Progress Through the Program – By Robert Lozar-McDonald

    Being in the LDP is a full immersion metaphor for doing anything and everything challenging. It starts off being uncomfortable, without any immediate tangible reward; then it gets hard. During this section of LDP, which is usually the first couple of months after Team Week, everything that is going to be expected of you can be overwhelming. All the assignments and service projects was a lot to handle, and I personally got very irritated with all of the work that I had to do. I couldn’t seem to keep up with it, I had no free time, constantly rushing, and I had to prepare and plan constantly. I had to jump, not step, outside of my comfort zone to properly communicate with everyone. If I screwed up even a little, boy did they let me know it. I thought it would never end, then a strange thing happened.

Slowly, almost without notice, things started to get easier. This ease was not because I or anyone else in the LDP is innately special, but because we had been put under a great deal of stress and had begun to adapt to it. We were being forced to become more effective. Every week we would have early morning meetings that would talk about the habits of effective people, time management strategies, even evaluations of how well we communicated. We were all under so much stress that every little lesson and teaching helped. We started adopting these strategies, pushing through the hard parts, and the endurance started to show.

Now, I can do vastly tougher things than I had previously believed possible. Partially because the brutality of Team Week had gotten me used to sticking with difficult tasks, but then the tools of the morning meetings had allowed me to make difficult tasks more manageable. Finally, the culture of the LDP where you are constantly challenging yourself has gotten me to repeat this process so that I can continually become a better, more effective person.