Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Milestones the Trilogy!

Part 3 (Read part 1 and 2 first for full effect).... **NEW** See picture link at right under LINKS for pictures from Milestone!
After our lessons, Don Soderquist and Andy Wilson came and spoke for about an hour. I have to say that the most moving story out of the visit was "The Chair". He talked about how Sam Walton encouraged him to never make a decision from the chair. He then told about how several lives could have been affected by a decision he made had he not gotten up and went to the problem. Instead, he asked questions and learned from a different perspective. After chatting with them, we ate dinner in the formal dining room which overlooked the lake. It was such a beautiful view at sunset! Not to mention, Johnny Carino's was yummy for dinner. I must say it was a long, long day, but very interesting.
Wednesday found us up early and off to a busy start. After breakfast, we went out to the ropes course to give it a try. The only rule was that after we paired up with a partner, when our partner was on the ropes, we could not talk to them--which meant we couldn't provide encouragement, instruction, or feedback. The lesson in this was for us to try and practice self-management and the inner voices that affect us. So, I am not fond of the ropes course, but hey I am willing to give it a chance since I was able to climb the Alpine Tower. Jason was my partner and he was part of the crew that helped build the ropes course. I'm thinking...I can do this!
Well, not sure what happened to me after that. I was doing great during the first 2 segments of the course. Then, a lady a couple of segments ahead of me panicked and decided she wants down. Well, there is this chain reaction that happens. There are two people between she and I. The lady between us takes off on one of the segments and ends up falling. Which leaves me waiting for them to "rescue" two people between my section and the ladies. So, I am standing there balancing for like 6 minutes on this wire holding onto a rope and my legs and feet got extremely tired! By the time I made it to the next platform, I couldn't go further. I was so bummed....I mean after doing the Alpine Tower, I felt this thing was going to be easy! But I definitely learned more this time around than I did during the Alpine Tower. I came to realize how much my internal voices affect me! We weren't allowed to encourage each other at all during the course which meant that it was total silence and all you could hear was yourself thinking. Which meant that when I got to the point where I was stuck, all I could hear was, "You better get down know you can't do this!" It was so frustrating to know I could have finished the course, but I learned a lot about how I view myself. It was definitely worth the lesson. I know that I fear failure, however there are many times that I feel a failure as well.
But there were more lessons to come....oh were there ever! So, we are then split up into 3 groups and were assigned a group leader. Cindy is our leader and we load up into a van. Cindy hands us an envelope as we are heading on our way (I am beginning to learn to fear the envelope!) and Carol, a girl our group reads it aloud to us. The first page talks about the 3 socioecnomic classes in NW Arkansas. Each group from JBU is going to represent a group. The next page would outline our social class and money allotted for lunch. So, Carol turns the page to read "Your life has been a series of unfortunate events..." at the top of the page. The figure $10 glares at us along with instructions on how to spend the $ food stamps! Yes, we had $10 for lunch to feed 7 people. So, we had to come up with a game plan. Someone suggested Aldi's, which evidently is a cheaper grocery store. I would compare its contents to something like the Always Save brand. Ok, the list says we can only buy bread, water, lunch meat, cheese, PBJ, and chips. We could not add money to our funds and we couldn't eat anything that was not on the list. So as we are driving to Aldi's, Cindy decides its time to put the icing on the cake! She tells us thatwe each have to put a shirt on out of the trash bag she is holding. Well, somehow I get stuck with the Garth Brooks Mickey Mouse shirt! It was horrid....But as we go into Aldi's, we notice that we really don't stick out. So, I am thinking, this really isn't that bad....we grab some items off of the list...lunch meat, bread, chips, and bottled water. We couldn't buy plates, etc to eat with. We finally decided to just pull over and eat on the side of the road. It was such a surreal experience. The food was gross...I couldn't even eat. It was also hard to eat because you realize that there are people who have no more than what you are "pretending" to have.
After lunch, the experience isn't over. We are then dropped off at the Fayetteville mall--still wearing our shirts by the way! We are again handed an envelope and told to go by ourselves for the next initiative. The sheet of paper says to go to the store of our choice and ask for a job application and spend at least 3 minutes talking to the store person about the job and specifically ask them, "Do you think I would be a fit for this job?" Ok, this was stretching me! But I decided the only way to fully experience the initiative would be to go to a store that I would feel to be a challenge. So, I went to Wet Seal and spoke to the manager. She was so non-judgmental! She did awesome...she never once blinked an eye at what I had on...she even offered me the job!
When we got back to the house after the experience, we got to hear about the other 2 groups experiences....$15 PER person lunch and $5 per person lunches! Boy, were we jealous (and hungry after listening to their meals!) But, I honestly learned more with my experience. I forgot how much I have to be faithful for and how much some people struggle just to eat. It was definitely a humbling day.
That evening we had a few guest speakers and ate quesadillas! The speakers did an awesome job...I particularly loved listening to one lady who spoke about how success shouldn't be measured using someone else's bar. It should be what makes us proud and what we're happy about. I have spent far too much of my life measuring my success with someone else's measuring cup. It wasn't until the past 2 years that I have learned my happiness isn't going to exist in someone else's successes. It has to be mine...I have to be the one who sets the bar. With that, we also discussed balance in life...something I definitely don't have! But, I think my challenges are temporary and there are things in my life that I would like to achieve. As long as the sacrifice is short-term (hey, they say 2 year program for your Masters), then it's worth the sacrifice. But, I couldn't live my life in high gear all the time....
The next morning saw us up bright and early...AGAIN! But, it is Day 3, the final day. I had my assessement with Wendy at 7 that morning. We discussed personal areas that I could work on based on a couple of assessment tests I took. Probably my biggest surprise was that I am easily distracted both internally and externally. But the more I thought about it, the more it is right. I let things distract me that have nothing to do with my current efforts and really deserve no thought at all. Secondly, I am very critical of myself (big surprise-HA!)...I knew this already. I can rip myself apart faster and better than anyone I know. So, I made a promise to myself to really work on these 2 areas when I left the seminar.
After breakfast, they drove us to downtown Rogers, AR and dropped us off at an abandoned hotel (I am thinking, PLEASE, PLEASE don't make me starve for lunch again!). Upon arriving, we found out that we are going to be playing CSI. It was so much fun! We spent the next 4 hours "investigating" a murder. We collected evidence and then went around town searching for clues. Finally, at the end we found our suspect and I got to put the handcuffs on him! This guy was a firefighter for Rogers, AR and was probably taller than Kyle (though not much taller). He was very broad-shouldered. When I put the handcuffs on him, on the second cuff, you are supposed to "shake" the hand of the suspect to hold the hand in place. Well, he about broke my hand squeezing it so tight...he was definitely an intimidating suspect.
The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing and presenting on what we would "Keep, Stop, Start" in regards to the things we learned as well as our values. values are Respect, Fairness, Empathy, Perseverance and Humility. I firmly believe in being non-judgmental (guess I have been judged one too many times) and that people should treat others fairly. I'm not perfect, but I can say that the life experiences I have been through have definitely molded my values. Stating your values gives you direction and accountability. It shapes you because you have something to work for and live by.
Kyle and I started working on his values the other night. He thought it was going to be hard to come up with them, but after I got him started on how to figure them out, he had 3 determined in 30 minutes! I will let him share his values though in his own blog.....
Well, tomorrow I will hopefully catch up and write about this past weekend with NASCAR.
Til then,


thirty-something said...

Saw the shirt.....NICE!

Faithful said...

Yeah, I asked if I could keep it!