STAR Workshop

This workshop was a great opportunity. I met a bunch of wonderful people there. Made new connections as well as reaffirming existing friendship, and those weren’t temporary associations which usually are bound to fade away quickly in order to keep good memories intact. It sounds like an overstatement but that’s what happened.

Here is how I found it.
One year ago the company I work for moved the office inside a venture habitat called Sunbridge located in Shibuya Mark City. They had an email magazine aimed at people who are interested in entrepreneurship and business trends in Japan. In one issue EA-Tokyo’s seminar was introduced (Allen Miner, founder of Sunbridge, was the first speaker).
Led by curiosity (I had no idea what entrepreneurs do in general) I joined one session. And another. And more. One of EA-Tokyo’s sponsers was (and still is) Jim Hunter(‘Coach’), president of PMP Japan/STAR workshop. He was always at the seminar so I, who felt like an imposter among ambitious businesspersons, even had a couple of occasion to talk with him and learned about his business.

I had little or no idea what STAR workshop was really about because I have no interest in workshop in general. But I was interested in Coach, and also thought I can trust him as a person. And a couple of my other friends, whom of course I trust, also recommended the workshop. Time to go for it. Here I don’t describe the workshop content but try to write down how I felt. I do this because describing the course doesn’t mean anything to anybody. The secret is not written in the syllabus.

At the workshop there were a couple of familiar faces and it made me both comfortable and nervous. Comfortable because I always get charged meeting them (even when we are discussing about something grim), and nervous because they would know if I lie or make unrealistic promises.

It started rather slowly for me. Everybody in the workshop are adults – we understand it is our decision to join this workshop and there is no point in expecting an immediate and practical effect, doing nothing. It all depends on how we act. But still, I was nervous at the beginning. Do I have to hold each other’s hand and sing a stupid song? Is it just about filling the “what is the color of your parachute” form? The nervousness dissolved quickly, since I saw the facilitators themselves believed in what they are doing (later we learned that they were former participants of this workshop). I want to say this aloud to anybody who opens a seminar or thinking about that. Do YOU believe in what you are doing?

It’s all about the people. I suppose I learned some techniques in this class. Mind-mapping, 10 steps, building self-esteem, so on. But the best thing is the time and the memory we shared there during the two days. Today when I feel I fell into a pitfall or stuck in the moment, I mutter some of the keyword such as cancelling the negative thought. But it’s not the keyword itself. It’s the accompanying memory that works wonder. The image of the facilitators and participants practicing, feeling the effect by themselves. And my own experience of doing that. When I say the keyword (or use other tricks) memory of those moments bring the needed energy and wrap me up. I am in that particular moment, when I felt clearly that I can make a difference.

The seminar is about creating that field of energy with other people, and store it in our body so that we acquire a springboard we can always come back to. Whenever we get lost or defeated, we can go back there, jump up again. The keywords and other tricks don’t do any wonder by themselves, they are just there to help us getting to that particular point. I can shout “Nobody can defeat me” 1,000 times but….
Reading the contents never substitutes the actual experience. And getting the right cloud of people is more important than making the outline look attractive.