Mentors: The Unsung Heroes on the Pathway to Success

By: | Category: Women@Work

On our road to success, we will encounter two kinds of people; those who encourage us and cheer us on and those who by virtue of having succeeded demonstrate to us that success is attainable. The former is called a mentor and the latter a hero. Mentors and heroes play such vital roles in all of our lives. We need them in order to stay motivated on the road to success.

Although interchangeable, mentors and heroes are different in their roles. A mentor could be a hero and a hero could be a mentor. But more often than not, mentors are people we have one-on-one relationship with, while heroes are people who are not so easily accessible. For most of us, they are stars and celebrities, the ‘Bill Gates’ and ‘Oprah Winfrey’s of the world. Heroes are people we aspire to be like; people who show us what success looks like. Because they did it, we believe we can do it too.

However, the road to success as the saying often goes, is a twisted path filled with many challenges. Therefore, we need someone who can guide us through this path. That’s where a mentor comes in. Mentors are often the unseen partners in our journey to success. They are the regular people in our lives, the parent who instills confidence in us, the coach who tells us we can do it, and the boss who demanded more of us because they see potential in us.

We all want to achieve success. We all have goals and desires we wish to attain, but it takes effort, skill and courage to get to the finish line, and beyond that it takes someone who believes in us, who motivates us, who is willing to teach us, who will push us and make sure we don’t give up or become discouraged. It takes a mentor.

We may see heroes and desire to be like them, but without mentors, navigating that pathway towards success will become next to impossible. We need mentors just as much as we need heroes. As cosmologist and Nobel Prize winner John C. Mather once said, “A mentor enables a person to achieve. A hero shows what achievement looks like.”

Whatever goal we desire to achieve as individuals, whether personal or professional, we must attach ourselves to people who can enable us to succeed.