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Line in the sand …Get it or go home

The room is quiet as the teens try to grab the last few minutes of sleep before day 3 begins at Teen Leadership Foundation. The Arrowhead weather granted a small reprieve last night as the temperatures dropped bringing a refreshing coolness. I wonder if Teen Leadership is more difficult because of the sweltering heat, or is there just more sweat as 20 teens push through the mental, physical and emotion challenge of a program that would challenge even the strongest adult.

Day 2 was only 17 hours long from lights up to lights down. 17 hours sounds like a lot, especially knowing it was full of challenges, failures and successes as each teen pushed beyond their personal best. Best reached and it’s time to push past that. Best reached again and push more. Dig deeper and further until each teen’s individual self is brought into the light and owned. To “own” myself during teenage years…I cannot begin to fathom how that would have changed, polished and maybe, just maybe, redirected my life.

As I watch these young adults now, grasping at the last 5 minutes of sleep, I realize they have made that transition. No longer “teenagers” but young adults owning, being responsible for and recognizing their potential, and yes their responsibility, for theirown life. How is that possible to transition in 17 short hours? I must be mistaken and it’s actually been 17 days. I am certain as I look in the eyes of each teen, they certainly feel like it’s been 17 days!

If you look, most successful people in the world have failed, and failed hard. The difference between them and the rest of us? They are better at failure. They fail, they learn, and then they go out and do better – harder, stronger, more determined. And now 20 young adults will be released into the world to do the same: Savannah, Fallyn, Evan, Jamie, Annika, Zavion, Tylee, Megan, Ryan, Jayla, Jacob, Alec, Mary, Aiden, Michael, Janiah, Alayna, Riley, Jessica, Cameron.

The day began with individual autonomy – self-focused, trying to fit in, assessing the lay of the land … where safety “might” be found and who “might” be trusted. Starting to identify their passions, what really matters to them and what life – their life – is made of and will be made of.  Have you ever thought about who you want to be known as? For the people who love you, how do you want them to see you? When someone new meets you, what do you want to represent? Now picture the power of knowing that, infatically, as a teenager. That is a game changer, folks.

Fast forward 12 hours, 20 Young Adults, understanding that 1) team matters – it is not about me, it is about us and you won’t get anywhere in life doing it alone, and 2) fear is what holds us back in life. You must face the fear, stare it down, name it and destroy it – take it down.

Half way through the day a line is drawn in the sand….. Get it or go home, get in or get out, it’s time to play BIG….Team is born …. Leaders are found.

  • Fears faced
  • No man left behind
  • It’s time to be a legend
  • Your word is your honor
  • Integrity counts
  • Voice opinion
  • Encourage others
  • Hold all accountable
  • Push past anxiety
  • Push past fear
  • Push past judgement
  • Be selfless

These are the words of the Tribe, not mine. Team is born …. Leaders are found.

The story is simple – people, including teens, want to know and to be known. Everyone has a voice and wants to be heard. Choose to live scared or choose to live strong. It’s time. For them and for you, the reader. Are you listening?

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