Ishan Modi - Ankleshwar, Gujarat

 

Right now, although being in the USA, I clearly remember, it was just the end of the 2 years of rigorous International Baccalaureate (IB) program towards the end of May, as most awaited vacation was approaching when I came to know of LMAD.

At that point in life, there was happiness as well the uncertainty. Happiness because having successfully completed the IB program (High school) and uncertainty because I didn’t know where I would be in next few months. I wanted to peruse higher studies in the USA, but things were not looking great in terms of the expense involved considering it as a worth of the investment. By May 2017, I had come a long way ahead from where I began in academics. I went from studying in a Gujarati state board school to take a transfer to state board English medium school. From there continued ahead to go on and pursue IGCSE by the University of Cambridge in 10th and then finally doing IB as 12th.

May 2017, was the end of the teenage phase of my life and lot of other ups and downs. It was the turning point and now a new life, the new journey was about to begin. I was consciously aware that next 4 years of my life are going to be the most crucial, a lot of hopes, dreams, and aspirations are attached to me. At that uncertain moment in life, I got introduced to LMAD and joined YC 2017 from June 1st to June 8th, which brought huge transformation in life and provided me the foundation or base values on which, I had to build next 60-70 years of my life.

To be honest, in the beginning, I was not really excited about this conference, asking as to why I have to attend a tech-free conference and that is too, right after completing 2 years of rigorous study. Why would I want to be woken up at 5 am in the morning even during the vacation, when my exams are over? However, today or from the 9th June onwards itself, I have been confessing that those 8 days were one of the most beautiful time of my life. I had seen and experienced somethings as never done before.

Firstly, the beauty of nature and weather allows once to get disconnected from the outer world and allows us to connect to ourselves, which we all have forgotten in this modern day fast pace life. Although, I was 18 only, one of the youngest participants to attend the conference, one of the main idea take away from the conference – the idea of quiet time, allowed me to look back at those 18 years with the true unbiased perspective. Quiet time is not about, sitting alone in nature and thinking about your sins. Instead, it is a just beautiful process of allowing your inner soul to talk to you via means of realization that you put down in a diary without thinking on it. I know, as a reader you all might not understand or agree with me but those 50-min spent daily with my own self-brought many self-realizations.

My biggest realization or take away was the foundation of honesty in life. We all have been repeatedly taught and told to be honest and so was I but its real meaning I understood at LMAD. A simple realization that came to me reflecting on one of the incidents in my life, where I was questioned in public for my academic integrity (Plagiarism) was that, in our small daily life incidents, we often take the support of dishonesty. For example, even though we are taking a break from studies by watching TV, we would tell our parents we are studying or lying to a friend that you don’t have a pencil when he asked while you have but just not willing to lend because he does not return. These small lies do not affect us at that particular moment in life, but what I realized is that at the end they all do get accumulated and comes back to us as a big tight hard slap, like how it happened with me with the accusation of plagiarism.

LMAD not only made me realize this but also provided me and hundreds, other participants, to go on a platform and confess our mistakes. Gave us the courage to accept our wrongdoings, where at one point I gathered the courage to go and confess to an IAS officer who came to deliver a talk from Hyderabad, that yes, it was wrong on my part that I was sleeping during his talk. LMAD fosters the simple process of realizing, accept and implement in life. There were many other different realizations that came to various other participants that left people crying their heart out on stage. Those, 8 days have truly transformed lives of many others like me.

LMAD is also about fun and being in a complete utopia – a perfect world where no one judges other. Participants are all of different age and culture but at the end, we all leave with such strong family bonding that I am still in contact with them and might as well get together for next conference. There are a lot of fun activities scheduled for the night, along with some hiking to the table top and also a one day visit to Mahabaleshwar. LMAD makes work fun and breaks one’s ego in the most efficient way. I will leave the readers with just last thought that it is a place where for participants washing dishes and service becomes the most awaited activity.

It is really difficult for me to put my experience in words, but I have tried my best. I feel really blessed that I attend this conference at the right time of my life, when things were uncertain and when I was about to begin the most important journey of my life. I have always believed that age is merely a number and therefore any age is not late to bring any realization, however, I strongly recommend a student who has just finished high school to attend this conference before they commence their new life.

It will transform your life because believe me, it develops that confidence that allows an 18-year-old like me to leave the family to travel abroad in a country like the USA where you don’t know anyone, to go there, fight out problems and achieve the goals you set for yourself in your lives.

Feel free to write me at below email address, if you have any questions or concerns about the conference or even my story. It will be my privilege to help.

Ishan Modi
Email ID: ishanrmodi@gmail.com
Phone no: 717-343-7003

Stories of Change