Sometimes we are mentored by one single statement that makes a lasting impression.
Many years ago I had a school mate called Miss F. It was not until I made friends with another lady called Miss G that I would get to know Miss F much better. Through Miss G I got to know Miss F’s entire family.
Miss F’s father was a very successful professional. He was always prepared with a word of encouragement as we prepared for our A’ level exams. By the time we left school and were in University he was taken ill in what was to prove to be terminal. One day Miss G and I set off to visit him while ill. He was his usual welcoming and engaging self.
That day, he looked me straight in the eye and said ‘Lucy, you must get a first class in your degree’. It was a moment of mentorship that felt like someone saying ‘you can do it! I know you can’. But it felt like a big ask as I was studying Electrical & Electronic Engineering and working!
He was the first and only adult who directly told me this. And I never forgot his words. Whenever the going got tough I would remember his words and push myself a little harder. And it all paid off and lived up to what he said I could.
Sadly, he did not get the chance to see the impact of his words would have on my career over the years. Sometimes people just need to hear a word from us in the moment.
I believe that none of our life’s encounters are ever wasted. They serve a purpose that we only realise in hindsight.
For me, it has led me to a STEM career that underpins my passion for accelerating development and prosperity for Africa.
May you find your nuggets in every situation you experience.
I share some of those experiences that all add up in my recent chat with Angie Broks in the video below.