Posted by Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry on October 14, 2006




  • A mentor is defined as a  trusted intimate, educated and experienced counselor, guide, teacher, and coach with knowledge and wisdom who, can hold up a clear non-illusive mirror to another person called mentee or protégé.

  • In this mirror the mentor empowers the mentee to see one's true self. The revelation of true self empower the mentee to identify one potentials of inherent strengths and weakness. This revelation in turn empowers the mentee to walk the life knowing the potentiality of the endeavours that need to be made to realize the vision, goals and objective of the walk of life. Knowing this in turn the mentee can then empower the mentor to counsel, guide, teach to learn to learn, and coach the mentee.

  • These actions on the part the mentor empowers mentee to undertake and do everything that is needed to be done to achieve mentee's vision, goals and objectives. But the mentor never does anything other than counsel, guide, teach to learn to learn coach the mentee.

  • The mutual empowerment between mentor and mentee powers, drives and sustains the mentor-mentee relationship.

  • And the growth of this relationship flourishes on selfless mutual explicit and implicit trust, respect, reverence, confidence each shows to the other without any conditions or attachment to each other.

  • Non-attachment and unconditional relationship creates independence in mentee to depend on oneself with confidence to attain one's vision, goals and objectives.

  • A mentor mentee relationship starts with tapping by mentee into the mentor's life experience and wisdom. And as the relationship grows both parties tend towards a relationship of give and receive.

  • This mutual two-way give and receive happens inherently , involuntarily and automatically in the process due to the fact that life is continually dynamic process in flux and needs continuing education for both the mentor and the mentee.

  • The time factor in the dynamics of life creates many changes in the culture and the language in which the mentor-mentee relationship operates. And continuing education and its implementation in the changing life with time empowers continuity of give and receive.

  • Thus, in the long term, mentor-mentee relationship is a win-win for both.

  • And the foremost winner is the humanity which depends on its evolution, growth and prosperity for its continual survival in an environment of harmonious co-existence in nature's inherent diversity and its clash created by the time phenomenon of past, present and future.


  • The genesis of the mentor-mentee process and need is found right at the dawn of creation starting from parent-child in all living beings. In case of humanity this fact all civilizations have documentation of mentor-mentee relationships in real life history and anecdotes, legends, myths and in minds of writers, poets and storey tellers and history of gods and goddesses for those who believe in them.

  •  In western civilization of recorded history we have a character called Mentor in Homer's epic poem Odyssey. Greek goddess of wisdom, weaving, crafts, and war, named Athena takes on the Mentor's physical form to guide young Telemachus in his time of difficulty. Mentor was a friend of his father Odysseus who had placed Mentor in charge of his son, Telemachus, and of his palace. Telemachus was the son of king of Ithaca named Odysseus and his wife Penelope. Athena counsels and guides Telemchus at the age of twenty year when he starts his search for his father Odysseus who had gone on the day he was born to fight the Trojan war and subsequently held captive on an unknown island by Calypso who was a sea nymph and daughter of Atlas. In Greek mythology, Atlas was one of the primordial Titans who were a race of powerful gods that ruled during the legendary Golden Age.


Telemachus and Mentor

Telemachus and Mentor who was a friend of his father Odysseus  in Homer's Greek epic poem Odyssey in 7th Century BC.

Athena Version 1

Athena the Greek goddess of wisdom, weaving, crafts, and war


  • Alexander the Great, (356–323 BC) king of Macedon, who conquered the known world from Greece to the Persian Empire, Anatolia, Syria, Phoenicia, Gaza, Egypt, Bactria and Mesopotamia to the eastern limits of Indus Valley civilization in 12 years of reign from 326-323 BC starting at an age of 20 years was educated and mentored by the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle in rhetoric and literature and stimulated Alexander's interest in science, medicine, and philosophy. 

  • The first recorded usage of the word Mentor since Homer's time in 8th century BC, is in a book entitled "Les Adventures de Telemachus", by the French writer François Fénelon. In this book the lead character is that of Mentor. This book was published in 1699 and was very popular during the 18th century and the modern application of the term can be traced to this publication. What Mentor provided to Telemchus is what a mentor is supposed to provide to a mentee today -knowledge and wisdom as possessed by the Goddess Athena.

  • Knowledge of a mentor used in mentoring consists of knowledge of  oneself or of one's capabilities derived from holistic understanding of one's own being and existence of the realms of physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual and life path traveled with one's education and experience.

