A Life-Changing Relationship: A Mentor’s Perspective

David Issacs, FCNI Mentor
January, 15, 2020 -

By mentoring, you are willing to give your time, be a consistent person who can offer advice and support, share your life experiences and help mentees navigate challenges. Although the purpose of mentoring is to make a positive, long-lasting impression on mentees, often times these effects are experienced by many mentors themselves.

Below is a true story written by one of our very own mentors, David, and how he ended up developing a life-changing relationship just over the course of almost one year with his mentee. David is a local Cal Poly student who is studying Philosophy and enjoys spending his free time wrestling. This is his #mentoringstory.


I am a mentor. Believe it or not, this experience has changed my life. Ironic, right? I am suppose to be the one to help and be there for my mentee, but this experience has, at the same time, changed my life for the better.

Being a mentor gives a person the opportunity to step back and try to understand. To no surprise, it seems that just listening and being there helps you to learn much more than if you try to “pry” or assert your thoughts to someone. The art of listening is so powerful. It allows a person to understand and connect, even just a little, with what is going on in someone else’s life-- in this case, your mentee. 

No one really understands the importance of being a mentor until they experience it firsthand. Getting a  genuine smile or laugh from a mentee or having a real conversation with them can show you just how important your presence is. Just knowing that my presence can have a positive effect on someone is quite amazing; it’s a beautiful feeling.

More importantly, however, is the realization that sometimes the best approach is to just listen and be there has changed my perspective about how I interact with others entirely. I notice myself, when talking to anyone, actually taking the time to make a conscience effort to understand what this person is trying to get across to me before I speak. It means so much more to a person, if you take the time, even if it is a second, to “digest” what they have said. This little pause can have a huge impact on anyone, not just a mentee. It communications that what this person says or thinks is important and has value to you.

At the end of the day, the experience of being a mentor continues to bring a smile to my life. Seeing my mentee grow a little, or even be a tad bit more talkative and open, shows me that I can have a positive influence on others. This one relationship in my life has had a domino effect in how I interact with other people daily. Little things such as listening or just paying attention can make all the difference to anyone; sometimes all it takes is one interaction (like having a mentee) to come to such an important and life-changing realization. 


Now is the perfect time to become a mentor. Give us a call at 805-503-6223 or email rbrinkerhoff@fcni.org to talk to someone about how you can start mentoring today!