Interview with “The Reflector”

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Interview with The Reflector

The other day I was contacted by a nice lady, Joanna, at our local newspaper about possibly writing a feature about myself and Student of Me.  Cool huh?

Joanna was previously informed about the purpose of this website by ‘someone’ and wanted to know more about it.  As it turned out, I was surprised to hear that she wasn’t tipped off by a crazed fan (I have personal body guards), but instead, by none other than a family member.  Surprise Surprise.  Gotta love family right?

It was a good time and I had fun with the questions and thought I’d share them with you – fully knowing the article may be quite short!  Without further ado, the website’s/my first interview…

(Warning: I tend to get a little long-winded when people ask good questions… then again, who doesn’t like to talk about their passions!  You’ve been forewarned.)

First, can you tell me a little bit about the 31-days of Conscious Living that you have started? What this is, what it means, etc.?

I’m assuming you are referring to the For Your Inspiration (FYI) month we had in January.

In short, instead of New Year’s Resolutions I decided to create a 31-day marathon encouraging people to spend time thinking about various areas of their lives to create the best year possible. Every day there was a new topic, new discussion, and ‘tasks’ to complete for the day – I made sure to complete them as well, just in case people asked! It was a lot of fun, a big challenge, and a great start to the year.

For full details of FYI month you can visit the last day for a review: Day 31 – Recap and Reflection!

What is Conscious Living?

For me, living consciously is deciding to not live passively, acknowledging that your life is what you make it, taking action, and recognizing that the person you are today is because of the decisions you made yesterday. Conscious living is about continuous growth, continuous learning, and living your life to the fullest because you’ve decided to.

It is creating your own roadmap and realizing you are in the driver seat.

In one of the first articles “What is Conscious Living” I tried summarizing it as:

Conscious Living is the active pursuit of a fulfilled life and not standing idly by as the world pushes and shoves.  To be at peace with yourself, so you can be at peace with the world.  Choosing to discover the good whenever possible and not dwelling on the negative.  Realizing that happiness is not something you strive for and reach, it is a life choice and a way of travel. We are in complete control of our life.

If there were two quotes I’d use to summarize conscious living, it is these:

“Condition circumstances, don’t be conditioned by them.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” ~ Socrates

Tell me about your Web site…Student Of Me…when did you first start this site? What is the purpose of the site?

The idea behind is that the world is the biggest classroom and that understanding oneself is the most important subject of all. The site really tries to express the value and power of our thoughts and to be mindful of them. The purpose of the site is to encourage people to think deeply about their own life, recognize where their own thoughts lead, understand how emotions affect our thoughts, and offer strategies for success – and hopefully have fun doing it! In short, building a strong mind-toolkit for when life takes you for a ride.

I encourage people to challenge everything I say; simply take it in and decide what feels right and true for them. Everyone is unique and some of what I write about may not ring true for everyone, and that’s okay. My hope is to get them thinking; not to persuade anyone to my viewpoints.

Do you do all the writing and everything on the site? Or do you have help from others?

I do, but not without the help from the grammar police! I tend to think faster than I type and the articles would be a jumbled mess if it wasn’t for a select few individuals that keep me in check and help to make sure that I’m saying what I am trying to say. We have a running joke about which one is the Editor-in-Chief… they all think they are it.

In the future, I’d love to have guest writers that have a new perspective, different insights, and new discussions to share ideas that I would never think about.

Do you have any other jobs besides running this site? Are you married? Have kids? Any of that?

Well, so far I’ve made about enough money to finance a scenic drive around Battle Ground (*I live in a small city*), and I get great gas mileage. The purpose is more about challenging people to take control of their lives… by first understanding the 3-pound muscle between their ears. Yet, my ulterior motive is to develop some credibility within the field that will enable me to get a job or start my own business in the field of coaching, consulting, counseling, or training. This would be a dream.

Until I reach that point, I am currently freelancing: consulting (Process Improvement, Employee Effectiveness and also Social Media Marketing), building web sites, fixing computers, and also doing photography.

KIDS! I have two nephews and two nieces, and I’m in heaven right now. It’s a great place to be – I get to be the fun uncle and shamelessly skip over the exciting stuff like changing diapers, disciplining, or making them eat their dinner. I play, tease, have a great time, and then I send ‘em home! For them, I’m simply a glorified jungle-gym and endless-responder for all their ‘why?’ questions. I love it.

And no, I’m single.

During your travels, what did you discover about yourself that made you want to help people and run this site?

I believe the desire to help people is something innate in most people; it’s built into us and spreading happiness gives us happiness. It’s a beautiful thing. The questions are usually ‘how’ and ‘when’ can one help. It was definitely during my travels that I learned how I want to make an impact.

I get the most pleasure out of seeing people really living, taking action, working towards their passions, and seeing genuine smiles from genuinely happy people. I want to help inspire, motivate, and convince others to do this, and offer the tools and encouragement they need to get there. I want to help people achieve what they want to achieve, break away from the normal routine most people expect of us, and to live a fulfilling, happy life that is unique to them.

