Figuring out what it means to be a man can be tough especially tougher for men today because,
- Men are often more socially isolated; they don’t have as many friends.
- Men don’t have strong relationships with their fathers and other male relatives.
- The epidemic of fatherlessness or absentee fathers
Unfortunately, two generations of men went without mentors growing up. So, without good examples of men to emulate, young men often get a bit lost leading to poor perform in school or getting involved in crime. It’s therefore more important than ever for every man to seek out mentors to help him navigate the complicated waters of manliness and life. So having a mentor is quite important. The tricky part is, how do you find one? Here’s a suggested road map.
- Determine what sort of mentor you’re looking for. We all have different facets of our lives. Work, school, spirituality, family, etc. Ask yourself what area of your life needs improvement and could benefit from a mentor. Even if you’re just looking for a mentor to help you be an all-around better man.
- Draw up a list of three men that you’d like to mentor you. Think of all the men you know that you’ve always looked up to or admired and wish you had a better relationship with. If you’re looking for a mentor to help you be an overall better man, simply think of the men you know and admire. Also, don’t stick with men that are exactly like you. If two people are the same, one of them is irrelevant. One of the benefits of a mentor is that they can help expand your point of view.
- Write down how each mentor could help you grow as a man. Think of the traits each man has that you wish to learn. Do some research on them. Do they come from a similar background as you, have unique experiences that can broaden your conception and understanding of success in a particular area of your life, have they had any setbacks similar to yours? What is it exactly about this person that makes you want him to be your mentor?
- Figure out what you expect from the mentor relationship. Before you ask someone to be your mentor, you need to know what he should expect from the relationship. How often would you like to meet with him? How do you want the mentoring to take place? A discussion over lunch? Email? A monthly phone call? When you’re deciding this, take into account the men you’re asking to be your mentor and what will work for them.
- Ask the first man on your list. After you’ve done all your prep work, it’s time to ask. Call, email, or a write a letter to do the asking depending on each person. Tell your prospective mentor that you’re looking for a mentor in a specific area of your life and that you think he’d be a good one and tell him why. People love to be praised!
- Expect rejection. Don’t’ get discouraged and don’t take it personally if people say no. People are busy these days, and they just might not have time to be a mentor. If the first man says no, go on to the second.
- Say “thank you.” No matter if you get a no or a yes, be sure to thank the person. Mentoring is a privilege and not a right.
Become a Mentor too!
Just as you need man mentors, so too do other men. No one needs guidance in the art of manliness more than boys and young men, who are trying to figure how to become worthy men. Every man should make mentoring a part of his life.
Here are just a few ways to do that:
- Become a Scout leader. Boy Scout troops always need volunteers who are eager to make a difference in boys’ lives.
2. Become a Big Brother. A lot of young men out there are growing up without a positive father figure in their lives. Be the man these boys can turn to and emulate as they grow up.
3. Volunteer with your church’s youth group. Lucky is the young man can find a man who is both an older friend and a spiritual mentor.
4. Get to know your kids’ friends. I guess some kids try to hide from adults, but if they’re game, it’s okay to hang out with them from time to time. Take your son and his friends fishing or hunting.