Is it true that in sunny places, people are more cheerful? Are people more relaxed when they are on a beach, or in a beautiful and scenic town? Does our environment, something so external, influence us?

According to the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, of righteous memory, it does. In Chapter 12 of Principles of Education and Guidance, he writes that while one’s city of residence seems like a superficial area to explore, it most definitely is not.

Because where you live and what you do make a difference. As people, our environment has a tremendous impact on us.

City life is hectic. City life is stressful. And while the urban vibe may appeal to some, the constant rush and congestion can do a number on anyone. Rural living is more peaceful, and life is more tranquil. (Of course, for some people, such quiet and remoteness can be stressful as well.) Spiritual and emotional guidance will differ based on circumstances.

As a coach, you can bring awareness by exploring the impact. You can ask your coachee the following:

Which attitudes and values are truly yours, and which have you picked up from your environment? If you do live in a fast-paced environment, how can you carve a “time out” from the busy hustle of daily life to connect with your soul and with your inner self?

According to Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak, (Chapter 9) what you spend your days doing will influence you as well. If your client is a business owner or entrepreneur responsible to cover the salary of multiple employees, he or she will be constantly under a certain amount of pressure. Business is business. The people they might come in contact with might also influence them without them even realizing it. Your client might need to make a more focused effort to calm down after a day of tension or might have to be more vigilant in sticking to his or her values.

On the other hand, if your mentee is a salaried worker, his or her schedule might be more relaxed; they clock in their hours, and they’re done. They might be in a job that by its very nature presents less temptations than the business world, such as working in education or as clergy, which tends to focus on personal growth and development. That might also mean that they will be sort of on a pedestal, with an expectation to live by a higher standard.

As a mentor, guidance cannot be one-size-fits-all. What might be appropriate for one person might not be appropriate for another. Everyone has his or her unique challenges, and coaching must take that all into account. What each client or student needs to work on or avoid will almost always be different, and that’s why your mentoring needs to be tailored to the mentees you are working with.

Every aspect of a person’s environment will have an impact. What we eat and what we wear influences how we feel or act. Where we live and what we do even more so. It is your responsibility to accurately assess the situation because ultimately, as a mentor, you are there to support your mentee in meeting the challenges of his or her present occupation and location.

Self-Reflection: How can you tailor your guidance to your mentee’s specific set of circumstances?