First off, there’s nothing wrong with “seeking” out a mentor.

encourage you to find someone you respect, who is doing something you’d like to be doing one day, and start a relationship with this person.

However, I don’t want you to find a mentor so they can teach you stuff or help you grow.

That’s the wrong way to approach the mentor-mentee relationship.

Wait, isn’t that the whole point of finding a mentor?


I read an article yesterday that perfectly sums up how a mentor-mentee relationship should unfold. The article was on Business InsiderMeet the 31-year-old who mentors the CEO of a $44 billion company.

It’s not lost on me that this is a man-bites-dog story that most news outlets salivate over.

But the jokes on BI because “reverse mentoring” — explained in the article — is actually how most mentor-mentee relationships should go.

The author writes:

Three years ago, BNY Mellon piloted a program called “reverse mentoring.”

Darah Kirstein, an employee at the company, was asked to mentor a senior executive of the firm. Not just any senior executive, though — the then 28-year-old was asked to mentor Gerald Hassell, the CEO of the $44 billion company.

“It was a little intimidating,” she said. “At the time, 1 Wall Street was our headquarters, which is a very historical building. Bank of New York is also a very historical bank, and here I am walking into the CEO’s office.”

Kirstein and Hassell meet once a quarter, either in person when she is in New York or via Skype when she is in Pittsburgh, where she is based.

Hassell has a “Darah list” and often uses the millennial as a sounding board for ideas. He wanted to downsize the bank’s real-estate footprint and asked her opinion on desk sharing. He wanted to know where people her age were investing, how they were investing, and how the next generation consumes information.

One of the biggest challenges for Kirstein was not knowing in advance what questions Hassell would ask…

If you get the impression that Kirstein’s boss is using Kirstein, you’re right.

The biggest mistake most mentees make when they’re seeking a mentor is they view the relationship as a one-way knowledge transfer: from mentor to mentee. When actually, a healthy mentor-mentee relationship is almost the exact opposite.

I know this sounds odd.

How are you supposed to learn anything if you are the one always teaching?

Think about some of the questions Kirstein’s boss was asking her:

What do you think about desk sharing?

Where are young people investing their money and how?

How do your friends consume information?

These questions help Kirstein’s boss to better understand how younger generations think, but they also force Kirstein to think about the different problems she will one day face if she ever succeeds her boss.

David Ogilvy had a great quote about seasonal advertising, he said:

“You aren’t advertising to a standing army; you are advertising to a moving parade. Three million consumers get married every year. The advertisement which sold a refrigerator to those who got married last year will probably be just as successful with those who get married next year.”

I believe this same thinking applies to many managerial problems. Bosses will always have to consider their employees’ work conditions, how their consumers are buying and consuming products, etc.

The point is, your mentor-mentee relationship should skew toward you (the mentee) being of value to your mentor — not the other way around. This is also the secret to securing a high-profile mentor (a topic for another time). Adopting this giving-vs.-taking approach will benefit you more in the long run.

That’s what happened to Kirstein:

While other relationships have fallen by the wayside, Kirstein and Hassell’s relationship has evolved.

Nine years with the company later, Kirstein felt that she hit a crossroads in her career. She had been working part-time after her second child was born and was debating whether to come back to the company full-time.

She liked spending time with her family, but said she didn’t want to go down the “mommy track.” She emailed Hassell in December to schedule a meeting for career advice, and he responded, “It was about time I helped with you something.”

The CEO blocked out an hour and a half out of his schedule to discuss Kirstein’s short-term and long-term career objectives and the path she should take.

“It has always been a two-way street,” she said. “Every time I step into this office, I learn something. He is a very curious person. A lot of our conversations would be begin with, ‘So tell me about …’”

This is the power of being a giving mentee.

Nick Papple
Managing Editor
Success Formula Daily

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The post The Biggest Mistake Young People Make ‘Seeking’ a Mentor appeared first on Early To Rise.

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How to Trick Your Brain into Making Better Decisions (Backed By Scientific Studies)

What are some tools to use for effective decision making? originally appeared on Quora – the knowledge sharing site where questions are answered by people with unique insights. This answer was shared by Charles Duhigg, staff writer for the New York Times and author of Smarter Faster Better, on Quora:

Here is what scientific studies say will help you make better decisions:

Thinking through various, contradictory possibilities, and then trying to force yourself to figure out which ones are more or less likely, and why. (This is known as probabilistic thinking, and studies show that it significantly increases the quality of people’s decision making.)

