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The Importance of Vision in a Mentoring Relationship

4 minute read

Having a vision in life is something that every person should have. Although not everyone has one from the get go, they should have an idea where to start. Not only does this give us a path to walk on in life but it also gives us a motivation to keep moving forward. This is also true when we’re talking about mentoring relationships, without a vision in mind, a mentor (guide) and a mentee (believer) won’t be able to go anywhere and will just go around in circles trying to find their path to success.

The Joy of Mentoring

The AugMentors sat down to look for the best spirit guide for our vision principle and we found the best person for it, the world-famous painter and PBS star Bob Ross.

Bob Ross has created a lot of masterpieces throughout the years. Amongst those paintings are The Bubbling Brook, The Old Mill, and The Alaskan Waterfall. He also had an amazing show called The Joy of Painting which ran for 31 seasons. In this show, he shared with us his overwhelming knowledge of painting as well as his great and vast vision. That is what inspired us to find symbols that embodies his great vision and how it can help with your mentoring relationships.

The Embodiment of Vision

In our search, we found three analogies that greatly display Bob’s vision not just in painting, but also in life:

  • The Foundation of Colors
  • The Two Brushes
  • The Easel

These analogies will be a great example on how to set your vision for your mentoring relationship and what’s needed for an effective mentoring vision. Let’s take a closer look at each one of them to get a better idea.

  • The Foundation of Colors

In one of Bob’s many famous quotes, he stated that:

“Thin paint always sticks to thick paint”

If taken literally, this just means that a foundation paint (thick paint) will always go first so you can add a lighter colored paint (thin paint). In a mentoring relationship, we can envision that this can also mean that a foundation (vision) is necessary in order for the fundamentals (mentoring) to stick together. Using fundamentals without a foundation will result in a confused mentoring path.

Vision as a Walkway to Success

Imagine this scenario, two believers walked to you and said we want to be your mentee. The first one has no idea what he wants in this mentoring relationship and has no idea where he wants to go moving forward while the other one tells you what he wants to get and where he wants to go with your mentoring relationship. It will be so much easier to mentor and give advice to someone who has a vision of what he wants as there is already a path and you only need to guide him through. Even if that vision is not yet perfect, it gives your relationship a place to start while the first believer still needs to lay out the foundations in order to create the path. It will be faster to teach someone who already has a masterpiece in mind rather than a person who just has a blank canvas with no picture to paint.

Vision as a walkway to success


  • The Two Brushes

According to Bob, you only need two brushes to paint your masterpiece. A one-inch brush and a two-and-a-half inch brush. This is also the case in mentoring where you just need two things (brushes) to find your perfect circle of people. 

  • The first brush is finding a hobby, by doing so; you’re finding something that you’ll enjoy. Boat riding, travel, or cooking no matter what hobby you find, you need to make sure that you’ll enjoy it to the fullest. 
  • The second brush finding something professional you wanted to link to has the same principle as the first brush but in the professional field. Once you know what your two brushes are, find the people that have the same brushes as you.

The Perfect Mentoring Circle

Venn diagram of circle of people

Finding a person that has the same brushes as you is not easy and will probably take a lot of time. But when you do find them, approaching and reaching out to them will be so much easier due to the similarities that you both have. You can say that you really want to enjoy the hobbies you have as well as succeed in the profession you are in and want to learn more from them and they would really love to help you. Knowing and having these people in your circle will greatly help you succeed not only as an individual but as a professional as well.

  • The Easel

A lot of painters say that the easel is just as important as the canvas, paint, or brush. It is what needs to be addressed first in case of Bob; he always wets the easel before proceeding. Bob also mentioned that the easel needs to be very solid because as he paints, he’s beating the brush on that easel to clean it.

Easel of Mentoring

The True Meaning of Mentoring

This also applies to a mentoring relationship, having an easel means that you’ll have that foundation of strength and confidence to support the canvas. You also need to be vulnerable like an easel by itself, waiting for a canvas. This means that you need to have humility and be real with your interactions. Having these characteristics, you’ll be able to get to the true meaning of a mentoring relationship which is not the mentoring but the relationship that you’re building.  

Having that sturdy foundation while still being vulnerable to the people that you will support will give you a better relationship towards your mentor or mentee believer. Always remember that the easel is what holds the masterpiece together and without it, we can’t properly execute the vision that we have for the specific art. Another quote from Bob Ross once said:

"You can have anything you want in the world -- once you help everyone around you get what they want.


We can’t underestimate the importance of vision in a mentoring relationship. It gives both the guide and the believer their path towards success. A good vision has its foundation of colors as a base, its two brushes for people in your circle to approach, and easel to support. 

Bob Ross’ vision allowed him to create a lot of masterpieces for us to see. And we believe that with this vision, he can become a great mentor to everybody and will share a lot to strengthen that relationship. Let’s take inspiration from him and have a stronger mentoring relationship with your mentee/believer. 

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