In the past I’ve written about the importance of seeking mentors. But what about being a mentor to others? You might say we’re too young to offer help or advice but the time has come! There is always someone younger who is looking up to someone older, even if just by a few years. When people knock on your door, asking for suggestions, it’s time to open up and share your experience. It takes courage to ask for help and when someone seeks you out, don’t deny them. Help them however you can, even if it’s just a few minutes of your time.
If you want to truly give someone the gift of happiness, help others, especially when they’ve asked for it. In an era of low expectations, exceed someone’s hopes by supporting them. Some of my happiest memories have been getting that email response back from someone who I thought would never write back to me. But they did, because they cared.
It’s your turn to be the one who cares. You may think that your ideas don’t matter much yet to those who are younger—you’re young yourself! But if you keep a keen eye, you’ll quickly see that others are looking up to you just as you are looking up to those above you. As you learn from others, there is someone who wants to learn from you.
Don’t hoard the information you’ve gathered. Just as someone was willing to share their secrets of success with you, the chain will only continue if you do not selfishly prize up your knowledge from others. Give back the gifts you’ve been given from those before you. No progress would ever be made if we didn’t collaborate. Work with the wise and the innocent.
You may not think that others are reaching out, but they are. When someone sends you a message on Facebook, asking how you prepared for an interview or how you got a certain job, respond. When someone asks you how to do well in a certain class, give them your best advice. Be honest. Don’t keep others blind to what you have seen. Be a friend and help show them the way, just as someone generously did with you (if you were brave enough to ask for help).
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. There is something wrong when you can help, but you choose not to. Life is not an endless competition. Despite curved classes and a cut-throat job market, when we learn that we can learn from each other rather than on our own, our personal progress won’t plateau, it will accelerate. Don’t be afraid to help, chances are, you’ll learn something as you teach.
I hope that this week you’ll be open to not only asking for help but offering it as well when others are brave enough to ask for it. Helping never hurt anyone, it only makes both parties happier.
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook