Tag Archive | learning

When one door closes…opportunities await

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Photo credit: AARC.org

Relationship endings are always bitter sweet.

You say goodbye to the life you knew for the previous how many years, reminisce on all the memories, happy and sad times, and think of all the things that you used to do, places you would go and people you knew that will now change. If you look at it in a positive light it means that there is now room for new beginnings, many opportunities that can lead to an entirely different life. A new chapter for the book of you.

Part of the reason my last relationship ended up parting ways was because I had a long hard think about what I wanted to do in and with my life and our paths just weren’t heading in the same direction. Fortunately for me the reason I had to have that honest conversation with myself turned out to be the first step in creating a new journey.

Some people manage to go through life and have it just happen to them. I want more from life; I like the adrenaline, the excitement, the satisfaction of setting a goal and achieving it and overcoming the challenges that I face on the way.

It may sound selfish, independent, or stubborn, but I like to do things for myself. If I have achieved it mostly on my own it feels like I earned it and can be truly content with the fact it is mine and I did it and no one else can take credit for it. I have always done that so i don’t feel like I “owe” anyone for helping me out. I even have a hard time having other people buy me a drink, or dinner, without me having to repay them in kind.

After the necessary grieving period was over, I began to focus on the things that had made me come to that life changing decision in the first place. I wanted to buy a house, I wanted to travel the world, I wanted to have good real friends, I wanted to be a good real friend…and many more. I sat down and started to work it out using what I had been taught in school and throughout rowing training, if you are going to set a goal it needs to be SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable/Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

I wanted to travel overseas. I thought about where I most wanted to go, how much time I could realistically go for, what the main things I “had to see” if it was my only time going over there. Then looked into the best way to fit those in, priced up the options, worked out how long it would take me to save/pay for the trip and started booking.

I also wanted to buy a house. Again I worked out what I wanted in a house, what area I wanted to and could afford to live in, how much I had in my Kiwisaver, what I could realistically afford that I would be comfortable living in and how much more I needed to save to get there, and also about the timing of it – whether I bought it before or after going overseas.

Fortunately I have a good job with a regular salary and a decent amount of leave. Because I had planned these two main goals out in a lot of detail I then spent the next year and a bit saving, booking parts of my trip, looking at the housing market – keeping an eye on the prices and how it kept changing. With goals and a plan I found it easy to see the end in sight and managed to go to Europe/UK for 6 weeks and come home to buy a house the following month at the end of 2016.

Both of these goals had the added bonus that I was focused on something different. I was learning a lot about houses, the market, the whole process and a lot about the world, places to go, what to do and see, which in turn meant I was surrounded with an entirely different group of people and it opened me up to a lot more conversations with the people I already knew. I met a huge range of different people just through thinking and talking about these adventures I was planning on having and while I was living them.

I look at every experience as an opportunity to learn a lesson, or three, then I look forward to using those lessons to create something even better in my next chapter.

Those were my main goals for 2016 and since I have accomplished them I am now figuring out what’s next and how best to achieve that. The past two years really have been a life changing experience and many many new doors have opened thanks to one door closing.

Bitter sweet, yet onwards and upwards.
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Camp Overview

A quick catch up: last week I went on a Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp (RYLA) in Epworth, near Maungatautari in the Waikato. There were 42 of us that came together for this camp from all over the Greater Waikato District including: Napier, Hastings, Taupo, Hamilton, Cambridge, Rotorua and many other places. We began our first day by doing a few exercises about ourselves and our journey as a leader so far, then some team building exercises, and finally a RUBIK exercise to decide on our main group for the rest of the week. We were instructed before the camp to bring seven different items of clothing in colours of the Rubik cube; which we then swapped with other camp members until we had clothes of just one colour. I ended up in the White team which was nicely balanced with three males and four females.

White Team

White Team

One of the team bonding exercises we did was Rock n Roll, which I was so excited about! We were privileged enough to have two junior national champions and a world champion teaching us the basic, turn out, turn in, a drop and spin. As a party trick we also learnt how to do a bridge with the whole group!

Learning the basics

Learning the basics

Rock n Roll bridge

Rock n Roll bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next day we spent the morning inside learning theories about leadership including: above the line (Ownership, Accountability and Responsibility) / below the line (Blame, Excuses, Denial) and also “thinking – creates feeling – creates behaviour” based on your core beliefs. The afternoon was spent at the high ropes course at Lake Karapiro. We remained in our colour teams for this activity and scaled many a high rope; I even did one blindfolded!

White team on the beam

White team on the beam

White team at high ropes

White team at high ropes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These high ropes were a good test of our team work and support. We had to belay our own team mates, encourage them on the harder ropes and one rope even required us to run with the rope in one direction while the other person was running in the opposite direction resulting in them flying up in the air!

Ascending the first high rope

Ascending the first high rope

High ropes blindfolded

High ropes blindfolded

Another high rope!

Another high rope!

The next day we went to Stubb’s farm in Waitomo. There we were separated into different teams; mine was “pigs”. We made up a chant which was simple yet effective… Leader: “Piggy piggy piggy” followers: “Oink oink oink”, “piggy”, “oink”, “piggy”, “oink”, “piggy piggy piggy”, “oink oink oink!” We completed four activities in this team: rock climbing, abseiling, caving and team work adventures. I have always loved rock climbing, so this was especially exciting for me as it was a combination of outdoor rock climbing on real rocks with the indoor handles attached. It was also the first time I had gone caving; we went through different heights of caves – at some points we were crawling between cracks and through water, other times we were climbing up and over big mounds. I found the limestone inside was very interesting to look at, it is millions of years old, and of course there were plenty of glow worms to keep me intrigued – it is actually their poo that lights up!

Piggys in the cave

Piggys in the cave

Pigs successfully finished caving!

Pigs successfully finished caving!

Pigs rock climbing

Pigs rock climbing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were many other activities we did including managing meetings and public speaking workshops, along with Masterchef and pikelet creations that kept us busy and taught us a lot. We even planned and practiced a Haka to thank the Rotarians and organised the final dinner where many family and friends attended to see the outcomes of the camp.

Creating perfect pikelets

Creating perfect pikelets

White's Master Chef

White’s Master Chef

Tika Tonu Haka

Tika Tonu Haka

Getting my RYLA certificate

Getting my RYLA certificate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The RYLA camp experience was amazing and one I won’t ever forget. I am sure I will be calling on a few of the people I met there in the future, it was a great networking opportunity, not to mention all the new skills and theories I learnt. I am having post camp withdrawals, as I do after every holiday, trip and camp. I miss the people, the food, the activities and the atmosphere.  Many thanks to the Rotary clubs that sponsored us all, and District 9930 for organising the whole event. Bring on a reunion soon!

Rylarions 2014

Rylarions 2014