Friday, April 06, 2007

A Higher Order of Thinking (H.O.T.) Parts 10 and 11

Welcome to the conclusion of the 11 stages of thinking, rationalizing, acting, basically stages of living and leading yourself. Today we will be reviewing the last 2 stages- stages 10 (Mentor Now) and 11, (Leave Now). To recap, the 11 levels of thinking we identified are;

Need Now
Want Now
Not Now
What Now?
Why Now?
Right Now
More Now
Share Now
Love Now

Mentor Now: This is where we take the love of what we do and combine it with humility as we teach others to do the same and pass their teachings on. It is about affecting change within the world you live in.
Leave Now: This is the final chapter of our evolvement- self actualization. As a matter of fact, this stage is often not complete until after we are dead, because the key to this stage- is legacy. Leaving a legacy at your job, within your home and community at large, and in the world... making it all better than you left it.

People in the Love Now stage (stage 9) really get messages like The Secret, or 'Pay it forward'. They are great, loving people who truly want to and do make a difference in the world. The only way we can get more people to the Love Now stage though, is if we have more Mentors. Mentors create future leaders (in this case, lovers). The question, then, is what is the difference between a mentor and a Lover (in the sense we use the term here)?

At first glance it may seem like a simple teacher/ pupil relationship, but there is more to it...
An apt comparison would be that of a business owner and a manager. In theory, both should be echo-ing the same message, and should hold the same values. What often separates an owner and a manager is that the manager most often does not have their ass tied to the bottom line. This level of ultimate responsibility changes an owners perspective, and they see all the little things in their business, from the way inter-office memos are filled out, to whether or not there is toilet paper in the washrooms. Managers do the right things, but often need a lot of coaching when it comes to perspective, and WHY this or that is important, and HOW it ties into the values they already hold and exhibit.

Mentor to Lover is much the same in this respect; yes, the Mentor has been doing it longer. Yes, the Mentor may have a clearer understanding of the purpose of action, and how to turn other Lovers into potential Mentors... but there is also one critical difference between Lovers and Mentors, and that is in where they are headed. Lovers share their message and improve others lives for many reasons- from trying to improve the quality of live of those they love, to trying to leave a legacy through empowerment. Mentors are always leaders. You cannot truly be a Mentor to someone else without having LED them in some meaningful and real way. Mentors lead through selflessness, and don't keep a tally of who has reciprocated and who has not. They lead and Mentor because it is within them to do and they are fulfilling an ultimately selfless duty and role wherein they hope to bettor mankind.

It is not that Lovers "aren't there yet"... many would choose not to be a Mentor, and not because they are selfish- it could be because they simply want to have a quiet existence of love with those they cherish. It could be they do not have the passion to Love and lead others, or it could be that they do not have the strength to invest time and energy into others and see it wasted on some and returned in very low percentages (which is the unfortunate reality of leadership).

True Mentors (in the sense of thinking, loving, leading, and living, and not just work or education) are very rare. Whether it be a famous mind who has shaped many like Aristotle or Plato, or even Mother Theresa, the point is we can all think of someone who fits this description. The important- no - VITAL message for anyone aspiring to be a Mentor (and it has taken 11 weeks to get to this point), is that you don't have to be Mother Theresa to be a Mentor, and even if you selflessly lead only a few people, know that whether you see the fruits of your labours or not- they are there... This is the foundation of the "Leave Now" stage. This is not a stage you can hope to arrive at in your living years. Whether it is a funeral celebration of thousands, or a tear on a cheek of 1 person, know that Mentors are lovingly remembered- and it is the impact that lasts in humanity past your lifetime that marks the "Leave Now" stage; the most profound and important impact any human being can hope to acheive.

Leave Now Mentors leave a legacy. There is no legacy (at least no desirable legacy) left behind you if all you seek is money. Looks? No lasting legacy except maybe a photograph; but that does little to inspire positive action in others. Great athleticism? Unless through your feats you can inspire others to challenge themselves, no lasting legacy except statistics. This is not to discount any of the great acheivers in these fields, or those who enjoy watching them or hearing them. It is simply to state that the only kind of person who leaves a lasting legacy on another human soul... is the person who sought out merely to help that person become happier and more successful. Mentors never do it for glory, and can never leave a lasting impact if their motivation is truly selfish. If they were truly selfish, their perspective would be limited, and their impact would therefore as well.

Whether you mission is more happiness and love for yourself, to learn this and pass it on to your loved ones, or whether you want to lead others and inspire them to become leaders themselves... get after it, and know that while you may be able to leave a legacy far beyond your years, you are alive TODAY to read this, and there are people who love you and who you love. Be whatever you can for yourself and them on this list. Do it for the right reasons (and right people), but do it, and LOVE your journey!

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