Archive for January, 2017

T-Talks Reinvent Teacher-Student Relationship

Here’s a student highlight story on Gabby von Euw from Bay Area, California.

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In her freshman year of the 2016 spring semester, Gabby von Euw was working at the Student Life department of Chabot Community College where her responsibilities included coming up with new ways to engage students on campus. Gabby always enjoyed watching inspirational talks on YouTube and thought it would be a great idea to bring to life such talks on campus by having professors share about their journey and the lessons learned on their career path.

“I enjoy listening to inspirational talks and life stories because it motivates me to pursue my own career path and continue moving forward. So, I thought it would be great to bring something similar to campus because I knew there would be others that would be inspired and benefit from this event!”

We often associate our professors with term assignments and papers or a specific expertise or niche perspectives, but rarely do we realize our professors are people, too. Our professors stood in our shoes at some point and they went through a process that led them to be teaching at our university today. 

IMG_8082Naomi and Gabby, creators of the T-Talks.

Naomi Froehlich, also a student at Chabot at the time, realized how disconnected students were to the professors and faculty from her interaction with students at the campus tutoring center. There was a misunderstanding that the relationship between students and professors was solely oriented around grades.

Naomi could see that professors really had much more wisdom to share outside of the classroom and academics and could be a strong support system for students. From her own experience, Naomi connected with one professor who shared about her tendency toward perfectionism and could then give tips to Naomi on how to deal with this inclination.

These life lessons were something that any student could relate to, no matter their major.

Gabby and Naomi came to find out they had a similar idea so they put it into action. The two pooled their resources from the tutoring center and the Student Life department and together, they created T-talks. Before Naomi transferred out, she connected Gabby with two other like-minded students who are now helping Gabby host the T-talks in its third semester. 

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So, what is a T-Talk? T-Talks stand for “Teacher Talks” which are focused on three main points: Inspire, Connect, Empower (ICE). The hope is that through T-talks, professors, who are teachers, can share their personal testimonies of their academic career, life, and how they came to where they are at now. Teachers can share tips and advice to help inspire and empower students to continue persevering and doing great things.

This event is meant to encourage students to enjoy their academic and career-searching journey, rather than over-stressing and feeling hopeless. And this is also a way for students to connect and better understand their professors, which can help their overall college experience.

“In the beginning, it was difficult to get these T-talks going. We worried about whether people would come. But relatively quickly, it became easier and easier to make happen. Now we always have on average 30 students attending and their responses have been very positive.”

Gabby and her team prepare flyers for each monthly T-Talk and post them across campus to attract students and other professors to attend. They also utilize their Facebook page for outreach and even post T-Talks to YouTube

IMG_5587Nate Moore, a campus security guard presents his story, titles “Getting Off Your Knees.”

At the start of each event, one of the organizers explains the concept of these T-talks for newcomers, then introduces the professor-speaker. The professor-speaker shares his or her story for 20-40 minutes.

Examples of talk titles have been “Getting Off Your Knees,” “In Pursuit of Passion,” and “How to Turn Failures Into Successes.” All of these talks focus on personal testimony and lessons learned to stimulate a more internal interaction between professors and students. 

IMG_5926Professor Ianniallo shares her story of being in college for 11 years and becoming a Communications professor. 

Following the talk, students can ask questions in an open forum style. Gabby and her team make sure to end the event with some feedback and announcements about the next T-talk. There is always a lot of engagement in the open forum as students become more interested in their professor’s life experience.

“What I learned is to take initiative and be proactive. If I have an idea then I need to take the responsibility and initiative in making it happen. My perspective has changed. Doing these T-Talks and organizing other activities for my local church community brings me lots of joy and happiness because I can see it brings a smile to the people who participate. A smile makes it all worth the effort!”

These events are a substantiation of an inspiration. A key factor in Gabby’s success in establishing these T-talks on her campus is the fact that she had a team around her for support – others who shared in her vision. This is the third semester in which these T-talks will be in session and undoubtedly, these will be a success even after Gabby moves on. 

IMG_5971T-Talks in  the Chabot Spectator campus newspaper.

