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About Gregory

I really hate life coaching.

It's not that all coaches are bad at what they do or that some of them don't provide some genuinely valuable insight for the individuals who seek them. It's that they have slowly crafted a cultural perception of personal development guides that cheapens and limits how we practice in the professional sphere. In an effort to step away from the stereotypical ideas associated with life coaching, I have chosen to apply the term "mentorship" to my practice. Read on to see what I mean by that and how mentorship with me works.

Personal development, in whatever form, is the timeless quest to become a more complete or more authentic version of oneself. Both parties involved in the professional process of expediting and enhancing personal development, mentor and mentee alike, maintain this as their guiding principle.

The goal of mentorship is to circumvent the same mistakes the mentor has already made in the pursuit of their own personal development – except to the extent that those mistakes would teach the mentee something of value. The outcome is that those who are in a position to learn are spared wasted time, energy, and suffering that otherwise would have been expended in the pursuit of their own development. They get where they are going faster, and they ascend to higher peaks of their own identities as a result of the tools and beneficial influence bestowed by the mentor.

What Defines a Mentor?

A teacher guides students in the development of their knowledge or skill in a domain of the teacher's expertise. But this linear training is not the domain of a mentor. A mentor helps others see the hidden patterns, principles, and connections behind the most pressing personal issues in an individual's life, thus altering their meaning. The mentor focuses on those issues that are currently preventing the natural process of personal development from occurring as it should.

A mentor or guide does not merely help someone get their life onto the track they think it ought to be on. They encourage them to consider if the road itself is the one they want to take at all. They help the student determine where they are, where they ought to be going, and how they might best arrive there.

A mentor works first on developing an individual's emotional capacity, which in turn opens them up to a wider range of experiences and the wisdom that will come from them. A mentor prepares others for the weight of deeper understanding, but they do not magically bestow this understanding. Those who lack emotional maturity will not know how to integrate their experiences, derive meaningful lessons from them, and change their lives accordingly. The mentor helps them become a version of themselves that will go on to accomplish with ease for all their remaining life experiences.

The goal of the mentor is to obsolete themselves and render their own services superfluous as the student grows capable of filling this function in their own life.

What Constitutes Good Mentorship?

For advice to hold any merit, it must be rooted in the timeless and authentic nature of the individual who will follow it. Too often, people-pleasing pseudo-mentors rely on personal appeal to make their advice attractive to impressionable others. But without truth and authenticity as the ultimate goal, there can be no real personal development – only temporary feelings of emotional relief from the burden of self-awareness.

Good advice is not necessarily that which offers a solution to a specific problem; it encourages inquiry into the nature of the problem and what all the possible and viable solutions might be. Good advice is like a good birthday present; it's not something the recipient would likely have picked for themselves. It is something the giver, with their outside perspective, recognizes the recipient will find value in, even if they themselves don't yet see it.

Generic advice is like giving someone socks or a gift card for Christmas; it's a universally appropriate gift because, hey, everyone needs socks, right? But ultimately, it doesn't add any unique or original value to their life because they can buy their own socks if they need to.

The right advice is not usually what people think they need to hear. So, it has the potential to take them by surprise and make them uncomfortable. This is what stops most people from giving the best advice for the situation and why most people are not great mentors. They don't want to alienate their friends and family with words they are not ready to hear. Professional mentors have no such limitations. Indeed, it is their job as iconoclasts to push the boundaries others cannot and risk alienation for the sake of personal development.

But even the best mentor cannot force others to take their advice or learn from their insight – and they should not want to. Wisdom comes to people only through their own experience and integration of its lessons.

My Brand of Mentorship

I specialize in mentoring people to overcome the blindspots and limitations of their cultural conditioning. Cultural conditioning is the set of circumstances that forms your unconscious expectations about how the world works and how you ought to act within it. Those who think they have no cultural conditioning are the most conditioned of all because they are blind to how they have been shaped to perceive and behave.

Culture is not evil per se, but it does serve as an obstacle to authentic personal development so long as it remains unexamined and prevents individuals from fully discovering and expressing their unique nature.

My mentorship is about making the unconscious within individuals conscious so that they can make rational choices about what lessons to derive from their experiences – what behaviors and values to hold onto because they actually serve a purpose in authentic self-expression and personal development.

  • California, United States
  • World Coach Institute Certified Professional Coach (CPC)