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Steve Johnson: learning the true meaning of service

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Editor’s note: Steve Johnson was a Wings intern in 2011 and again in 2013. He is now the volunteer intern coordinator.

My journey with Wings has been nothing short of an adventure in self-discovery on a path to creating the life of my dreams.

It began in 2009. I was living a content life with my family and running my own business. I learned about Wings from my wife, and PES was something she wanted to do. I semi-reluctantly tagged along and realized quickly how powerful the learning was.

I completed the core series and applied to become a Wings intern, serving participants in the LifeWorks seminar, as soon as I could. I was accepted in 2011 and again in 2013. I now serve the role as the volunteer intern coordinator. I commit myself to this because I wholeheartedly believe that LifeWorks is an exceptional seminar for the participants and equally transformational for the interns themselves.

It’s challenging to sum up all of the learning, but two of the most profound areas I want to highlight are how I grew in my relationships and in service.

I’ve exponentially grown my capacity to love. I had no idea how much love was already there for me, and how much I could give. I’ve created personal relationships that are some of the deepest and most rewarding in my life. To say that I am a happily married man would be the understatement of the year. I’ve expanded my family through my internships, and I’ve created connections and lifelong friendships that never would have otherwise existed.

I’ve also grown my relationship with myself in a way that surprises me. I feel more confident in all that I’m creating and find that true joy is the result. I’m aware of what I want and I go after it. Even the subtle shifts of how I am with others shows up in meaningful ways.

It took me nearly an entire internship to figure out what service really was. I’d been volunteering for quite some time and gave countless hours in support of others. I thought that was the definition of service until I realized that much of what I was doing was about what I gained; bragging rights, ego boosts or new awareness for my own discovery. And then I realized true service wasn’t about me at all. I saw how the container that we collectively formed simply made room for brilliance to emerge. I could feel how each intern, each facilitator, each participant created the experience, and I was simply grateful to be a part of it all—to be “in the room where it happened” to quote the musical Hamilton.

I encourage anyone who has been on the fence about becoming an intern to get off the fence and check it out. I can guarantee if you’re accepted into the program, it’ll change your life as you know it.

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