In this post Steve Cox, creator of Still Living, talks about the keys he sees to mentoring. Still Living is an inspirational portal where Steve shares valuable tool of empowerment and recommendations based on his own life experiences, studies and mentors who helped him get on the right path. In this post Steve discusses openness, listening, relationship development, self-discovery and relaxed confidence as the concepts relate to mentoring. Enjoy his wisdom.
-Dawn Carroll, Over My Shoulder Foundation Co-Founder
Mentors Share Information
Knowledge and information have for centuries been used to control and influence people yet when we think and act for others we naturally share information and knowledge so all can prosper.
So who is a mentor? A mentor is someone who is willing to help others by sharing information and experiences to guide others in their own development. So for me the majority of us are both a mentor and mentored. Taking myself as an example I am a Sales Director by profession, a writer of thoughts for the day and I am learning Tai Chi. In each case I work as a mentor to others helping them develop and I am also mentored especially in Tai Chi where my teacher also guides me towards books that will further develop my philosophy.
How can we develop ourselves to mentor?
When we start thinking and acting for others rather than for “me”, we naturally become open to building relationships where all will prosper. It is the quality of these relationships that allows for natural progression of people. As a mentor we guide people along a path where it is their choice to follow. It is in the openness of these relationships that the path forward becomes apparent.
When we first meet people we speak to the label society has given them. In most cases we wear many labels such as for me Sales Director, writer, Tai Chi player, brother and husband. When first met I am talked to based on the label I am wearing. We are however all like onions with many layers and it is only by asking questions that speak to the person and the willingness to listen that we can actually learn about others.
The first two elements of mentoring for me are openness and listening.
My starting point with people is to start to understand their values and goals in life. For many people they have never sat and thought about what they value, yet if you know your values they act as a compass to your thoughts and actions. Goals can help give us a purpose for life and create passion for it where we start to live life rather than to survive it. This works with my fundamental thought that everybody deserves to be happy.
Goals however do have to be based on the skills and abilities of the person otherwise they remain a dream. Example: I would have loved to have been a great Soccer player like David Beckham but I have not been born with those gifts. I am like everyone else born with my own unique gifts and qualities. So my personal aim and that of mentoring others is to develop unique skills and abilities to create the individual who through their life can help all to prosper.
This is not about how much money we can earn or how famous we can become but creating a life where we have a great sense of purpose, well-being and happiness, for what more could we want?
The sum of a man’s life is in the acts of kindness he has shown to others.
Development is a long term process and personally I look to learn every day as it keeps us inquisitive for life. A young child asks around 200 questions a day to learn yet how many do we ask in a day? It seems sad that the older we get the less we want to learn or believe we having nothing more to learn. Again this development is about our openness to life and wanting to fulfill our own potential.
The Still Living Way to Development and Mentoring.
When we discover relaxed confidence and allow life to flow we achieve our life goals without force and when we start thinking and acting for others we build relationships where all will prosper.
The starting point for building relaxed confidence is to discover our calm centre. This can be achieved in many ways but has the effect of stilling the mind and allowing the clutter of day to day thoughts to be replaced with clarity. Achieving this allows the mind to work on a level uncluttered by emotions resulting in thinking with greater clarity and calmness. In a short blog it is difficult to detail ways to find calmness but it can be through just sitting in a quiet room, or walking in the countryside and connecting with the world. There are also specific techniques such as meditation, Tai Chi or Yoga. Whichever route you choose to find your calm centre and allow for free thinking will have a great benefit to your life.
Combining Stillness, free thinking and openness to the world culminates in a greater awareness of our lives and surroundings.
So the first element to Still Living is Stillness and the second is flow
Water is a soft substance that moves from source to destination flowing around obstacles and filling up wells of opportunity with flexibility, yet it has the power to shape mountains.
This analogy we can apply to how we live. Many people get highly stressed by trying to control all elements of life even if they have no power over them. When we flow with life we do not try to control and only act when we can add benefit to a situation. Look at a great 100 metre athlete run and they do so relaxed, if their muscles were tight there would be no flexibility and spring to run. Likewise when we live life with flow we have the flexibility to flow around the obstacles, make the most of opportunities and adapt to change naturally.
By thinking from a calm centre we can look at the situation from all perspectives allowing for a clear picture. The actions we take are soft so not to force situations and people but allow for all prosper. When we praise and discipline it is with equal measure so the action is fair.
The final element is the power to shape mountains. When we flow and act with softness we can shape ours and others lives naturally being a mentor and mentored.
Get to Know Steve Cox, the Author of this Post
Steve Cox was born in London and his formal education at Nene University finished with his studies in business and finance.
His career in business has been as a sales and marketing professional working from a sales office through to Sales Director. Companies have included both start up and turn around companies that have developed skills in team development and mentoring. Having worked for UK, Swiss and Korean multinational companies, Steve has developed a desire to foster understanding of different cultures and how we need to embrace the basic human nature of all; whatever the race, creed or color.
Ten years ago Steve started writing thoughts for the day for Sales Teams and in recent years due to the rise of social media he has promoted these thoughts through Facebook and Twitter. In the last six years, Steve’s studies of Tai Chi and early Chinese philosophy have led him on a path of applying those ancient wisdoms to modern-day life. He focuses especially on finding the stillness and awareness in life that leads to natural thoughts and actions that flow. This approach is preferred to forced personal and community development.
Since 2011 Steve has started to work on programmes to help others develop a philosophy of Relaxed Confidence that creates results naturally. 2012 will see the release of the Still Living app workbook for personal development through core values and Still Selling e book for people who need to present ideas and solutions to others.
Philosophy: When we discover relaxed confidence and allow life to flow we achieve goals and well-being without force.