John-Paul Flintoff

Reshaping the way we live

Learning about courage, with the young people of Seoul

In Korea, at the Seoul Youth Hub Conference, I ran a workshop on courage, at the invitation of The School of Courage. I talked a teeny bit about How To Change The World, then played various impro games.

People told me beforehand I would struggle to get young Koreans out of their seats to play. “Too risk-averse,” I was told. It didn’t turn out that way.

My own fear of failure, beforehand, was related to the suspicion that the games would be deadened by the slow process of working with an interpreter – but I had not counted on the skill of Alex Lim (pictured beside me). Alex was a great sport, even translating jokes I made at his expense.

What fun it was to see people taking risks, and – precisely because they’d taken risks – having fun themselves. It was also incredibly gratifying to receive flowers afterwards from a participant (more about that here).

Here’s what Alex got out of it:

John-Paul Flintoff, author of “How to Change the World”, taught us a few things, not by teaching, but letting people learn by doing. To name a few:

1) Everything in life, including rejection or “blocking” can be an offer.

2) When life makes you feel vulnerable, it means you may be perceived as courageous by others.

3) Anything that offers the possibility of failure is worth pursuing – it is a gift for an exciting life. (Some of my failures are what made today’s experience a wonderful one!)

4) The subject of education is the ones who are being educated, not the ones who teach.

Outside our session, I was thrilled to meet some amazing people. Some were guests, like me, from overseas – but most were Korean.

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