peaceful warrior (1)

It is not always easy to find a new topic. I got the man flu – a rather bad cold – which tied me down all weekend. Am not feeling the greatest I have to say. But, I feel obliged to write a few lines. But what about?

Maybe about the latest book I am reading, “the peaceful warrior“, or the the book that changes lives. It feels to me as if I had heard that story before and maybe I have seen the movie years ago. A friend recently recommended me the book and what it says in the beginning I found quite interesting: “one has one or more teachers in life outside school/university“.

And yes, that is quite interesting for me to look back. Teachers or mentors. People who give you guidance. There are of course my parents, my brother if I allowed him to because he was older, my grandparents on both sides, my friends’ parents surely, my teachers in school and university, my friends to a certain extend, my “big-brother”, the porter in halls of residence, my wife, my managers, my work colleagues…..- I guess I could extend this list indefinitely. Where do one start to call someone a teacher and at what point does this person become a mentor?

I suppose for me I surely learn a lot from anyone. The person selling me my train ticket, the car salesman, the “Big Issue” seller in London, the police at the accident scene, my friends. But, for someone to become a mentor, a guardian, that is different. A guardian angel of course is something I believe in, imaginary, non touchable.

But a real life guardian (angel), mentor or coach – latter – is the one that makes the difference to my life. He gives me guidance without teaching, without being patronizing. Someone who lets me do mistakes and directs me rather than tells me what to do. That is where good leadership differentiates from bad leadership – where dictatorship differs from democracy with a leader – if that makes sense. The idea that someone is a mentor means for me that this person has a big influence on one’s life. In small steps or big leaps.

I for instance have a few mentors that show up in my life every now and then and give me “food for thought” on how to continue the journey. Because they are stepping into my life now and then they evaluate the situation thoroughly, invest time to question and find good guidance.

Whilst the mentors who are there permanently do not take the time to catch up but give you direct advice rather than letting you come up with your own thoughts and ideas – your own direction in life.

I guess it comes down to being a teacher versus a coach. A good coach in my opinion is not necessarily a good teacher, is more of a “non-teacher” – but usually s/he is a good manager and leader. Whilst a good teacher can be a better by being a good coach and teacher, combining the best of two worlds for the job of a teacher.

For tonight that is a nice ending. If you find a good coach, it takes you from A to B. Like the coach as a bus. The coach gives you guidance but you have to put the effort in to get there. The “coach route” is set out for you, with you coming up with your own idea on how to move from A to B. It empowers you, motivates you and gives you self-esteem and self-confidence.
A teacher just seems to tell you what is right or wrong and you just have to swallow it. If you believe it, if it is on your path and whether you want to go from A to B, that does not matter.

Have a safe journey.