From Daffodil Wonderlands to Mentorship Gardens: Cultivating Growth and Greatness

Mentor Magic

Spring is a magical time for blooming.  It is truly magnificent at the daffodil festival at, my all-time favorite nature place, Gibbs Gardens in north Georgia.  Hundreds of varieties of daffodils have been planted with blooming schedules covering early, mid and later bloomers over a six week seasonal period.  This year, spring has come early prompting the Gardens to open prior to their regular schedule.  All the better to wander through the millions (20 million to be exact!) of radiant golden blossoms.

Daffodils are one of the first harbingers of the spring season, popping up their bright, beautiful, perky yellow blooms. Once the bulbs are originally planted, daffodils also naturalize, meaning that they naturally multiply and grow underground, expanding their territory, and delighting us each year with more and more abundant blooming flower heads.

As I wandered through this daffodil wonderland, thinking about how they multiply, unseen by us, it reminded me of the process of mentoring.  Mentoring others is like flinging wildflower seeds across a meadow, or planting daffodil bulbs.   You never know the extent of your influence – where those wild flowers will end up, when they’ll re-seed and re-appear, or how far your daffodils will spread.  At Gibbs, they spread far and wide.

The meaning of a mentor is that of a “wise advisor”.  And while we tend to think of an advisor as a person, nature itself (all right Mother Nature) is the ultimate mentor. This is true both metaphorically speaking and literally in specific examples of what we can learn from nature.

It is no secret that successful people generously share their knowledge, expertise and resources with others.  We all have unique skills that can help others. Share your wisdom.  Mentoring is your giving back, and successful people love to give back. Mentoring can be formal and structured or very casual and random.  Either way, characteristics of the mentor, mentee, and the nature of the relationship typically are passion, enthusiasm and positivity. This is a relationship of recognizing the “seed of potential”, the potential that the mentee often doesn’t even realize or recognize in them self, and helping that person leverage and develop their inherent greatness.

Mentoring is a magical thing. Like nature itself, it can be both predictable and random.   It’s like cultivating a garden from seedlings and nurturing the growth to the point where the plants gain their own momentum, flush with flowers or ripe of harvest – where you just stand back in awe of nature’s bounty.  In my coaching, consulting and teaching experiences, mentoring others and watching them achieve their goals and bloom their dreams is a great joy.

Mentoring others is a gift with rewards for both the mentor and mentee. Watching someone you have nurtured to grow their own greatness, to watch that person blossom is a gift to yourself.  Once you start sharing your mentoring, it takes on a life of its own to inspire, enrich, enlighten and empower many others.  Like the spreading naturalizing daffodils, or nature itself, your mentorship is meant to be shared.  And as you are mentored, so shall you mentor others.  As you bloom, so will others bloom.