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  • AutorenbildKevin

Mr. Miyagi: The Unexpected Mentor

Aktualisiert: 23. Aug. 2023

In September 2008, my chimney sweep apprenticeship finally began. Once a week, there was traditional classroom instruction at the vocational school, where the theoretical basics of the chimney sweep trade were taught. The transition from a higher school to a vocational school was easy for me, mainly because I could apply what I learned the next day at work. To my surprise, the training was technically demanding and included knowledge of physics and chemistry, fire protection, as well as heating and combustion technology.

The best part of my new, exciting environment was my instructor and mentor. His name was Martin. He had high expectations of me and regularly surprised me with spontaneous test assignments. It was a kind of competition where he asked a multitude of questions on various subject areas. However, he was never too proud to explain everything to me in the smallest detail. Martin tried to push the limits of my knowledge a little bit further every day and came up with more detailed and complex topics. In return, I became more and more motivated, and it started to become fun. In the mornings on my way to work, I was already thinking about questions like: How far will I get today before reaching my professional limits? What did I learn yesterday? What can I do better today? Basically, Martin was just a cool guy. He rode a motorcycle, practiced martial arts, and regularly participated in triathlons. For me, he was a role model, someone I could look up to, with a seemingly inexhaustible wealth of expertise and life experience.

This combination of knowledge that I could directly apply in practice and the regular challenges at work motivated me incredibly. I had the urge to continuously improve and learn new things. This brought out a completely new side of me. I began to develop myself, from a directionless teenager who didn't care about anything and didn't want to take responsibility for anything, to a young person with a perspective and goals for the future.

At the time, I didn't realize it, but Martin was more than just my boss: he was my mentor. He was the one who set the course for my moral compass, conveyed values such as quality, punctuality, and reliability, and laid the foundation for me to write my own success story a few years later.

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