My STEP Signature Project was a three week long outdoor leadership adventure trip in Australia and New Zealand. Along the journey, I participated in challenging hikes, sea kayaking, horseback riding, snorkeling, and other outdoor activities. Finally, leadership was a big component of the trip. Each day we had different “Leaders of the day” and as a group we had to work together to accomplish tasks.
The biggest thing I learned about myself is I like to overthink and complicate many tasks in life. At the beginning of my adventure I shared with my group the story about my grandma and her teaching me about KP duty (which is an acronym for kitchen and pot). I explained to the group that KP duty is simple. You clean the kitchen and you clean the pots. This “it’s simple” motto stuck with me the whole trip and I applied it to all my adventures. This motto has transformed my outlook on life and I will continue to apply it every day. I do not need to complicate things that can be kept simple.
Also, my assumption on life was transformed for the better during my journey. I learned that “when you are somewhere, be there”. Before the trip I would be doing tasks or at places physically, however, my mind was always in another place. I would always be worrying about the future and not experiencing the moment. My adventure taught me that having a sense of mindfulness is important and has transformed my outlook in life. I want to work on being more mindful in all my future endeavors.
During my Step Signature Project, I was able to be the leader of the day for my group. Being the leader was a challenging task and was very demanding. At the end of the day, I remember being tired and needed sometime to myself. As the leader, I applied my motto of “it’s simple”. I gave instructions that were clear and concise, assigned roles, and created a culture of not over complicating situations. Seeing how positive my group reacted to “it’s simple”, I knew that this will transform my viewpoint on life and incorporating it into my everyday tasks is one of my new goals.
Throughout my journey my trip leaders stressed the importance of disconnecting from our phones. We were not allowed to have our phones out during dinner, in the accommodation’s hangout areas, and while we were interacting with each other. Also, we had limited connection to WIFI. Being disconnected from my phone lead to my transformation of “when you are somewhere, be there”. It helped me to understand the importance of mindfulness and to be fully engaged you need to put down the phone.
The no phone policy transformed my relationship with my group members. We become closer as a whole and developed lasting relationships (as I write this we are planning a social activity even after our project has ended). Also, I was able to work on my transformation of being more mindful in my daily activities. By not being distracted by my phone, I was able to be fully engaged in the activities during my project and this helped me understand what it means to be truly mindful.
This transformation is valuable for my life because I want to use what I learned and apply it to my upcoming trip to Miami, FL. During my STEP Project I developed as a leader and learned valuable lessons that I want to share with others. I want to use the lessons I learned in being fully engaged and having a sense of mindfulness and apply it to my next trip. I am going to share this with my friends and help them to improve as people as we explore the southern part of Florida.
Finally, as I move on in my life it is one of my goals to be fully engaged in all of my future endeavors. It is my personal goal to put away my phone and really take in all my experiences. I want to live the mottos of “experience now and share later” and “it’s simple”. My STEP Project was an awarding experience and I cherish all the enlightenments I discovered along my journey.