Gabby is studying Kinesiology and finishing up her time at Chabot community college this semester. With plans on the horizon to transfer to a four-year state university by next fall, we hope she is inspired to continue these T-talks so long as she is a student.

In addition to planning monthly T-Talks, attending to her studies, and playing soccer during fall semesters, Gabby is involved in her local church community with organizing activities for the youth and also helping out at Young Adult Ministry.

Before college, Gabby was part of the GPA program for two years from 2013-2015. She had the opportunity to work with CARP Las Vegas for a couple months during the program and was inspired by the community and events they had established there. These T-Talks are an expression of that inspiration as she sought to create more engagement in her community.

These T-Talks are similar to CARP Talks as they are short, powerful talks meant to inspire. This adaptation of the talks by inviting professors to connect to students on a deeper level is a wonderful and innovative approach to creating community on campus. 

“Thank you for letting me share. Sometimes you forget how far you’ve come.”

Consider getting your professors involved and start organizing T-Talks on your campus. Reach out to Gabby or CARP HQ for more information about T-Talks.

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CARP America Hosts International Students

Contributed by Nina Urbonya, CARP International Liaison

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CARP seeks to raise up students to be global citizens. We believe that one way to do that is through experiencing another country’s culture and meeting with fellow students in that country. CARP America was delighted to help host numerous students from abroad during their stay in America.

Sixteen Korean students from the Sunhak Elite Scholarship Program visited America for 10 days from January 5-14 as part of their “2017 Winter Sunhak Academic Camp”. The Sunhak Elite Scholarship, founded by the Wonmo Pyeongae Foundation, is awarded to model students who have shown excellent academic records and good moral character.

IMG_2028(1)In front of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly hall at the UN Headquarters, New York City.

The theme for this year’s winter camp was “The United Nations and World Peace.” The Wonmo Foundation hopes that through this trip to America, students will be able to better understand the UN and the foundation and the activities of Father and Mother Moon, promote networking among future global leaders, and provide an opportunity for Korean students to meet and discuss various issues with American students.

First, the students toured the United Nations building in New York and then sat down to meet with Keisha A. McGuire, the Ambassador of Grenada to the United Nations, a representative from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and a representative from Unification Peace Federation (UPF) to talk about the ongoing refugee crisis.

“It was nice to come to the UN and be able to tour and look around. But it was even more meaningful since we could seat down with the Ambassador and discuss current issues affecting the world.” – H.L 21 yrs old Yonsei University student

IMG_2052Students engaging in a discussion on the Refugee Crisis with the Ambassador of Grenada to the United Nations and a representative from the IOM.

The students also visited East Garden and Belvedere where Father Moon and his family lived during their time in America. They then went down to Washington DC to visit The Washington Times, the National Monument, and Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hall.

Finally, the highlight of their stay: they gathered at the Clifton Family Church to hold a seminar on the role of the UN in the refugee crisis and the reunification of North and South Korea. A total of 40 people came out to listen to the three presentations prepared by the Korean teams. The Korean students seemed nervous at first, having to present in English, and not their native language. However, they did an excellent job of presenting the content that they prepared so diligently.

UNF20170108-002One of the Korean students presenting on the Role of the UN in the Refugee Crisis.

Everyone was impressed by the quality of the presentations. After each presentation, there was time for questions and then a 30-minute discussion in groups. It was a great opportunity for participants from America and Korea to share their opinions and perspectives and gain a deeper and broader understanding on these issues.

“I’ve always had an interest in North and South Korea Unification, it’s something that I’ve heard a lot about growing up in the Unification movement. Because of that I feel very connected to Korea. We should spread this kind of mindset to people of all countries, that they don’t just belong to one country but to think of themselves as global citizens. They need to think of the prosperity of all people and nations, that is the start of peace and unity in the world. If North and South Korea can unite, it can be a model for the world and bring a lot of hope to countries that still have war and conflict. Thank you for coming all the way from South Korea to meet with us and discuss these things.” – Naria McGee, participant from New Jersey

UNF20170108-041Students and adult participants engage in enlightening discussions after the presentations.

