by Ming Jiang
It was a seven day long experience in LEAP, and it had become the best week of my life! I couldn't believe a-week-long program could be the turning point of my life! There were some points that I was never taught in school, but what I Learned from LEAP that changed my life were the following: goals, DISC, gratitude, and friendship.
How to gain your confidence and lead you to success? Set a goal, and achieve it! During LEAP, we were asked to write down our goals on a sheet of paper that we could carry and read everyday. The goal requirements were to be "SIMple" which stood for "be Specific", "be Important", and "be Measurable". For example, one of my goals was "I want to finish my summer internship in the School District by August 31th, 2015, and be able to continue it on September 10th, 2015." I never noticed how different is what between thinking my goals through in my mind and as oppose to actually write down the goals on the paper. The goals in mind is passive and illusory, making it easy to betray my mind. However, write the goals down is a more active action, and I can remind myself what my goals are and remain faithful to my promise! After setting goals, the next step was to find our passion and purpose: why do I want to achieve this goal? what can I do in order to achieve my goal? The last step was to make actions! There was a quote I heard from LEAP that impressed me most: "The secret to success is no secret! It's called worked your butt off and find a way to add more value to your and others' live!"
LEAP taught us the Platinum Rule: "Treat others the way that THEY would like to be treated!" But the question was how do we know the way others would like to be treated. There was a tool we learned called DISC. DISC is the personal assessment tool that helps people observe their behaviors in order to improve their communication. This was new for me, and I never contacted it in school! DISC stood for “Dominant”, “Influential”, “Steady”, and “Compliant”. Observing and knowing others’ DISC is the key of being master in any relationship!!
Gratitude is the key to success in life! We were asked to write appreciation notes to everyone in our group everyday, and at the beginning, I didn’t understand why and what to appreciate for. On the first day, I wrote “I appreciate your smile” to everyone because I really didn’t know what to write about. However, on the second day, people began to smile more, and I asked them why. Their answers were “because you appreciated my smile!” at that moment, I realized how a simple note could affect people so much! I began to enjoy to appreciate others’ beauties! It delighted people while be pleasure of how grateful I am!
The biggest harvest I received from LEAP was the friendship. My group was made of Americans, Australians, Chinese, Mexican, and South African!! It was amazing to get along with so many different culture, and it was a process of learning how to accept and appreciate others who were different than ourselves. As a new immigrant, I didn’t have many friends that I trusted. However, I met and made my best friend in LEAP, Kate, the South African girl who was raised in America. we had many differences, but there were also many in common. We shared our experiences truly, and at that moment, I told myself that I will treasure our friendship forever! Everyone in my group became my families. It’s hard to imagine that 9 strangers embraced together and talked with true heart, even though they just knew each other for a week, and I won’t forget the night we exchange our hearts.
I’m grateful for being a part of LEAP, and I appreciate the changes that LEAP brought to my life!
Special thanks to the Stuski Family and the LEAP Foundation for their continued investment in our young leaders!