Life mentors are not only the professional ones we usually think of, like teachers and coaches but also everyday people in our lives.

Everyone needs at least one great life mentor in their lifetime. They’ll give you advice and inspiration that will completely change your future. They’ll give you easy shortcuts that will help you get on the right path again quickly.

If you’re lucky, you’ve had at least one great mentor in your life – that special person who has inspired and encouraged you to be the best version of yourself, take risks and not be afraid to chase success.

One of the world’s most famous women and committed mentors, Oprah Winfrey credits her fourth-grade teacher for much of her success. Winfrey has said that her teacher’s belief in her made her embrace a love of learning. Winfrey also credits the late poet Maya Angelou. “Mentors are important and I don’t think anybody makes it in the world without some form of mentorship.”

Mentors can positively influence us and even change our long-term future. That one tip from an older cousin or that one moment of inspiration from your friend can totally change your life’s direction by influencing your attitude, thoughts, beliefs, and behavior.

Here are 5 benefits of having a great Life Mentor

1. They Can Give You Honest Feedback

It’s easy to deceive ourselves, and it’s quite beneficial to have someone else to be a real mirror in our lives. Mentors show you who you really are so that you can see your weaknesses and work on them. They’ll show you where you need to improve, especially when you’re not fully aware of it yet. They won’t sugar-coat it for you, but they also won’t hurt you in the process either.

2. They Motivate and Inspire You to Take Action

When you’re making excuses or afraid to move forward, your mentor realizes this and alerts you. They don’t buy into your unsubstantiated excuses the same way that you do. And they have faced the fear that you’re struggling with right now, so they can help you get past it and move forward.

3. They Give You the Map and Guide You

When you’re feeling lost and you don’t know where you’re going, it’s really refreshing when someone else can help navigate you. When your mentor shows you the path that you need to go down, it makes continuing your journey so much easier. They know where you want to go and how to help direct you there.

4. They Teach You from Their Experience

You can leverage and draw knowledge from your mentor’s experience and their own journeys. Why limit yourself to your narrow experience when you can learn from your mentor’s wealth of knowledge? Learn from your mentor about when they were in your shoes and what they did to move themselves forward.

5. They Give you the Tools You Need to Reach Your Goals

A mentor has the technical know-how and experience that you can draw upon. Especially if you’re working within a very niche field, some of your co-workers, your bosses, and others in your industry can help you to learn the technical knowledge that you need to reach your goals. Tap into their technical knowledge by asking them direct questions.