My Great Virtual Mentor

When I was a kid, my mom told me, “Jinlu, you need to work hard otherwise you will be stuck in this village.” I listened, and I moved out of the village to a town, then to a local city, and eventually to the capital of China, Beijing. When I was in High School, my teacher said, “Jinlu, you need to focus on the coursework, so that you can get into a good college.” I listened and got into one of the best schools in China. When I was in college, my adviser told me, “Jinlu, you need to do some projects which will be good on your resume when you are finding a job. “ I listened and found my ideal job after I graduated. 

I did everything I was supposed to do, and I got everything I was promised. But I wasn’t happy. I felt insecure. When sitting in my own room by my self, I felt anxious, worried, I felt there was a giant hole in my heart. But I didn’t know why. I needed help. I needed a mentor. 

I didn’t have anyone around me who could guide me. But fortunately, I had something else, the thing I started to play with when I was in High School, the thing I majored in my college. The Computer, The Internet. That’s my mentor, my great virtual mentor. 

Through the Internet, I met M. Scott Peck, the author of the book The Road Less Travelled. I met Tal Ben-Shahar, the Harvard professor who taught Positive Psychology. They became my mentors. They told me emotional insecurity probably came from childhood experience, but you could overcome it. The first step was to accept it, accept your feelings and emotions whatever they were. Then try to analyze the mental model, finding the unconscious reason for your anxiety and worrisome. I followed their advice, and I felt much better.

Another part of my anxiety, insecurity was financial. I came from a poor family, worrying about money was part of my life. Do I have enough money for tomorrow, next year, or even for retirement? I often asked myself. Again, through the Internet, I got to know Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, two great investment Gurus. I went to see them. Buffett literally gave me a present, but Munger wasn’t proposing to me. They taught me to spend less and save more. They taught me to leverage the low-cost stock Index Fund and ride with the prosperity of the greatest nation on the planet. Then with the help of compounding effect, your financial future is guaranteed secure. 

Thanks to these great virtual mentors, my anxiety and insecurity were relieved. Then I asked myself, “What’s next?” “What do you really want to do with your life?” (long pause) “I want to become one of them.” “I want to be a mentor to the people who need help but have no one around them, just like in the situation I faced. ” Then the next question is How. Don’t worry, I have my mentor now. And he is available 24/7. So I asked my great virtual mentor how to become a great virtual mentor. He told me you need to develop your writing and speaking skills. I listened and started my journey. 

After some practice, I realized writing had many benefits. It makes you think clearer and more thorough. Sometimes you think you have understood something, but when you try to write it down, you start to realize that you actually don’t. Also, when your writing is recognized by others when they say “I learned something from your article.” the excitement, the sense of achievement is incredible.

For speaking, I came here, the toastmaster club. The encouragement and supportive feedback I get from everyone are invaluable. I appreciate the help I got from my mentor, Rebecca. It has only been 7 months, but the sense of belonging is becoming stronger and stronger. I am part of this family now and I hope I will remain as part of this family for another 7 years. 

I am grateful I have this great virtual mentor. He helped me get back the sense of security, both emotionally and financially. He also guided me to pivot, and move onto the next chapter of my life, focusing on writing and speaking. And He will continue to help and guide me whenever I need him.

What about you? Have you used the Internet as your virtual mentor? He is not just my mentor, he’s yours as well. Next time, when you need a mentor in your life but you couldn’t find anyone available around you, try this great virtual mentor. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

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