I've decided to put more effort into mentoring and helping others. My goal is to be in the acknowledgments of everyone's book, if that makes sense. I am very good at being a mentor, editor, and academic coach. Part of what I've realized is that the excessive emphasis on self-development, however necessary, is not the answer. You can be perfectly put together, but if you can't help other people, then you will always be limited. People who are generous to others are beloved figures, and rightfully so. People who aren't generous, well, they aren't beloved.
I can't say I haven't been helpful to others in the past in a kind of routine way, saying yes to people who ask mostly, and I *am* in several acknowledgments. There are people I can point to and say that I've had a role in their professional development. The point, of course, is not to be on that page, but what your name there represents.
Generosity is also the best way to network. It is beneficial from a selfish point of view as well. It will make you happier precisely because it will bring you out of your self a bit. What I'm advocating is also a way around resentment at others doing well, or better than you. A better approach is to want people to do well in general.
[Also, I have been a gatekeeper, saying no to bad articles and yes to better ones, with revise and resubmits. Unfortunately, not letting bad articles get published is also a useful function. The best thing, though, is the pride I can take when an article gets published and is better because of my input. Here, your name is not known, since the process is anonymous.]
It depends, too, on a highly developed sense of knowing how to do it yourself. I wouldn't trust a mentor who hadn't cultivated her own garden as well. So if all your work is for other people, and your own work is languishing, then that would be unfortunate.
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