Stepping Towards My Goals, Thanks to PX2!
I’ve been going through my NAB bag this past week, reflecting on all the lessons I learnt in the space of about 72 hours.
It seems hard to believe that my perspective could have changed so much in such a short space of time.
Let me illustrate. Being on holidays, I had lost all sense of routine. My days were blurs of waking up around 12 and taking a disgustingly long time to decide whether I ought to have breakfast food or lunch food. What I’ve realised is that my days were purposeless.
Thaddeus Lawrence, one of the PX2 facilitators, said something that really struck me. He said that if you keep pressing the snooze button, if you are not eager to start your day, and this is a daily occurrence, then something is wrong.
Through the camp, I worked out what that something was. I had no goals. I had no aims. I had nothing to get me excited to get out of bed, to get out and achieve something worthwhile.
This prompted me to ask myself, “Why don’t I have goals?” I was brutally honest with myself. Quite honestly, I was too afraid to set goals that I felt I couldn’t reach. This fear had been growing for a few years now, and it had come to control almost every aspect of my life, from academics and sports to spirituality.
In the week since PX2, I’ve been putting the goals I’ve set into action. I’ve started an internship with a social justice group, and I’ve started work to reach my fitness goals. But it’s more than just putting dreams into action that amazes me; it’s the fact that I’m not scared anymore. I’m not scared about failure. I’m just excited to work towards my goals, because they are worthy goals.
PX2 gave me a breather. It let me take some time out, and it let me discover what my self-destructive habits were doing to my life. It gave me new perspective and, ultimately, it let me dream big.
-- Jaspreet Kaur
PX2 students planning their "trip" to Mount Everest
TP3 Unlocking My Potential
As a regular attendee, I thought that Sikh Youth Australia’s 7th National Leadership Development Weekend couldn’t possibly be that much different to previous years’ camps. With the incredible PX2 course done and dusted last year, what else could I learn? Right? Well, boy was I wrong! Set in the beautiful surrounds of the Elanora Heights Uniting Venue and with an all-star delivery team consisting of Ash Singh, Sara Yik, Jasbir Singh and Thaddeus Lawrence, participants were in for an inspiring and motivating weekend exceeding the experiences of all previous camps.
As a PX2 Graduate, I was placed in the TP3 (Thought Patterns 3) group with the rest of the participants who had attended the 2010 SYA Leadership Camp. The TP3 program built upon the foundations of what we had learnt in PX2, and also had a strong focus on the DiSC behavioural style profiling. In preparation for the weekend, we had been asked to complete the DiSC profile and print out the resulting 28 page personalised report. Without going into too much complicated detail, the DiSC profiles help you to understand how to identify which aspects of the profile different people in a team (including ourselves) fit into, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the best ways to work with and motivate them to achieve the objectives of the team. We were often split into smaller groups and given an experiential activity to perform, after which we regrouped and discussed the things we had learnt and observed.
TP3 students at work
Although I did not touch my PX2 workbook between the 2010 and the 2011 Leadership Camp, it was fascinating to see how many things had changed when I compared similar sections in my TP3 workbook and my PX2 workbook. I was surprised to see how many of the goals that I had achieved in the past year, and whilst some areas remained unchanged, it was heartening to see that I had not gone “backwards” in any of the areas that I had analysed.
The Leadership Camp also seemed to pick up an unofficial theme of “nature”. The TP3 group did many of our activities outdoors, which we noticed kept us fresh and alert. A short 5-7 minute “hike” brought us to a beautiful waterfall, the sounds and sights of which soothed us and helped us to focus on the tasks at hand. There were colourful birds flying around, and some of us even spotted a wallaby and a goanna! As the weekend progressed, we tried to find ways to incorporate nature into our activities and tasks. The early morning Naam Simran and Nitnem sessions as well as the evening Simran and Rehraas sessions, held in a room overlooking an area full of trees and native animals, were indescribably uplifting. I always look forward to the SYA Leadership Camps as my mid-year spiritual and motivational recharge. Half the year has gone by, the buzz of the New Year enthusiasm has dwindled…and then comes along the Leadership Camp full of intensive spiritual, motivational and social experiences that fill me up, and help me to float through to the beginning of the New Year where I can look forward to attending the SYA Summer Camp.
TP3 Students sit by the soothing Waterfall
There is a saying that “all work and no play make Jack a very dull boy”. So, inspired by Jus Reign Singh’s “Banain-WOW” YouTube post, a creative task was given to randomly selected participants to come up with a pitch to sell an item commonly found in an Indian household, for an entirely different purpose than it is normally used for. In the PX2 course we learnt, amongst many other things, about “scotomas”; blind spots in our ability to think and see things. The only condition: do not let your scotomas get in the way of coming up with ideas. More so than usual, imaginations ran wild and hilarity ensued. A dhol became a transport vessel for illegal immigrants. A tumbi became a versatile grooming instrument for a Sikh man to maintain his turban and beard. In the winning presentation, a Bollywood DVD became the ultimate accessory to aid a woman in her search for a husband. We may not become the next millionaires with these ideas, but it sure was a great way to practice pushing our creative boundaries. Ultimately, a very powerful skill to use in our personal lives as well as in the working world.
Over the weekend, we were also treated to inspiring talks from a number of people. A group of future leaders of SYA delivered a presentation outlining the motivations behind, methods used for and overarching themes of the SYA Strategic Plan. We also heard from Michelle Rowland, the current Labor member for Greenway and Louise Markus, the current Liberal member for Macquarie. The biggest treat however, was hearing from Keynote Speaker Peter Irvine, co-founder of the Gloria Jean’s Coffee franchise in Australia. Peter gave advice on strong leadership and related some anecdotes from his 40+ years of experience at a high profile management level. He also delivered a very strong message on the importance of getting involved in community service projects – Sewa - a topic very central to the messages taught to Sikhs by our Gurus.
Peter Irvine - CEO of Gloria Jeans Coffee Australia
The strongest lesson that I have learnt through the PX2 and TP3 courses is that a successful person isn’t necessarily more talented than others, it’s that they always find a way to maximise their potential. TP3 and PX2 have helped me to get more out of myself, to use what talents I have more efficiently. To anyone considering attending an SYA Leadership Development Weekend for the first time, I wholeheartedly say “What are you waiting for? Trust me; you will not regret giving up one weekend in your year for this!”
-- Navjeet Kaur Randhawa