“It was a very good experience for me to widen my perspective and views. It is a very rare opportunity to be able to listen to the opinions of people from other countries. We had a good discussion and many good ideas came up. I think it will bear good fruit if we continue to keep an open mind and share ideas and solutions.” – Yongsu Seo, Seoul National University student, Political Science Major

“Thank you everyone for coming out. We prepared very hard for these presentations. We had a good time.” – Korea University student, Media Major

UNF20170108-070All the participants who attended the seminar at the Clifton Family Church in NJ. 

A few days ago, we welcomed another group – six CARP Korea student leaders – who came to do a similar pilgrimage by visiting all the places that Father Moon invested in during his stay in America. On the first day, they met a few of the CARP America staff members. They also had a chance to meet and get to know fellow CARP students in Boston and Bridgeport.

1D3A3567CARP America and FFWPU staff welcomes CARP Korea at the FFWPU Headquarters in Manhattan, NY.

We hope that these are the first of many such trips to America. We are glad to help in hosting students from other countries visiting America for tours, pilgrimages, exchange programs, and training sessions.

If you are interested in bringing a group of students to America, contact Nina Urbonya at nina@carplife.org 

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Meet Carina Mendez from CARP Uruguay

Here’s an interview with one of the international student winners of a sponsorship to visit CARP Los Angeles.

In July 2016, there was a ‘Global Top Gun Youth’ workshop organized in Korea where youth from 63 nations gathered for leadership training and education. At this workshop, FFWPU Continental Director for North America, Dr. Kim, offered to sponsor two international students to visit one of the CARP centers in America in an effort to promote cultural exchange. After an application and selection process, two final candidates were chosen from Uruguay and the Philippines. Here is a little bit about the finalist from CARP Uruguay.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Carina Mendez and I am 19 years old. I’m currently studying Communications at the Uruguay National University. My father is Uruguayan and my mother is Brazilian. I have one younger brother currently enrolled in a one-year fundraising and outreach program in Argentina. 

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My family – my brother, father, mother and myself.

I like every kind of sport. I play guitar but I’m not so good with music. I like to read. I love watching Korean dramas and my most recent hobby is making short movies. My dream is to make professional films or series through which we can teach stories from the Divine Principle book. I also take care of the youth in my community by organizing workshops and other activities for them to engage in.

What is CARP like in Uruguay? What kind of activities have you done with CARP?

CARP in Uruguay is still a relatively small group but we are slowly growing and expanding. We meet up every week and discuss how our week was, the challenges we faced, and then we read some words from Father and Mother Moon and share our goals for the upcoming week together.

We also get together to do other activities such as clean up the church before Sunday Service and then we also take on various responsibilities such as music, lighting, emceeing, greeting, etc. for the Sunday Service.

We often help out with other events organized by the Universal Peace Federation.

We also run workshops for middle and high school students, Divine Principle workshops for guests, and we practice giving Divine Principle lectures, too.

Why did you decide to be a part of CARP?

Once I entered college, it was natural for me to become engaged with CARP. I felt like it was the right place and time for me to make a contribution by being a part of this organization. I want to help in the realization of God’s dream and change other people’s lives with the Divine Principle. I want everyone to feel the culture of heart in CARP.

What is the most memorable activity that you did with CARP and why? What did you learn from it?

Last July, I prepared a youth seminar for middle and high school students. It was so difficult for me to take care of everything alone. I really felt that I needed to grow and develop more in order for me to become better equipped to take on this responsibility. That is why I decided to go to the ‘Global Top Gun Youth’ workshop in Korea.

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Me on the Peace Road in Korea where I had the pleasure of representing my country.

At Top Gun, I thought, “Well, I came here to learn how to take care of middle and high school students but they are talking all the time about CARP. Maybe God is trying to tell me something.”

With that in mind, at the next middle and high school workshop in December, I worked together with the CARP team in Uruguay. They helped me a lot with everything. This workshop helped to bring us closer together as a team. So much so that we ended up preparing another seminar together where we did the lectures and everything. Through this experience, I learned that CARP has a lot to offer and that in order to accomplish something big, we have to work together. I learned that if you work as a team, everything is lighter and more fun.  