Quick fixes are not my thing, I push for lasting improvements and gradual growth over time… and it’s rarely simple or quick!

I have a long road ahead of me and so much to learn! It’s exciting, and the site is hopefully just the beginning.

A note on traveling:

I always encourage people to travel because I believe you learn just as much about yourself as you do the world around you, and this was definitely true for me.  I discovered that it doesn’t take much to make me happy, because happiness is more of a mindset and personal decision. This is more believable to some, but we all have ups and downs, life’s delights and tragedies, but your overall sense of well-being needn’t waver when your life is taking a ride on a Tilt-a-Whirl.

Traveling teaches that different cultures around the world solve the same problems with different solutions, and no party is more right or wrong than the other. With the majority of things in life, there is no ‘right’ way to do something. You learn that their way of doing something isn’t ‘weird’; it’s simply ‘different’.

Traveling taught me:

  • Words are not the most important form of communication in relationship.
  • You can learn something from everyone.
  • Seeing beautiful sites and scenery is great, but the best part and biggest life lessons come from the people you meet and the experiences you share along the way.
  • Adventures are most fun when shared… then later reminisced and laughed about!
  • Adventures that go HORRIBLY wrong – make great stories!
  • People love to help people.
  • And lastly, never appear lost when walking in Marrakesh.

What WERE you going to school for?

I have a business degree in Computer Information Systems with a focus on IT Consulting, Knowledge Management, and Process Improvement. I have very diverse passions ;). I suppose the website is combining a little of both.

Where have you gotten all of your knowledge that you use to help people reach their potential and such?

In my opinion, helping people doesn’t start with knowledge; it starts with the desire to help people. I love the quote “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

I have an insatiable appetite for books related to philosophy, personal development, psychology and the latest studies in brain science. I try to base my articles on layers of facts and time-tested philosophy or guidance, but since I’m writing it, you also get my spin on it and what I’ve learned from them. The Fort Vancouver Regional Library is like a candy store for me. I started studying this ‘stuff’ about three years ago, but it wasn’t until the end of last year where I started doing something with it.

I have an incessant curiosity and my favorite questions typically start with ‘why’ or ‘how’.

Is running this site helping you as much as it’s helping other people?

Oh, you are under the impression this is for OTHER people? Kidding.

YES, it does! I’ve gained so much from starting this site. For one, it encourages me to practice what I teach, per se. I’m continuously learning new things, researching, and it definitely helps me add clarity to my own belief system and how I want to live my own life. Seeing my thoughts on paper allows me to understand them rationally and not just feel them emotionally. We have a lot going on in our wrinkled melons and by getting everything out of my head and on “paper” I am able to better understand my own personal philosophies, world filter (perspectives), strengths, weaknesses, and biases.

Writing for this site is a constant reminder of how I want to live my life and the lessons I’ve learned, and if others can get something out of it, then I’m the happiest man in Battle Ground.

Anything else you can tell me about yourself, your philosophy, etc., please let me know!

Open ended questions are dangerous 😉 Check out theAbout section for some of them. Some random ones? Let’s see…

  • I refuse to give advice or assist those who don’t want to be helped and don’t first help themselves. These people are resistant to change and words fall upon deaf ears. For other people, I try to take an inquisitive approach and hope purpose driven questions guide them to the answers they need.
  • A website like StudentofMe is only valuable to those who actually want to make changes, who want to challenge their thoughts, who want to understand the filter they see the world through, and make lasting changes, not temporary fixes. Those are the people I’m looking for.
  • I believe in the maxim ‘clarity is power’. When you are clear on your passions, your goals, and where you want to be, you will naturally move in the right direction… and people will help you get there! (An example of this would be my family contacting you The Reflector!)
  • Your subconscious (your auto-pilot) is so powerful, but it’s your job to program it using conscious thought, and this takes years to break the negative ties created from growing up.
  • Last summer when I returned to the States, I took a motorcycle trip around the US with my dad (… This left a lot of time to be alone with my thoughts! It was a great experience and it was on this trip that I committed myself to making this site… I had 10,000 miles to clear my head and get excited!  When I finally got home, I couldn’t wait to get started.


The end! If you made it this far, then you clearly have way too much time on your hands and probably should continue on and read what being a Student of Me is all about! 🙂

This post was written by

Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at)!

Contact the author    |    Write for Student of Me!

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2 thoughts on “Interview with “The Reflector””

  1. Larry says:

    Greg — how wonderful that your family recognizes your talent and wanted to expound your ability through the media!! Makes me even more saddened by the fact you were not able to find employment in Phoenix… anywho–not able to “discuss” what all has been going on with me (and just 1 of the reasons I was not able to meet with you when you were here last….) but I am envious of your talent and being recognized (at your young age) for the plethora of creativity that is going on in your head and your ability to share it with others.

    Let me know how the (newspaper) article goes…

    Great — no, Awesome Job!


    1. Greg Yung says:

      Employment is overrated 😉 Thanks a lot Larry, that means a lot. Great to hear from you!

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