  • Wisdom  is accumulated information from philosophy and science of life and ability to use it for intelligent application to discern inner and outer realities of life at a point in time, at a particular place and for a particular purpose and relationships with insight, sagacity, virtue, judgment and prudence and good practical sense with attachment and/or conditions.

  • Historically, systems and programs of mentorship include apprenticing under the medieval guild system, and the discipleship system practiced by both Rabbinical Judaism and the Christian church in the western civilization. These are continued in the last 500 years to date in the western civilization evolved based on discoveries of sciences.



PVAF is publishing today's news story as TO REMOVE POVERTY IN HUMANKIND THROUGH EDUCATION is its primary mandate to exist.....And mentoring an entire community starting with children and their parents is a key element of the PVAF GEP Program...

PVAF has a pleasure in publishing the thoughts on mentoring from its own Chair of Education & Web Site Development, Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada since the inception of PVAF in 1996.....

Champaklal also has been mentoring the PVAF Board and students who have been awarded full 4-year university scholarships under PVAF Gujraat Education Program (PVAF GEP) To Remove Poverty Through Education....

YOU can click here to learn about PVAF GEP on this web site



PVAF takes great pleasure in also announcing that Champaklal Dajibhai Mistry who is a Professional Civil Engineer has been awarded APEGGA MENTOR OF THE YEAR 2006 AWARD in Alberta. APEGGA is a 45,000-plus members Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists in Alberta, Canada.

Please click here to read this award story and APEGGA. PVAF congratulates Champaklal on his award and for his past and continuing developmental and mentoring services to PVAF...

The above columns has been provided for publishing by Champaklal Mistry in a token celebration for his above noted APEGGA award ...


And continuing from genesis time to today, in Canada mentoring is currently surfacing as a growing need of the Generation X (born between 1961 to 1981) and Generation Y (born between 1980s to 2001)... read about this in the article published in the Canadian Globe and Mail this week by clicking on the next line.....


Rookies could use a little coaching, too: WHY?

Used to structure,
feeling more pressured than their parents, twentysomethings are hiring coaches:


to help navigate the waters of
early working life

Canadian Globe and Mail: Globe Careers: August 16, 2006: REBECCA DUBE: 

Nancy Tavares-Jones was 27 and unhappy at work. She didn't hate her job in a government real estate office -- she just didn't love it.

"Well, nobody really likes what they do," friends and family told her. But after four years and thousands of dollars spent on university, Ms. Tavares-Jones says, "I just thought there would be more to it."

Like many twentysomethings, Ms. Tavares-Jones agonized over what to do. Was the geography she'd majored in her true passion? Was her apathy about her career just part of growing up? Or did she need to make a drastic change?

Unlike most twentysomethings, she decided to seek answers with the aid of a professional. "I had heard there was some beast called a career coach that could help me out," she says.

Using a phone book, she called on Toronto career coach Shirin Khamisa, who guided her through a series of questionnaires and conversations about her career. In their fifth session, they discovered what Ms. Tavares-Jones really wanted to do with her life. Now she's going back to school for a new career while still working at her real estate job.

"I feel like I have a better sense of direction," Ms. Tavares-Jones says.

Ms. Tavares-Jones is one of a growing number of young people turning to professional coaches to help them find a job, keep a job or just figure out what they want to do with their lives.

Forget experimenting with different careers or idly wandering though their first few years in the work force -- this generation wants answers. As coaching over all grows in popularity, young people who in the past may have turned to family, teachers or clergy members for advice now have a new option.

Experts say twentysomethings feel more pressure not to make mistakes than their parents did, and they're also accustomed to more structured environments.

After a lifetime of ballet lessons, soccer camps and tutoring, hiring a coach to help navigate the rough waters of early adulthood doesn't seem so odd.

Although the typical coaching client is still a mid-career professional climbing the ladder, about one-third of Ms. Khamisa's clients are in their twenties.

"They may have, or their parents may have, invested quite a bit of money in their education, and that may cause quite a lot of anxiety and frustration," says Ms. Khamisa, owner of Careers by Design. "They just feel like there's too many options and choices and they don't know how to move forward."

Ms. Khamisa says "the clients I see are well-educated; typically, they have at least one university degree, they're tech-savvy and they're very proactive."

But their book smarts sometimes fail to help them. Ms. Khamisa recalls one young motivated and ambitious client who routinely refused assignments from her boss if she felt the work wouldn't contribute to her personal development. Unsurprisingly, her career wasn't going very well.