Say, for instance, that you are trying to decide whether your group of rebels should attack the Death Star. Seems like an easy decision, right?

After all, the Death Star is filled with jerks, and it has a big glaring weakness (that apparently no architect considered when designing the ship): one well placed shot can blow up the entire thing.

If you are some hillbilly from Tatooine, you’ll charge off into space. You’ll think about this decision in binary terms (“The Empire=bad. The rebels=good. What can go wrong?”)

But, if you are practiced at decision making, you’ll probably do something a bit differently: you’ll sit down with Adm. Ackbar, and you’ll try to envision the dozens of different outcomes that are possible. (“We could get defeated before we make it to the ship. We could make it to the ship and not have enough X-wings.

We could have enough X-wings but then miss the shot. We could make the shot but our intel could be wrong. We could have good intel and make the shot and the Death Star blows up, but our reward is Jar Jar Binks…” You get the point.)

Now, here’s the thing: you aren’t going to be very precise at assigning probabilities to all those possibilities. (“What are the odds that our intel is bad?”) But forcing yourself to think through all the possibilities and then simply TRYING to assign odds will be really helpful in revealing what you do and don’t know.

So, maybe you are pretty certain that your intel is good, and maybe you are pretty certain that, if they can get close to the Death Star, your pilots will hit the target (because, after all, you’ve got the force on your side), but you aren’t particularly certain that you have enough X-wings to make sure that you’ll get close to the Death Star.

Now you know which parts of your plan are weakest, you know what you need to learn more about and what problems you need to solve to increase the odds of success.

Our brains, left to their own devices, prefer to think about choices in binary terms. (And, from an evolutionary standpoint, this is really efficient.)

But to make better decisions, we have to force ourselves to think probabilistically – AND THEN WE NEED TO GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE FACT THAT PROBABILISTIC THINKING TENDS TO REVEAL HOW MUCH WE DON’T KNOW.

It is scary to confront uncertainty. It can make you crazy and anxious. That’s why it is so much easier to look at choices as binary options (“I’ll either succeed or fail”) or deterministic outcomes (“I ended up married to her because she was my soulmate.”)

But if you genuinely want to make better decisions, you have to fight that instinct, and make yourself think about multiple possibilities – both the good and the bad – and be really honest with yourself about what you do and don’t know (and what is knowable and unknowable.)

And then you have to take a leap, and make a decision, and see it as  an experiment that gives you data, rather than a success or failure that you should congratulate yourself on/beat yourself up about.

Because, unfortunately, the force doesn’t really exist. But probabilities do.

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7 of The Best Apps to Train and Boost Your Brain (Put Your Mind to the Test)

There are hundreds if not thousands of apps out there for boosting your brain. Most of them aim to increase cognitive functioning, helping you improve memory, problem solving skills and processing speed. Others can help you recall words faster or improve your reading comprehension.

Keeping your mind active is as important as any physical exercise and these apps can help you stay fit mentally. If you want to dedicate time to improving your brain’s health, some of these apps can get you started quickly.

1/ Peak

Peak is brain training redesigned for the mobile you. Challenge your cognitive skills and build healthy training habits with fun but stimulating games, goals and workouts.


2/ Elevate

Elevate is a brain training program designed to improve attention, speaking skills, processing speed, memory, math skills, and more. Members are provided with a personalized game-based training program that adjusts over time based on performance.

3/ Fit Brains

Fit Brains helps you train crucial brain skills such as memory, concentration, problem-solving, processing speed, language, and visual-spatial recognition. Fit Brains feels a lot more like a video game, which may be just what you need to stay motivated and on track.

Fit Brains

4/ Personal Zen

Built by a team of leading neuroscientists and mobile developers, playing Personal Zen retrains your brain to lower stress and anxiety. Just like exercising for physical health, we can exercise our brain for better mental health and wellness!

5/ Happify

How we feel matters. Whether you’re feeling sad, anxious and stressed, or you’re dealing with constant negative thoughts, Happify brings you effective tools and programs to take control of your emotional wellbeing.


6/ Lumosity

Challenge your Memory, Attention, and more. Lumosity combines 25+ cognitive games into a daily training program that challenges your brain. Games adapt to your unique performances — helping you stay challenged in a wide variety of cognitive tasks.

7/ Headspace

Headspace is a gym membership for the mind. A course of guided meditation, delivered via an app or online. The starter course, Take10, is free. If you enjoy Take10 and want to learn more, you can choose to continue and get access to hundreds of hours of meditations.


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