James Marshall, 20 years old
I attended my first EmpowerU at age 13, September 2007.
You recent success:
Most recently, I’ve undertaken the role as owner and operator of a thriving video store in Medowie NSW. It has been a vertical learning curve and has forced me to better myself massively in a very short amount of time.
Best memory from EmpowerU:
The biggest memory that stands out is a process that is run at the Five Day Camp. It was super intense and exciting and I experienced unprecedented growth, but you’ll have to come along to find out what it was! Specific to the weekend course the environment of freedom given at the EmpowerU program allows you to be everything you are and everything you ever want to be in that single moment, and nothing else matters. You are taken away from the realities of your day to day, and the inhibitions that would stop you from being who you truly are, leaving a lasting reference of your true identity to which you can always return, to light your darkest hour.
Which lesson have you implemented the most:
Brent makes up many fabulous and colourful flip charts at the EmpowerU program, which emphasise the key ideas that are being presented. I took home the State + Strategy = Success flipchart as a 13 year old, and put it on my wall for many years, not really grasping the true value of the statement. It was fascinating to watch so many circumstances unfold in my life that drew me to the understanding that the marriage of a focused, empowered mindset and a learned set of skills was required in every situation, and one without the other would not achieve the desired result. This truly gives an unfair advantaged to anyone who employs such a powerful concept.
How did the program impact your life:
Wholistically, the 7 years I’ve spent around Tomorrow’s Youth and the EmpowerU program has infiltrated every facet of my existence. Most of all, my confidence as a communicator and individual pursuing experiences and achievements was always fortified with the backbone of positive references and endless teachings from an immeasurable collected wisdom.
What would you say to someone thinking of attending:
Many people ask “So, what’s it like?” The truth is, it is like nothing you can explain to anyone. Consider for a moment if you were in a deep and passionate relationship, and some asked you “So, what’s it like?” You would not nearly be able to conjure up the words to articulate all the elements from the smallest ranges of contentment and peace shared with another, to the everlasting admiration of everthing that is them, and the beautiful way they punctuate every situation; likewise the EmpowerU program. It is truly the most graceful accompaniment to coming of age in the world today, and without it, over 30,000 people, young and young at heart, would not have the ocean of personal development they began by giving up nothing but two and a half days to potentially change their lives forever.
What advice would you give to other young people looking to better themselves:
Firstly, before reading another sentence, send in your application form to attend the next EmpowerU.
Secondly, read read read. I’m sorry to say that reruns of The Big Bang Theory won’t help you become the best in your field, nurture powerful relationships, but there is an endless library of recipes out in the world in the form of books, where successful people who have done the dirty work pre-pave the road for you to fast track you own success, without the trial and error. And if you don’t like to read (I don’t like to read) there is a wonderful technology called audio books.
Thirdly, and most importantly, never underestimate the power of your age. As a twenty-year-old managing their own business, I can personally attest to the shock, awe and subsequent admiration expressed by people decades older than me when they find out what I’m doing. The media paints a dark portrait of laziness, obnoxiousness, and arrogance onto youth and unfortunately, older generations lap it up. By breaking away from the stereotype, and showing interest to learn from and edify their experience, people who hold the keys to your future will open doors for you.
What has been your biggest lesson in life so far:
Put simply, there is value in every experience. Many people point out trauma and discomfort in their lives and use them as excuses about why they cannot be better. Through the process known as re-framing, anyone can either turn a negative experience into contrast for a positive desire for change, and work towards what is wanted, or, they can take away the lessons learnt in defeat, and implement them in future endeavours.