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  • Writer's pictureGina Greenlee, Author

Mentors are Everywhere

Guy with Firework Sparklers

For years I lamented not having an “official” mentor. Since childhood, everyone I knew seemed to have one. As did those I didn’t know. Oprah Winfrey regularly talked about her deep, personal relationship with her mentor, the late Maya Angelou. I’ve never met Oprah Winfrey or Maya Angelou, and I don’t have to for them to inspire me.

In recent times I’ve recognized that throughout the years I have found comfort, direction, inspiration and motivation from people in all quarters of life – many in books, as I’m an introvert and avid reader. Also, I interact with mentors at the supermarket, bank, while navigating city traffic and walking down the street. My mentors include family, friends, co-workers, therapists, teachers and lovers.

Girl Looking in Mirror

The Mirror

Everyone you meet every day in each moment is your mentor. Especially intimates. What you see in them reflects you. When someone gets on your nerves, ask yourself, “The thing that bugs me about them – where is it showing up in my life?” I’ve had psychotherapists tell me there’s no coaching like lessons born from relating to people close to you.

Woman Rock Climbing

Carpe Seize ‘em

Here’s a short list of my mentors, none of whom I know personally. Some of whom have passed. Their influence – through writing, teaching and behavior – continues to have game changing effects on my life:

  • Kerri Smith – Never limit your playtime.

  • Shaun McNiff – Trust the process.

  • Julia Cameron –The right to write.

  • Brenda Ueland – Walk every day to clear the head, soothe the spirit and invite new ideas.

  • RuPaul – Arrive early. And whenever possible, dance.

  • William Zinsser – Let the story reveal itself.

  • Lynda Barry – Never waste a bad situation.

  • Tony Robbins – The only way to get beyond fear: take massive action.

  • Barack Obama – You can’t be regular. Take people by surprise.

  • John C. Maxwell – Play to your strengths.

  • Gary Keller – Focus on the One thing.

  • Madonna – Queen of reinvention.

  • Iylanla Vanzant – You can feel bad and recover.

  • Greg McKeown – Eliminate non-essentials.

  • George Washington Carver – Idea generation and productivity icon.

  • Isaac Asimov – Don’t agonize; it slows you down.

  • Nando Parrado – Savor your existence. Live every moment. Do not waste a breath.

  • Seth Godin – Choose yourself.

  • Shekinah Glory Ministry – YES.

  • Jeff Bezos – Think big; play by your own rules.

  • Natalie Goldberg – Don’t hoard ideas.

  • Eric Maisel – Show up.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. – Answer the call.

  • John Pressfield – Do the work.

  • Clarissa Pinkola Estes – Be wild.

  • Helen Keller – Whenever I’m inclined to whine, I remember the physical challenges this woman bore and what she accomplished in spite of them. Then I shut my mouth and get busy.

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