A transformation of character
Written by Jason Sharma
Posted Mon, 19 Mar: Those that know me well, know that I am quite reserved when expressing my emotions. But if I could try and articulate the impact that our trip has had upon me personally with just one word, that word would be transformational.

I have seen eight young boys transform into eight young men and leaders. And it will be hard for me to summarise this experience in a single blog post, but as I go through my reflective journal, there are three key learnings that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Lesson 1: Be a master at building relationships and networks

One of the most inspiring aspects of the trip was to see that the people whom we met, genuinely enjoyed making and maintaining relationships with people from all walks of life. Whether it be the CEO of a big company, or an intern at a fledgling start-up, they all emphasised the importance of making sure that you treat ALL people with respect. If you do not look to seek the best in everyone today, you may miss how that person can be the difference in your life tomorrow.

Lesson 2: Be mindful

Mindfulness, through what I have learned on this trip, is the ability to be aware that we as humans need time to reflect on ourselves so that we can serve others better. In a world full of social media, societal expectations and pressures from work and school, we sometimes forget to look after ourselves. It is through mindfulness that we can be more creative and be more compassionate and empathetic towards others. Mindfulness is the secret that the most powerful people in Silicon Valley use to take themselves to the next level.

Lesson 3: What is new today, will be old tomorrow

This is at the heart of innovation at Silicon Valley. People in the valley do not wait for new opportunities to take advantage of-- they create them. In an ever changing world, the one thing that we can be absolutely sure of is uncertainty. I have learned that there are opportunities to innovate in every aspect of my life, and feel honoured to have met the people that I did who have inspired me to be the positive change in the lives of people who need it the most.

I would like to thank all the boys on the trip. You have all inspired me to be a better person, and I will continue to help you in your journey to become the servant leaders that you are all capable of becoming.

To Simon, thank you for the advice and insight that you have shared with me over the past week, your breadth of knowledge and wisdom has made me reflect on life in a more meaningful and powerful way. And finally to Andrew. You have been a true friend, brother and personal inspiration to me. I will be forever indebted to you for making a difference in my life, and to the lives of everyone on this trip.

To a journey that has only truly just begun,