Now that I’m moving forward with 2023, it seems the new year started with what I didn’t expect, notably through Sunflower Film Alliance (SFA). For those of you who haven’t known about SFA, they are a youth collective with membership annually renewed. In a broader sense, this model looks like a school to me/us! By tradition, we treat our new members with a team retreat so they’ll come back more bonded and clearer about their stories to produce later this year. With this post, you are going to explore yet other five lessons I have learned from this retreat on my own and with my younger trip mates!
1- “Punctuality” Still Matters
If you ever work with me, you know how punctual I am. Still, when it comes to timing an itinerary, a departure should not be stretched! That is why I’ve purposely put “punctuality” between parenthesis here, to mean a “point” to our departure time, not ” duration”. Otherwise, you might have confused your trip mate with some loose wait!
2- You Can’t Watch Your Own Back
As our internal rule, SFA members going on our annual retreat are eligible for presidential votes. A member from our previous batch won these elections, despite her reluctancy. Before accepting this “vital” role, she humbly asked the whole team why they elected her. A female member said it best, “Because you can’t watch your own back”. This means our action is always watched by people around us. If we do good, they find us eventually good. And we’re capable to influence them in “good” manners, too!
3- A Teacher Learns Twice
Even if I gave up being a lecturer a dozen years ago, I feel this propensity has been engrained in my DNA. Therefore, even if I lead a film team, I’d rather coach or teach them “professional” or “spiritual” ways to achieve their tasks. Those were embedded in my sessions of our retreat from team building to self-reflection. Eventually, their rough testimonials surprise with their different lessons from what I expected. That has been how I learn from my “learners” as well!
4- A Dream Zone is Full of Possibilities
There is this psychological quote, I find undeniably true: “If you want to change people, change their environment”. On this basis, our retreat has been conceived as for our new members to explore each other at a new site, they’ve never/rarely been to. The idea is for us to stay out of our comfort zone, yet close to our dream zone. As a result, my young fellows came up with two inspiring short film stories on “mental health”.
5- Align Your Material with Your Purpose
No matter what material we use, I believe we should align it with our purpose. We can’t just stick to it for the purpose of showing off my mastery. What matters, though, is to work around that material to benefit our participants. This was I conducted our retreat sessions, despite its differing timing from my plans.
As you can see, every trip brings me new life perspectives. This time, my main lesson is number 3 as I can’t stop myself from learning, even from my own students or lessons applied to reality. How about you? When was the last you traveled? Any takeaway for us to reflect on?! After all, I left the retreat recharged and optimistic about what I’m going to do with our SFA 2023 members for the rest of this year.