Where do you draw the line between being logical and being imaginative?
Rory Sutherland’s book, Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life is an eye-opener about the ways of the world.
Where do you draw the line between being logical and being imaginative? In a college application or a job interview, to what degree should you deviate from the norm before you tip over from being individualistic to being weird. These are hard questions we need to ask ourselves every time we need to sell ourselves. (And believe me, we are always selling ourselves!) To add to the confusion, Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Talking to Strangers: What we should know about people we don’t know warns that people often misread others who deviate from the norm. And this means that in an attempt to be creative, you might end up confusing the other party and thus end up being misinterpreted.
A mentor to break barriers
This thin line of difference is very easy to cross and therefore, in a hyper-competitive world, each of us needs a mentor. Someone who has pushed the envelope, made his/her mistakes, ruminated about them, and is ready to share them as well as his/her learnings without the fear of being judged. And someone who is willing to try and stay within the lines all the while challenging the boundaries.
A mentor to keep it all together
The proliferation of information and easy access has made it relatively simple for one to find out more about anything under the sun. But this has also resulted in a spate of false information that needs to be guarded against. This has broadened the role of a good mentor from just being a source of information into more of a curator. And this has increased the demands on a mentor manifold, even though it seems easier than ever to become one.
A virtual mentor
However, technology can be a savior here. The availability of extensive resources online and the increased social propensity to share individual experiences extensively allows us to create our own virtual mentoring resource. Use all these resources and experiences to think through your own conclusions and validate them against what other experts might be saying, all this from your comfort zone.
A mentor specialist
The choice is up to you. A person or a platform, choose a mentor who is well-read across multiple domains even while having deep expertise in the area that you are desirous of exploring further. In consulting terminology, your mentor should have a T-profile.
When all is said and done, and you have become the successful person you wanted to be, do not forget to return the favour. Pay-it-forward and mentor the next curious learner you find!