All posts tagged: Guidance

Four Philanthropic Mistakes You May Be Guilty Of

Four Philanthropic Mistakes You May Be Guilty Of

While we are free to choose our actions,
we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions.
-Stephen Covey

Altruistic activities are anything but easy. Therefore, people who devote time and resources in this endeavor would naturally want to see great results. But as they say, bad things can happen even with the best intentions. For this reason, even noble acts such as philanthropy can sometimes cause more harm than good. Sometimes, people whose only aim is to extend help to others unknowingly commit mistakes that even aggravate the problem they want to solve. This is disheartening because an act of generosity can change lives for the better and start a ripple of goodness. To avoid letting your efforts to help others go to waste, you may want to reflect if you are guilty of the following philanthropic mistakes:

You aim to help but not to empower.

One criticism against philanthropy is that it has the tendency to lead to dependency. This happens when the giver treats beneficiaries as helpless individuals. Although you want to give your all when helping, remember that you cannot do everything by yourself all the time. To turn lives around, the ultimate aim of philanthropy should be to create ways that will teach people how to be independent. This can be done by helping and empowering people at the same time. Aside from giving funds or lending assistance when needed, philanthropy should also involve an effort to build people’s confidence that would later lead to self-sufficiency. The impact of a good deed will surely multiply if the focus is on empowering individuals. 

You help out of pity and not compassion.

Philanthropy becomes more meaningful if you do it for the right reasons. This includes examining your real motive for doing charitable works. Do you want to help someone out of pity or out of compassion? Do take note that compassion and pity are not the same and knowing their difference can make you a better philanthropist. You feel compassion when you identify with the situation of another person so you want to somehow relieve their pain or suffering. The urge to perform acts of kindness stems from the notion that the same misfortune can happen to you as well. On the other hand, pity is when you feel sorry for others because you deem them as less fortunate than you. To pity people while doing philanthropy can make others feel inferior or weak, emotions that are not helpful in the long run.

You treat it as a one-time thing.  

People who are truly serious about philanthropy understand that temporary solutions are rarely enough. You do not just donate a hefty amount of cash or spend a day in a welfare center. Instead, you invest time and resources to see that the cause you are supporting achieves its goals in the end. If everyone treats philanthropy as a one-time thing, their efforts will unlikely solve anything. 

You do it to fit in. 

Are you donating money or signing up for a cause because everybody at work or the circle you belong to is doing it? Maybe you are eager to participate in a charity event because it will score you some invites to a social event or allow you to mingle with wealthy people. Philanthropy is putting other people’s welfare before your own.Therefore, it is wrong to do it for selfish reasons. Doing it this way will keep you from experiencing the real rewards that come with doing something good. 

As a broad field that is open to many misconceptions, it is understandable if many would commit mistakes in an effort to engage in altruism. Even so, people who truly want to help do not allow mistakes to stop them. They understand that mistakes are meant to be corrected so they learn from it and take steps to avoid the same pitfalls. In the end, they become the genuine philanthropists this world so badly needs. 

Trevor and Lexi BakerFour Philanthropic Mistakes You May Be Guilty Of
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3 Undeniable Reasons to Seek a Mentor

3 Undeniable Reasons to Seek a Mentor

Mentorship isn’t something that’s given freely; mentorship has to be earned. It has to be sought by the mentee and accepted by the mentor. Truth be told, almost everyone in the world could benefit from the help of a mentor. Why is it, then, that so few people seek out that mentoring relationship? Perhaps it’s because it’s difficult to find the right mentor—and even when you find the right mentor, you have to establish that relationship and build that dynamic up with them.

In any case, there are at least three undeniable reasons to seek a mentor.

You’re Able to Tap into Experience Beyond Your Years

This is not to say that you have to seek a mentor who’s significantly older than you are. Great mentors know no age. Still, having a mentor means being able to tap into experience beyond your years. It has nothing to do with how gray their hair is and everything to do with the ways in which their life experiences differ from yours.

You can always glean new and useful insights from whomever you choose as your mentor—whether they’re 25 or 75.

You Gain an Invaluable Sounding Board

Life can feel like a pretty solitary journey at times. Even when you’re married and have kids, there can still be moments where you feel totally alone—like no one could possibly understand or relate to the thoughts you’re having about your life’s trajectory.

In those moments, it is beyond valuable to have a sane sounding board. Mentors are fantastic for providing that kind of feedback and reassurance in perfect measure.  Mentors can help to keep you sane—and, more than that, keep you on track.

You Broaden Your Network and Support System

There is no such thing as a network or support system that’s too wide or too deep. When you take on a mentor in your life, you inherently broaden those aspects and, consequently, your prospects. But don’t let mentorship be about seeking out opportunities to get ahead. Let it be a way to support your goals and your dreams.

In the end, your support system and your network should help to propel you forward in more than just business-related ways. Mentors become more akin to family and close friends if you let them—and as such, they will always have your best holistic interests at heart. Doesn’t that sound undeniably great?

Trevor and Lexi Baker3 Undeniable Reasons to Seek a Mentor
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Is There an Age Requirement to Be a Mentor?

Is There an Age Requirement to Be a Mentor?

When most people think of the mentor-mentee relationship, they envision an older, wizened sage gently leading a young, naïve protégé along in a mutual pursuit of the path to success. Scratch that. Forget everything you know about mentorship. Just because someone has lived longer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have more to offer a mentee. Along with that same train of thought, being older doesn’t mean that you’re too old for a mentor yourself.

Long story short, there’s absolutely no age requirement to be a mentor.

Are You Too Old for a Mentor?

This is a question that only you yourself can truly answer. No one else can answer this question for you, not even the people closest to you. Seeking out mentorship takes courage and it takes a recognition that your life isn’t where you want it to be.

There’s no age cut-off for changing your life around. You may feel as though you’ve already stumbled too far down one path to even entertain the idea of wandering down another. With the help of a mentor by your side, you don’t have to wander alone. And better yet, the two of you can forge a path all your own. You can cut through the thick brush of life and pave the way to success, no matter when or where you start. That’s the beauty of mentorship.

Are You Too Young to be a Mentor?

Just as people give sidelong glances to older people who seek out mentorship later in life, there are those that cast judgment on mentors who seem too young to give anyone advice. “Who is this kid? And what right does he think he has to tell me how to live my life?” You might catch yourself thinking. Or perhaps you’re the precocious youngster.

In any case, it’s a myth that you have to be a certain age to be able to dispense useful advice. In fact, some kids have ‘life’ better figured out than many people who’ve reached retirement age. The common adage, “It’s not about the years in your life; it’s about the life in your years,” holds true in this instance.

You don’t have to wizened to be wise.

Trevor and Lexi BakerIs There an Age Requirement to Be a Mentor?
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