--something worth sharing--by all means, share aware.
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