Who sits on your shoulder? An angel or a devil? This is the story of how I put an angel on my shoulder.

As a younger man I was posed with this important question.

Today, I now know the importance of always having an angel on my shoulder. I want to pass the lesson on to you today.

In my early years, while still being very impressionable, my father gave me some words of inspiration. They have stuck with me to this day.

Throughout the day, he said, my sister and I were always sitting on his shoulder.

When faced with any important decision, he first thought about what the two of us (his mentors, in a way) would think of his actions. He believed that if my sister and I were there with him as he reflected on the crux of a certain situation or decision, he would be able to choose the course of action that would be of the most benefit to us.

By keeping that frame of reference in mind, he was then able to act in a way that he believed was the most prudent and beneficial.

An Angel on My Shoulder

When this was told to me, it reminded me of having a little angel on your shoulder. Except in my dad’s case, it was two angels. (I’m only vouching for myself here, not my sister).

It has been both my experience and others’ that I’ve spoken with that, in the same way, we carry around a personal “mentor” or “idol” whom we consult as we go about our business.

Whether it is knowingly or not, we often ask ourselves, "What would Joe think of me?” or, "What would So-and-so do in my position?”

The most popular example, of course, is “What would Jesus do?” The answer, usually, is not pound another Four Loko, regardless of the situation or who you may ask.

However, no matter who it is you are asking, the simple act of inwardly consulting with someone we respect or look up to can go a long way.

It can center us, help us decide on the right course of action, and provide us with clarity in regards to what we’re looking to gain from any given situation. The beauty of this practice is that it need not even be someone you know personally.

Along my own journey, I have often found it helpful to consult persons I only know of through books or the internet. These have come to be important “pseudo” mentors to me. Without even having met these individuals, they have become another angel on my shoulder.

Many other well-known individuals similarly have "virtual mentors.” Often, they are just as important or relevant as a personal acquaintance.

Regardless of an individual’s fame or stature in life, there is someone they look up to in some way or try to benefit or appease with their actions.

Bill Gates had Warren Buffett. Oprah had Maya Angelou. Thoreau had Emerson.

Without them to consult or draw inspiration from, either mentally or in real life, their work and the course of their lives might not have been the same. This is the value of having at least one idol.

The Question

So I would ask you, much like my own father asked me years ago in one of his most famous inspirational quotes, do you have someone sitting on your shoulder?

Make certain that it is an angel and not a devil.

Be sure that it is someone whose stature and opinion is truly valuable and esteemed. Not someone that you have simply been told to admire. (I'm sure the Kardashians are great people, but I wouldn't suggest you model your life after them.)

Then, in your hour of need, you will never be alone.

Making small but crucial decisions, using this new angel on your shoulder, will also put the compound effect into play. The power of combining these two principles will propel you along a trajectory of exponential success!

We’d love to hear who sits on your shoulder. Feel free to share in the comments below, and let us know why you’ve chosen them!

Author's Bio: 

The Implement Blog discusses topics related to personal development, health and wellness, spirituality, goals and habits, success, and personal passions. The writing directors, Adam and Bryce, bring many years of well-practiced, actionable wisdom and advice, garnered by instructing others in the occasional class taken in the school of hard knocks.