Have you ever been on an exchange program? If yes, where and what did you do?

I went to the Global Top Gun workshop in Korea in 2016. And I also went to Kodiak, Alaska for the National Ocean Challenge Program in 2015. Then, I also did a one-year fundraising and outreach program in Argentina. 

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My father and I participating in the Ocean Challenge program in Kodiak, Alaska.

Do you think it is valuable for students to do an exchange program? What did you gain from the exchange?

I think to have an open mind we absolutely need exchange programs. You can always learn from other countries and their experiences in the providence. From my experience with exchange programs, I was able to learn new ideas and different ways to do the same thing. Thanks to that, I could change and try new things in my own country. That is good because when you spend a lot of time doing the same thing in the same way, you eventually end up  uninspired and bored. But when you go out and see different realities, you can get new inspiration to change your own reality.

What are you most looking forward to on this trip to CARP Los Angeles?

I want to see what a CARP chapter in America is like and how it functions. It will be good to learn from our older brothers and sisters who have more experience than us. But the thing I most want is to find a spiritual child in America. I will do my best for that! And finally, I have to admit my enthusiasm in going to Los Angeles is also because that’s where every Hollywood movie begins. That is a dream to me!

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What do you hope to gain and bring back to your own local CARP chapter?

I really hope to be able to gain the tools that will allow CARP Uruguay to develop more quickly. Through this experience, I hope to bring back with me some new ideas and ways to work more efficiently and effectively. 

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Culture Wars 01: The Pilot

Contributed by Katya Beebe

This past weekend on January 14-15, CARP hosted its first “Culture Wars” pilot seminar with the slogan, “Standing for a Principled Culture,” at East Garden in New York. A group of approximately 40 people – current college students, young professionals, CARP staff, and expert presenters – from New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Illinois, California, and even Germany attended this special two-day seminar.

So, what are the culture wars? Some participants expressed that the topic was intriguing and interesting and something they wanted to learn about, having never heard of such a term or seminar focus before. “A Prelude to the Culture Wars” discusses more about the essence of the culture wars.

The seminar included six 40-minute presentations, each followed by a Q&A session and then table discussions around the content of the presentations. The presenters were Prof. Gerry Servito, Mrs. Wetzstein, Dr. Robert Beebe, and Christine Froehlich.

A weekend of learning and discussing also brought about new friendships and connections as participants, staff, and presenters got to know one another better.

1D3A3063Prof. Gerry Servito gave the first presentation on “Thought Trends.”

An introductory session on thought trends, or the history of philosophy, allowed the participants to start off the seminar with an overview of how ideas have been shaped and adopted throughout the past 400 years especially. These thought trends played a big part in cultivating the cultural divide in our society today.

“I enjoyed the outline of trends. It gave me perspective on how the environment of America got to where it is right now.”

Education and the Culture

On the foundation of a historical perspective, another session focused on the deterioration of civic and moral education in schools today which have contributed to family breakdown and a deteriorating society. Concepts such as pluralism, moral relativism, and values-neutral norms and their effects on education were introduced in the context of elementary education to higher education.

“I enjoyed hearing about the proper role of education. I think that it’s super relatable to how I was educated in my school.”

1D3A3199 (1)Dr. Robert Beebe gave a presentation on “Education and the Culture.”

The case was presented for a balanced two-dimensional education including career education and character education where schools need to prioritize civic and moral education in order to raise up responsible, well-adjusted, and active members of society.

Marriage, Sex, and Family

Another topic of the weekend was around the origins of the sexual revolution and its effect on society as well as the case for marriage at a time of high divorce rates, an increase in cohabitation, and an increase of one-parent households.

One session focused on specific influences that have contributed to the sexual revolution of the 1960s which in turn has influenced current social and cultural values in the US and internationally.

In discussion, the participants could explore the intended and unintended consequences of the sexual revolution as well as how this has played out in their own lives with a rampant hook-up culture.

1D3A3272A student sharing with the group some insights from her table discussion. 

Following the discussion around the sexual revolution and the current culture, another session presented the case for promoting a marriage culture as a tool for countering the current free sex environment. This session discussed the benefits and opportunities of a lifestyle in a committed conjugal relationship.

