Making the Most of Mentorship


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Making the Most of Mentorship

Today, I wanted to talk today about the idea of how to best use your mentor or coach. This idea comes about because I was talking with an LSA director and he was trying to figure out how to best utilize my expertise.

I told him, “Look if you want to use me the best, then come to me with things that will have a great impact.” This kind of confused him at first because he thought “Well, how do I know if something has a great impact?”

I gave him two examples:

  1. Let’s say you’re trying to decide if you want to buy a million-dollar house. You might know what you want to do. You might see a clear path to doing it, but If you make a mistake, or if you didn’t see it accurately, it could cause big issues in your life. In fact, it could be a huge financial loss that could cause you pain for many years. Now take another decision,
  2. Choosing to eat an ice-cream sandwich or Sour Patch Kids for dessert. You might not know what you really want, but if you make a mistake, then it’s not really going to impact your life in in a very big way.

This is much like using your mentor, if you want to mitigate risk in your life, then you always want to talk to your mentor about things that will have a big impact. You don’t want to take the risk. Now, if you want practice in trying to figure out “Do I accurately, see what’s going on in life?” You should practice on simple things that will not have a big impact on your life. To mitigate your risk, on things that could impact your life in a big way go talk to someone, talk to your coach, your mentor, a parent, someone to give you further understanding of that idea or subject or choice you have to make.

Remember, if they are your mentor, it means that for some reason they have more knowledge and understanding in that certain subject than you. They are always going to have a different perspective. They are always going to have something to add that you did not understand. So, it will never hurt you to be able to get that perspective before you go into making your decision.

Can Happiness Last Forever?

Moving to the book, last week we read the first paragraph of the Author’s Note and we will begin this week with the second paragraph:

“The dilemma with the purpose of life always comes down to sustainability. Everyone wants to be happy, but we want to be happy forever. Being happy for one moment is not good enough if you are miserable with the rest of your life. Thus, the purpose becomes: How do you obtain happiness and keep it?”

This idea came to me at a very young age. I remember a very distinct memory of going on a trip to Disneyland with my family and some friends. It was a trip that I had anticipated for a long time. I was excited about it. It was a great experience! I was so happy, but I found as the trip moved on and neared its end, I started to get worried and stressed. The trip was coming to an end and then I would have to go back to my regular life. I thought, “Why does this trip even matter if it’s so quick and fleeting, and then I have to go back to my life where I am not really that happy?”

This would happen trip after trip. Then, I started to realize that even the trips were not fun because they were for such a short amount of time and the rest of my life wasn’t really that enjoyable. I started asking myself, “Why am I doing this? There must be a better way where I can be happy more of my life, not just these one-week trips we take maybe a couple times of year.”

The Road to Happiness

Continuing on in the book:

To do this you have to ensure fear, stress, and worry will never occur. Of course, you do not want to think about this too much or the thinking will increase your stress. Therefore, you must find a dominant answer.

I would think about things way too much when I was younger and found that it did increase my stress by thinking about it too much. I realized I needed an answer that was simple. Moving on:

That answer for me was perfection. If you are perfect, and if you know everything, then nothing can make you fear, stress, or worry. In other words, you would be a god.”

When I was younger you can tell I was really taken by this notion of being able to be perfect, being a god, being someone who knew everything. To me it was the only solution for my issues. I needed to have more understanding.  Moving on:

Perfection in my mind equates to efficiency, productivity, success, understanding, and happiness. Someone who knows everything will understand why everything works. The more someone understands, the better they will perform, the faster they will be able to do things, the more efficiently they will be able to work. A perfect person no longer worries about having a job, money, or anything they desire that they know how to obtain. Someone who understands will also be able to maintain their youth and health longer. Thus, they are happy not just for a moment, but forever.

This is what I found from a very young age to help me to be able to be happier for a longer period of time and to stress and worry less. The only reason why we stress is due to a lack of information. Thus, if you want to get rid of stress or fear, you just have to get more understanding and information.

Trying New Things

Whenever I worried about one thing or another, I would always delve into understanding what it was. Getting more information on an idea or a topic or the situation. For example, a lot of times people will tell you, “If you don’t like someone, become their friend.” Why? Because when you become their friend, you get to know who they are, why they’re doing what they’re doing, and then you begin to realize why they are who they are. In doing that they won’t annoy you as much, or you won’t be as angry at them or you won’t be intimidated by them as much.

This works with everything in life. A lot of times people fear getting a job or not having money. When I was younger, I wanted to have lots of money and so I told myself, “Well, if I don’t have enough money to do things and it’s making me worry or it is causing unhappiness, then I need to go get a job.”

I ended up going out and looking at all my options. I talked to my friends, I talked to my parents, and I talked to everyone to figure out what I could do to have a job. It just turned out that my friend’s father was a locksmith and a security expert. I ended up getting a job with him and he paid me to make locks. This was an outstanding idea because I could work with my friend and his father would pay for our lunches and he paid me well.

After I had enough money to do what I wanted, I didn’t really enjoy making locks as much and I didn’t think that’s what I was going to do for the rest of my life. Going out and getting a job allowed me to move on, and eventually, I started working with my father. By going out, getting information, and seeing how things work, it allowed me to be able to overcome my fear and worry. It allowed me to gain more understanding about myself and where I wanted to go in life and what would make me happy.

Weekly Challenge

This week my challenge to you is to go find something in your life that you worry and stress about—something that causes unhappiness.

It could be you don’t like what you’re doing, it could be that you don’t like a person, or it could be something that you’re really worrying about in the future. Go look into it!

Go find out what you can do about it. Go do something different. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but just something a little bit different that will allow you to get more information in your life and I guarantee your life will get less stressed.

Hopefully as you do this more and more you will find that throughout your entire life you can be happy and not just for these fleeting moments that you anticipate and look forward to and are gone in the blink of an eye. Have a great week!

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In Search of Truth is an independent publication by Dr. Jacob Kashiwagi. All proceeds are donated to the Leadership Society of Arizona 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. 

The views expressed in the book are based on independent research and personal experience. This publication does not necessarily represent the views of LSA.