A survey conducted in 2019 examined the importance of identifying and learning from a professional mentor. The results showed that 76% of people think mentors are important. But only 37% have one. 

The survey revealed that people with mentors are happier at their jobs than those without. If mentorship is so important, why do only 37% of professionals have one? Why do we keep to ourselves and struggle silently? Sometimes we feel asking for help is a sign of weakness, but it isn’t.

“Mentors are important and I don’t think anybody makes it in the world without some form of mentorship”

Oprah Winfrey

Starting a new career path or business venture can be exciting. However, this often comes with some challenges. Without someone to show you the way, these issues can be difficult to deal with. Resulting in avoidable stress and sometimes failure.

Most successful people attribute their success to influential persons in their life. That person is often regarded as their mentor. The attributes and roles of mentors are defined in various ways. Key among them is that the Mentor can provide guidance and support. Mentors teach, challenge, and support their Mentee (“apprentice”). This is because they have wealth of knowledge and experience. They have learnt the keys (rules, principles and laws) of life. And can powerfully help increase the likelihood of success.

The renowned professor of neurosurgery, Ben Carson, said: “anyone who can’t learn from people’s mistakes simply can’t learn, and that is all there is to it …..”. Remember that the path you are on has been used by many. Those who have succeeded on this path also made mistakes. They have encountered lots of challenges, similar to what you are going through now. But have overcome them and excelled. This wealth of knowledge, when shared, can save another person years of troubles.

Who is better than you?

We can always learn from those who know better than us. According to George Clason; “that which one man knows can be taught to others”. The rich and successful people know this. And are able to sponge up the wisdom of others. And when the time is right, pay it forward by becoming mentors themselves.

“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had a real positive influence in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” Denzel Washington.

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5 Life-Changing Lessons from the Richest and Most Successful People Alive

1. Remarkable Mentors Can Help You See Through People’s Masks.

“Actions speak louder than words”

People tend to wear the mask that shows them off in the best possible light. Words are often used as a cover-up. They conceal their true intentions. As a result, you can mess up, if you mistake people’s words for reality. 

The good news is that the mask has cracks. And people’s true nature can leak out through their actions. Nonverbal communications often provide cues to their true intention. Successful people have learnt the basic keys for decoding nonverbal communications. Hence, can help you navigate through life and play your role to maximum effect.

Oprah Winfrey is an American talk show host and millionaire. According to Oprah, she relies on advise her late mentor Maya Angelou once gave her. Maya said to her, “Baby, you need to know that when people show you who they are, you believe them the first time”. She added that “your problem is, it takes you 29 times to see the same lesson coming in a different skirt or wearing a different pair of pants.”  Oprah said this in a Golden Globes Speech.

Maya made Oprah appreciate that, who people are and how they behave is very important. Relationships depend not on who a person says he or she is, but how they act toward you and others. Oprah buttressed it with this example, “When people talk about other people, they’ll talk about you.”


It is estimated that over 65% of all human communication is nonverbal. But that people pick up and internalize only 5% of this information. Instead, we pay attention to what people say. Which often serves to conceal what they are really thinking and feeling. Robert Greene wrote this in his book, The Laws of Human Nature.

2. Secrets Of Life Are Revealed By Great Mentors.

“If you want anything to change, you must change”. Jim Rohn.

Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and business strategist. He has more than 50 privately held businesses. His combined sales exceed $6 billion a year. He has been named in the top 50 of Worth Magazine’s 100 most powerful people in global finance for three consecutive years.

Tony credits a man named Jim Rohn, for powerfully changing his mind and life. He first saw Jim speak when he was 17. Jim introduced him to a new way of thinking. 

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He taught him that “if you want anything to change, you must change”. If you want things to get better, you’ve

to get better. And that, the secret of life is working harder on yourself than on the job, or a specific skill, or anything else.

Jim taught him to commit himself to excellence. With that, he would really have something to give others. And that’s a big part of what makes life meaningful for him.

3. Following Your Instincts Can Lead To Success.

The British businessman, Richard Branson is known for his entrepreneurial success. But Richard came from a humble beginning. At one point he believed he was “the dumbest person at school.” 

Richard Branson credits his Uncle Jim for teaching him an important lesson, “When everyone else thinks your idea is crazy, that may be a sign you’re really onto something”. Uncle Jim was in the army and had a habit of eating grass. 

He enjoyed it and thought it was a healthy practice. However, he was widely mocked by his colleagues. Ultimately this earned him the role of “advising the elite forces how to live off grass and nuts when food was scarce.” Isn’t this amusing? This rule always guides Branson’s life and has contributed to his business successes.

Branson said “There have been countless occasions in my business career where everyone has urged me to make one decision, and I have gone in the opposite direction. From setting up Virgin Atlantic to fighting to get Virgin Trains West Coast back on track.

From signing The Sex Pistols to launching Virgin Brides. Not every move has worked, but that’s part of the fun and the best way to learn.

Uncle Jim’s example was simply that it is sometimes okay to take the path less travelled. It’s a lesson I’m still following today.”

4. Building And Nurturing Positive Emotions Improve Growth.

“Stand guard at the door of your mind.” Jim Rohn.

Jim also taught Tony Robbins that every day, you have to “stand guard at the door of your mind.” You have to always feed your mind with knowledge and thoughts that empower you. Gratitude, courage, faith, willpower, and love are the positive emotions that mentors help to nurture. Because weeds in the garden are automatic, they can’t be avoided. It’s our job to keep an eye out and uproot them before they take over.

Although, Jim passed away in 2009, “his spirit and mentorship continue to live on in me and through so many others shaped by his wisdom”, Tony says. He added that “What I have learned from Jim Rohn, …. has excited me, shocked me, made me laugh and moved me to tears. But most of all it has led me to massive growth and change. For that, I could not be more grateful”.

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5. Mentors Can Help You Free Yourself From Your Past.

“When you know better, you do better.” Maya Angelou.

This is one of Oprah Winfrey’s favourite quotes. She heard this from her Mentor, Maya Angelou. Oprah was sharing some bad decisions she had made whiles in her 20s. She felt embarrassed about these decisions. Maya encouraged her to free herself from her past. She said, “That was in your 20s, and now you’re in your 30s,” She added that “When you know better, you do better.”

In this regard, we do not have to hold ourselves hostage to who we were. And what we did before, when we didn’t know better. In life, we learn, we overcome, we improve and grow.

“A single conversation across the table with a wise man is worth a month’s study of books.”

A Chinese proverb


Rules, principles and laws are universal. This means they work anywhere. It doesn’t matter where you live. They are also impartial and guarantee successful results. The rich and successful people have been able to sponge up this wisdom. They have learnt these keys from others, and have also become successful.

It is your time to benefit from this wealth of knowledge and experience. Identify great mentors in your field of interest and understudy them. Get these keys from these rich and successful people alive. Apply them in your life, and your success is guaranteed.

I personally have benefited a lot by reflecting on these lessons. And applying them in my life. Have you also learnt lessons from the rich and successful people alive? If yes, do share with us in our comment section.

“What you can learn from a mentor, you cannot learn from a book, and you cannot learn from the internet”. Tony Robbins

5 Key Takeaways for the Reader from the Article 

1:  The richest and most successful people have learnt the keys (rules, principles and laws) of the game of life.  

2: These keys, when fully tapped, can powerfully help you increase the likelihood of your own success.

3: People with mentors excel and are happier at their jobs than those without.

4: The keys of life are universal, and work anywhere, irrespective of your location.

5:  The world has millions of successful people who have benefited from others. You can also identify and understudy those in your field of interest. They can arouse, provoke and empower you up for success.

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