“I liked this presentation because it presented the facts of why marriage is important. These days there aren’t many examples of successful happy couples and families and it inspired me to find ways to help connect people on campus with happily married couples.”

Media and Feminism

In the wake of the recent “fake news” phenomenon and the crisis in media, one session delivered some practical tips on how to identify “fake news” and how to approach the media to get worthwhile news.

Navigating the media can be a challenge. This session allowed the participants to delve into the current state of the media and identify some issues as well as some opportunities in dealing with the media on a personal level and on an industry level.

“I found this presentation surprisingly relevant as a writer and editor, but also greatly appreciated that someone at my table was an experienced journalist with a different view of things — this helped reveal the complexities and the opportunities for action or growth more clearly.”

1D3A3499Christine Froehlich gave a presentation on “A History of Feminism.”

The final session introduced a history of feminism in the US and opportunities for shaping feminism in our society today. With a multitude of viewpoints within the second and third waves of feminism especially, some could be seen as more constructive than others.

The participants could discuss the state of feminism according to what they see on their college campuses and debate the costs and benefits of varying feminist viewpoints.

What the Participants Have to Say

The ideologies behind each topic discussed at this seminar are still malleable and under continuous debate in our society. These are just a few subjects that are currently part of the social, cultural discourse.

1D3A3088Students, staff, and presenters sharing thoughts and ideas at a table discussion. 

As a pilot seminar, the focus of this event was to garner interest in the culture wars and what this means to us as individuals and as members of society and to receive feedback on what college students want and need from a seminar like this.

“I think it’s great that this is happening. I wish it would have existed when I was a student, would have made my experience with CARP on campus so much more relevant and empowering and tie directly into a lot of what I was studying or experiencing in my classrooms. I hope it continues.”

“I like doing the discussions and getting other people’s perspectives. Typically I wouldn’t talk to others about these topics so it’s nice to do it here.”

ROJ_8549Each session, the participants could move discussion tables to meet new people and hear a variety of perspectives.  

Some students were even inspired to continue educating themselves on these topics and even take action on their campuses and in their classes.

“I need to educate myself more to be able to truly talk about issues not on a superficial level and also have people listen because people respect my intellect.”

“I want to start study groups for some of the suggested books and also have more conversations with my friends on campus about these issues.”

“I know I need to educate myself, on all of these topics, especially if I want to be able to articulate my beliefs with confidence. There is a lot I still don’t know, but a lot that I want to discover. I also can see that there is even some things I can do in the smallest ways, like participating in class, to build my confidence in standing up for what I believe. I want to reach out more and talk to the people (like these presenters) who have stores of knowledge and wisdom to share.”

Students at this pilot seminar expressed that they felt their education was pigeon-holed due to a “liberal echo chamber” environment. Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times wrote about this unbalanced exposure to worldviews at universities in his article “A Confession of Liberal Intolerance.

Through these seminars, CARP is offering students access to the missing perspectives often shunned on college campuses or at least a safe space for students to express their viewpoints and ideas.

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CARP is planning a few more of these pilot seminars throughout the country to continue to grow the program based on student and young adult feedback especially.

If you’re interested in hosting a Culture Wars seminar in your area, contact teresa@carplife.org

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5-Step Process to Setting Awesome Goals

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The #1 thing that prevents people from setting goals is fear of failure. Well the good news is that there is a fail proof way to set and pursue goals.

But first, let’s talk about the value of goal-setting. There are three types of benefits to goal setting: external, internal, and spiritual.

Externally, goal setting has been attributed to higher ongoing earning potential according to one study by Virginia Tech. Students in the study who wrote down their goals earned 9 times over their lifetime compared to students who didn’t.

Internally, goal setting helps provide a sense of purpose and direction. This allows you to stay focused and steadily grow instead of wasting time or worse, feeling purposeless.

Spiritually, goal setting allows you to see God or the universe working more clearly in your life. Because of the intention behind goal setting, you will be able to notice when you are being lent a helping hand.

Most people have heard of SMART goals, but with ten plus years of goal setting experience, CARP president Naokimi Ushiroda realized that there is much more required to setting goals effectively.

