Say you’ve been looking for a mentor, and you’ve found one. She is an exemplar in the field of work you have been studying, and you admire everything about her from her tact professionalism to her uncanny ability to summon an answer for almost any problem.
How to send her the perfect email? Do you agonize for an hour or so on how to word your approach? Some people may get stuck and never send out that email and never reach out. They don’t even attempt. But Executive Joy founder R. Michael Anderson recommends looking at this “attempt” a different way. Call it an experiment.
Welcome to your experiment. From here on out, these attempts aren’t “attempts.” They’re experiments. You’re going to test out an approach to see how well it works out in getting a mentor. And if it doesn’t work out, you now know what doesn’t work. And if it works, great!
There’s a certain power of language in programming our minds for success. I personally tell myself that I don’t have any problems—what I have instead are challenges. Challenges can be and are designed to be bested. Problems? Maybe not. But I beat challenges.
Likewise, don’t tell yourself that you’re attempting to achieve a goal. Tell yourself that it’s an experiment you’re conducting. Rather than groping around blindly in the dark, you frame your approach to the situation as one coming from a place of knowledge and inquiry.
This idea of experimentation doesn’t need to be limited to just finding a mentor—it can be applied to all walks and relationships of life!
Michael does go further into finding a mentor, and on a grander scale, caring for people. Here are some nuggets from our discussion: