September is a month we celebrate our gurus, teachers and mentors. One thing the pandemic showed me was the importance of having great mentors in life. When the road ahead is blurry, your mentors and gurus show the way. 

These are people who stand for you and by you. People who advocate your cause. Cheerleaders who vote for you. Never undermine your mentors, gurus and teachers — they can teach you something new at different points in your life. The best teachers and mentors help define and express our inner calling. They can guide us to make our dreams real. 

In life you need more than one guru or mentor. You should be able to spot a mentor and guru immediately and try to deepen your bond with them. This is not a transactional relationship, the guru-shishya or mentor-student model is all about connecting, inspiring and admiring. Your life mentors show you who you really are, so that you can see your weaknesses and work on them. 

According to Harvard Business Review, the research on the power of mentorship is pretty clear: People with mentors perform better, advance in their careers faster, and even experience more work-life satisfaction. And mentors benefit, too. After all, “to teach is to learn twice.” Despite all these benefits, and even though 76 per cent of working professionals believe that a mentor is important to growth, more than 54 per cent do not have such a relationship. 

What are the kind of gurus or mentors who can  help you in life? Mentoring in the next few years will become big, here are some types of mentors who can help you on your road to success:

1. Masters of their craft

They are the best in their field. The well-known, recordbreaker sportsman, the CEO, the entrepreneur, the writer — anyone who has mastered their craft. If you go under their wing, they mould you, guide you and fine-tune your skills. They help you master your journey and craft. You can use their wisdom to make yourself stronger.

2. The godfather

They are your well-wishers and champions of your cause. They will talk about you to others. They have your best interest at heart. They are your advocates and have your back. They help you network by introducing you to their circle. They are connectors and introduce you to the best in the industry. They stop you from making mistakes and handhold you. Treasure such people. Learn from them and be thankful for their presence.

3. The life-path expert

This could be a guru who has your best interest at heart, like a teacher from school or it could be a senior family member. They know how to lift you when you are  down.They are your sounding board in times of uncertainty. They are insightful when it comes to knowing what will work for you. A good guru and coach doesn’t just solve your problems for you. The coach listens to what you say, and asks you questions to help you dig through what might be causing those problems. Coaches can suggest strategies for solving problems.

4. Reverse mentors

We live in a younger world. Reverse mentors or gurus are people younger to you. Your grandchild could teach you the latest technology. They help you keep your ideas fresh and relevant. In a workplace, a senior CEO can learn from his young employees and know the mindset of the younger generation.

5. The challenger

These are the people who challenge your mindset. They help you rethink your ways. This challenger guru is a teacher for adopting new ways of thinking. They shake you from your comfort zone.

6. The educators

They are those who share their knowledge with you. Their role in your life is to build you up. They are your cheerleaders, your critics. They motivate you with their speech and words. They share traits of having bountiful amounts of energy and loving new ideas. They have a wide and very deep network of people who all respect them and they often “get things done.”

When creating your list of potential mentors, ask yourself the following four questions:

  • Do I look up to this person?
  • Can I relate to this person?
  • Is the person your cheerleader or critic?
  • Can he help you solve problems?