So he developed a comprehensive process called WISER goal setting with five key factors which, when utilized, could significantly increase your probability of success. 

What

The first key factor in goal setting is clarifying what you want. Most of us have some idea, but the more clear and specific you are, the more focused you will be and the quicker your results will come.

Start with listing things that you want to have in 2017, then list things you would like to do, and finally list things you want to be. Also explore different areas of your life such as health, career, and relationships and set goals categorically. 

Once you have a list, choose the top 3 that are most important to you this year. By focusing on your top priorities, you will have a much better chance at achieving them. 

Inspiration

Once you are clear on what you want this year, the next step is to keep yourself inspired. One way to do this is to create a vision board. Find images of the outcome that you want this year, and post images of it where you can see it daily. By seeing the images of what you’re striving for, it will help to keep you inspired in achieving your goals.

Strategy

Now that you have a clear visual of what you want to achieve, the next step is to think of different strategies that will help you achieve your goals. Try to list 3 to 4 different strategies that will contribute to your goal.

For example, if your goal is to get straight A’s, think about what would help you do that. Maybe you could find a study buddy that is doing well in the class and commit to studying together on a regular basis. You could also commit to meeting with your professor on a weekly basis to go over main topics. A third strategy could be to take practice exams using tests from previous years.

You can apply this step of identifying 3 to 4 strategies for each of your goals so that you have multiple ways in which you are contributing to the achievement of your goals. It may seem like a lot of effort, but anything worthwhile takes effort.

“A goal casually set and lightly taken will be freely abandoned at the first obstacle.” – Zig Ziglar, an American author, salesman, and motivational speaker

Execute

With a plan in place, the next step is to take action. The best cure for fear is action. Commit to doing something toward your goals every day. And keep a simple log to journal and track all the actions you took related to your goal. If your goal is related to fitness, you could track the number of minutes you exercised on a daily basis, or how much water you drank every day.

One tip to creating new habits is to connect it with a daily habit that you already have. For example, if you commute to school every weekday, you could study while you commute. Similarly, if you get up at a certain time every day, you could commit your first 30 minutes after you wake up to yoga or exercise.

Review

“The road to success is always under construction.” – Chinese proverb

Finally, after taking action, it is essential to review on a regular basis. Without a time to review and reflect, you can easily get off track. By reviewing your progress on a weekly basis, you can reflect on what worked and what didn’t, adjust as necessary, and commit to new and better actions for the upcoming week.  

Set a clear time each week to consistently review your progress. The log or journal from the previous step will be helpful in analyzing each action you took and its efficacy toward achieving your goals.

An additional tip is to find an accountability partner or mentor. CARP’s coaching and mentoring programs help in this capacity. You share your goals and progress with your partner or mentor so that they can help you keep on track and keep an objective eye on your progress.

Fail Proof Goal Setting

There you have it – a comprehensive process for setting your goals for 2017 or anytime of the the year. Set WISER goals by clarifying What you really want, keeping yourself Inspired with a vision board, coming up with multiple Strategies, Executing daily actions, and Reviewing your progress on a weekly basis.

As mentioned at the start of this article, there is a fail proof way to goal setting. The trick is this: once you set a goal, approach it from a mastery perspective rather than from a performance perspective.

Mastery is about learning through the process of setting and pursuing your goals regardless of the outcome. By focusing on how you’re growing and learning about yourself in this process, there is no way of failing.

For example, let’s say you committed to studying 3 hours every day, but you ended up only doing it 3 times in the past week. Instead of seeing this as a failure, you can reflect and assess what helped you study on the days you did and why you missed your study time on the days you didn’t.

By approaching your failures from a curious standpoint, you can really get to know yourself and figure out what works best for you. As long as you’re learning through the process, there is no such thing as failure. With this perspective, you can be free from the fear of failure and really get excited about setting your goals.

Good luck! Naokimi and the CARP staff wish you all the best in pursuing and achieving everything you want to in 2017!

If you would like to learn more about the WISER process and are interested in a more detailed, personalized workbook on the subject, please email naokimi@wisercoaching.com 

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