THE BLOG

Lessons from Teaching at a School

11/17/2011 09:02 am ET

I am still here in South Africa and had one of the most rewarding experiences ever last week. I was invited to teach the 9 Principles of Change in a wonderful school in Johannesburg, called The African Leadership Academy. They sponsor kids from the 53 countries of Africa for the last two years of high school and show them the way to be future leaders of this great continent. The students were between the ages of 16-18, yet every one of them has a wisdom and depth that was truly remarkable.

We discussed the most difficult changes they've had to face so far -- many of them having lost loved ones -- the change they are most excited about making, going to college, starting businesses, contributing and also their most helpful beliefs. Many of them centered around faith and help from others. The students were a lively bunch and participated a lot as we went through each of the principles one by one.

There's something magical about teaching anything you know or have some experience with. We are so much more comfortable being the students in life, and yet, how easily we forget that we really are expert sin something. Our stories are really our experiences. There's someone or a group that needs to hear from us. Volunteer. Find a local school and go ask to teach. I am sure they will welcome you.

Power moves through those who serve. I felt a lot of power moving through me that evening when we spent close to three hours all together. These students are so hungry for knowledge, life skills, not more advanced calculus. They want to believe they are big enough to make a real difference and they are.

The students are full of life, giggling, smiling. I read somewhere that the average African laughs more in a week than Americans do in a month. That's crazy. What really surprised me was how polite the Africans are, how present they are towards their fellow students, full of respect and dignity. Everyone feels welcome, heard, seen here.

I've attached a few photos so you can see the lovely energy among the students.

I leave you with this thought. What do you have to teach? And where can you do that in your community?

Remember, it doesn't have to be something major. Maybe you lost weight, started a business, quit smoking, built a website, overcame something difficult. Someone needs to hear your story. As one young man said at the end of my workshop, "I've been feeling so much fear for so many years, and what you said has allowed me to feel peace again. I've been waiting for years to hear this."

Nothing can beat that kind of impact on another soul's life. Go out and serve your fellow beings.

And if you haven't gotten the book, please do so. It's not too late!