The Key to Intentional Growth

The key to intentional growth by John Maxwell and posted by Douglas Raine

The key to intentional growth is being a little better today than you were yesterday.

I shared a few thoughts with you about the importance of a mentor in your life. We all want to live to our potential, but we can’t do it alone. That’s why the right mentor is so critical for our journey.

But the mentoring relationship isn’t all one-way. You have a lot to offer as well. Just consider the story of Tenzing Norgay.

Tenzing grew up in Nepal, and began joining climbing expeditions up Mount Everest by the time he was in his teens. He loved the mountain, and wanted to see its peak. But it wasn’t until 1952, on his seventh climb up the mountain, that Norgay saw his goal realized.

The irony is that it was his client, Edmund Hillary, who helped him get to the top.

You see, the climbing party reached the final camp spot, Camp Sol, at 25,900 feet in elevation. From that camp, they were to make the final ascent to Everest’s summit. Norgay watched as two other men from the party attempted the ascent but turned back after an equipment failure. The next attempt to reach the top belonged to Hillary and Norgay.

They set out for the summit on May 29, 1953. After a challenging climb, they encountered what has since become known as the Hillary Step, a 40-foot high rock face that seems impassable. But Hillary saw a crack between the rock wall and the ice, and he used that crack to shimmy his way up. Norgay followed.

At 11:30 AM that morning, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay stood, literally, on the top of the world, the summit of Mount Everest, where no other person in history had stood.

But Norgay, the guide, wouldn’t have gotten there without Hillary.

I share that story because it shows that the best mentoring relationships are two-sided. True, you want to listen to your mentor and drink in his or her wisdom, but if all you ever do is sit and listen, then you’re not being mentored, you’re being lectured.

You need more than that. Mentors may see more, but that doesn’t mean they see everything. Norgay was the expert, but it was Hillary who saw the way to the top.

I don’t want you to miss out on the power of mentoring because it’s not just about the mentor pouring into you; it’s also about you discovering your own insights and creativity.