Speaker friend, Jon Vroman, asked me this question on Facebook, and since it’s something I’ve actually thought about a lot, I knew it needed more than just a Facebook response.
Going back to the beginning of my college career, I had this idea planted in me that I’d find “the one.” Not in terms of love, but in terms of mentors. I’d have “the one” teacher that, almost like an awe inspiring alarm clock, this person would show me a whole new world I’d never seen before. I waited, and waited, and waited, but “the one” never happened. Well it almost did.
He was an older adjunct teacher for my intro to entrepreneurship class at Aurora University. He’d created and sold multiple companies. He truly seemed like my “something from nothing” hero.
On the first day of class, he filled us with motivational war stories from the front lines of entrepreneurship. I couldn’t get enough, I was in awe and knew there was no where else I was interested in being. Then it happened…
We were in a discussion about who should sit on a board of directors and my newly minted hero said, “for me it was always filled with men because there just wasn’t a need to have women in the boardroom.” My head sank. The whole class went up in arms.
Turns out his views on women were from an era gone by and no one told him. To his credit, he did actively listen to the criticisms of the class and by the end of the term he had changed…a bit. But the damage was done. My hero was no more.
Beyond him, no one else came close to being “the one” for me.
I continuously hear people talk about how a specific person changes their life forever. As if it were some magical moment where this perfect image of a person came down from above and it was meant to happen. Maybe I need to keep waiting because it makes me feel like I missed out on something in my life.
In the mean time, I’ve built up an amazing support group of people, and networks, around me. Theses are people who individually each have something that is awe inspiring to me. But as well have flaws and things that I know I don’t want to emulate. Put each individual piece together and then I’d have “the one.” It’s piecemeal on my part and maybe that’s ok, because no one is perfect by themselves. We all have our flaws.
Which brings me to my final note on this topic. I know some people I’ve connected with look up to me in awe and use my life as inspiration (or maybe I just think they do). And I’ll do my best to be their “the one,” but they should know that I come with my flaws too. I hope that what you like about me doesn’t blind you from my flaws and you piecemeal the best parts for your life instead of an all or nothing approach.
I lied, one more thought. This is also why I don’t find myself gravitating to any one religion or way of life because in each I find the pieces I like and pieces I don’t.