Mentors in my 20’s had an impact on me that continues 30 years later.
The main impact is spiritual. I enjoy life and navigate adversity better because mentors, wiser than I, brought my heart and mind closer to theirs, to understand what they know. Wisdom is not mystical and inaccessible; it’s practical and beyond the everyday at the same time.
I’ve worked in higher education for 20 years, including 10 at a small liberal arts college. Today I’m helping to launch a new one. I understand the importance, joys and struggles of that big transition from college to life and work.
When I think about my own life and work and when I counsel others about theirs, I keep in mind a simple question: What is wise to do? I don’t have all the answers, but as your coach, I’ll help you think about that question.
–Step 1: Laugh at the Court Fool.
Foolishness is the opposite of wisdom and offers us a good place to start seeing our real problems … uh … growth opportunities. And we’re all foolish in some area of our lives. Ruling out what is foolish leaves a range of new options: good, better, and best. Our decisions give us opportunities to explore those areas, laugh at “the court fool,” and follow the wise counsellor.
–Step 2: Gain Wisdom.
It didn’t take humanity very long to figure out the characteristics of success and failure. They go by many names: virtues (the Greeks), wisdom (Hebrews, Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, …), and “the way” (Confucius). They’ve been written and rewritten. Whatever your philosophical or religious background, I’ll show you where to look and help you learn what they knew.
–Step 3: Expand Friendship.
If social media shows us one thing, it’s that people are the most interesting thing we encounter. But how to meet them meaningfully? Expand friendship. It’s a middle and high school obsession, the great excitement of college, absolutely necessary for adult success, and a great satisfaction in old age. It’s also an art that you can learn and practice, and I will help you do it.