Change Ventures 2014 - Day 5

Today’s Quote
You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one ~ James A. Froude

What We Did One of the students held a Metta Meditation session with the group early this morning. After breakfast and ahead of today’s Free Day, we ran through our Daily Check-In and the students presented their Look Back homework. We continued discussions into lunch, play time in the pool and afternoon of chilling.

What We Observed

  1. Students have started to take on new experiences! One student took his first dive into the pool, despite not knowing how to swim. Another student shared that he was learning to float in water and felt determined to continue practicing this today. A third student tried flow yoga for the first time and felt that this was helping her to practice presence, mental focus and block out distracting thoughts.
  2. It was an emotional day for many students as they shared their Look Back homework and explored pivotal moments and turning points in their past that have shaped and impacted their perspectives and identities today.
  3. The initial rush felt by the students to get on with their business ideation, planning and execution has started to give way for deeper self exploration and expression - the very intention of the programme’s Week One (‘Break Down’) activities.
  4. Today’s unveiling of students’ deep seeded thoughts, feelings and internal conflict within both personal and professional realms reinforce our belief that too often, the daily grind and need to be productive take away from the time needed to process, address and better understand what we feel, do and experience in our daily lives.
  5. This year’s cohort of students, predominantly from Asian (Indian, Chinese, Singaporean and Indonesian) backgrounds, shared similar struggles resulting from societal pressures and cultural expectations.

Key Takeaways

  • The sincerity and compassion with which students offered support to one another throughout the day revealed the strength of their bond, developed over just a few days of candid sharing and shared experience - reinforcing the importance of human connection and having a community and support system to learn, grow and overcome difficulties.
  • Interestingly, this year’s cohort is dealing with challenges quite distinct from those of last year’s cohort of students who were primarily from Western backgrounds (US, Canada, Australia and Europe) with different group dynamics and cultural contexts influencing the way the Change Ventures programme was run.