"She was very focused on her own goals and didn't realize that she was now part of an organization, part of a team," Ms. Khamisa said. "It was a classic example of early work experience and not understanding how things work and how to move ahead."

Vancouver life coach Laura North has also noticed an increase in the number of young clients. She recently coached a woman in her mid-twenties feeling disillusioned in her first "real" job after spending a year abroad. She kept the job, Ms. North says, but coaching changed her attitude about work.

"It's rarely about the job," Ms. North says. "It's almost always about what's going on internally with the person."

Sharing their innermost hopes and fears comes naturally to the current crop of twentysomethings, who grew up under the influence of Oprah and Dr. Phil.

"The previous generation, I'm sure they wouldn't seek that out," says Michele Caron, an Ottawa-based life coach.

"Young people today are much more worldly. They are more open."

Some see the interest in coaching as a confluence of two trends: a growing service economy, in which formerly personal tasks are outsourced to professionals; and the increasingly scheduled lives of young people.

"They're much more programmed. Their lives have been planned out for them," says John Challenger, chief executive officer of outplacement consultancy Challenger Gray & Christmas.

Coaching fills that unstructured void after university for the young who feel adrift, Mr. Challenger says.


It is also part of the commercialization of relationships, he adds.

"We work and live in a time where we see a lot of manufactured, or synthetic, trust . . . Synthetic mentors like a coach may substitute for or be a complement for the mentorship of a parent, an aunt, an uncle, a teacher, a minister," Mr. Challenger says. He adds that synthetic isn't necessarily bad -- young people do need mentors.

The demand for coaching is also fuelled by the fact that the transition to adulthood is taking longer these days, says Abby Wilner, co-author of Quarterlife Crisis and The Quarterlifer's Companion.

"We are job-hopping and getting married later and paying off mounting debt due to the increasing costs of education and housing," says Ms. Wilner. Exploring options after university can be healthy, she says, as long as young adults are prepared for uncertainty.

Ms. North says younger people are her favourite clients because they're more open to sharing information about themselves than older people, and more enthusiastic about considering new options.

"They're still in a fairly idealistic stage in their development and looking for answers in a different way than older people."

Younger clients also react differently to coaching than older people, she says, simply because the experience of discussing their future with someone who's not a parent or teacher is such a novelty. "So much of coaching is really listening to people. In your early twenties, you get told so much, it's refreshing for people in their twenties to have somebody really listen to them."

Ms. Caron says she thinks young people are being smart by seeking out coaching at the beginning of their careers, rather than waiting until they encounter problems in their 40s. "They're looking ahead and saying: 'I don't want to make the wrong choice.' "

But Mr. Challenger does see a danger that too much coaching, or the wrong type of mentoring, could spawn a generation of cookie-cutter job applicants."You could see how it could be overkill," he says.

Cost is the main bar for most young people. Ms. Khamisa charges $65 for a one-hour session and Ms. North's services cost $450 a month. But she's willing to work out a deal for especially motivated clients. She once traded coaching for babysitting services.

The one thing she won't do is work with someone whose parents are paying the entire bill, a policy shared by many other coaches. "The clients just aren't that committed," Ms. North says.

For Ms. Tavares-Jones, hiring a career coach required some scrimping, but she believes the six-session investment in her future was worth it. She's now studying to become certified in a rapidly growing field that she and Ms. Khamisa determined was perfect for her -- career coaching.

"My interests are helping people discover who they are," she says. ". . . We kind of had a giggle about that."

In your corner

As more young people turn to career coaches, here are some tips from the experts:

  • Have a clear sense of what you want out of coaching sessions. Are you looking to move ahead in your job? Switch careers? Decide whether to go back to school?
  • Don't expect a coach to hand you the answers. It's more about asking questions, and it takes work on the client's part.
  • Remember that coaching isn't therapy. Emotional healing is not the goal.
  • Coaching also isn't a quick fix. Expect to devote at least three to six months to the process.
  • To find the right coach for you, interview several in person or over the phone. Ask them to describe their approach and their philosophy to see if their style is compatible with your goals. Ask about training and experience, including certification, areas of expertise, track record and background. Don't be afraid to ask for referrals and call past clients.
  • Ask if they have their own coach. Life coach Laura North says this shows a commitment to their own growth and helps keep their skills current.
  • Ask for a complimentary coaching session to experience and evaluate the coach's approach; some coaches also offer trial periods with money-back guarantee.
  • Ask about fees. Coaching can cost anywhere from $50 to $750 an hour; some coaches are willing to discount their rates to particularly motivated young people.


© The Globe and Mail.

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