The 8 Keys of Excellence by SuperCamp: Key 1 – THIS IS IT!

This is the second in our series of articles about The 8 Keys of Excellence, which serve as a foundation for our leading residential teen summer camp, SuperCamp. See our Intro article as well as links to previous Key articles here: The 8 Keys of Excellence: Principles to Live By.

This Is It SuperCamp The Teen Mentor

Make the most of every moment! Focus on NOW and keep a positive attitude.

This Is It! means focusing on the present, maintaining a positive attitude, and giving each task, each experience, your full attention. Making the most of each moment can make each day exciting, productive, fulfilling, and fun, but it takes some effort. Life is full of distractions and when they come, sweep them away and jump back into the present moment with a positive attitude. When you have this attitude, you make the present “IT”—and you often discover joyful moments you missed before.

Don’t miss the now

Do you often find yourself thinking about tomorrow or next week or yesterday—and while you’re daydreaming the present moment slips away unnoticed? We all struggle with this tendency. We get bored, distracted, anxious. We all fall victim to the “grass is greener” syndrome, too, thinking that what’s coming has to be better than what’s here. We’re always looking ahead for something more exciting. But when we do this, we pay a price. We miss out on what we could be experiencing right now. We’re missing the only part of our life where we can actually make a difference, the only part of our life where we actually live—now, this moment.

Each moment contains magical opportunities

The only moment that counts is the one that’s already in your hands . . .  the one you’re living right now. This Is It! When you’re fully engaged in the now, life is more exciting and fulfilling. You enjoy what you’re doing. When you put more into each task, you get more out of it, and others do too.

Every moment presents a chance that may never come again, whether it’s an opportunity to make a friend or make a difference, do a good job for yourself or for others, say thank you or say sorry, learn something or miss out. These little opportunities can come and go in an instant. You’ll miss most of them if you’re not living in the moment. And sometimes, when you take your focus off the future and bring it back to the present, you’ll find that the things you were wishing for are not in some far-off other time, but right here right now—the friendships, the fulfillment, those magical feel-good moments.

When you recognize that this moment is IT, you’re open to the gifts it has to offer. Some of the best memories are found in being fully present in simple moments. Focus on NOW and you’ll seize those opportunities to learn, love, connect, and grow.

Think in ink

This Is It! is about altering our attitude to redefine our experiences. It’s about not just showing up for life, but showing up with the full intention of living in the present moment, fully experiencing any given situation with passion and vigor. We can adopt an attitude of eagerness, curiosity, and fascination in all parts of our life whenever we want to. Why not now? Our attitude impacts every single experience we have.

Consider how This Is It! shows up in your life by writing your thoughts about the following questions.

  1. What is something I have experienced recently that I have never done before?
  2. What did I get out of it? What did I learn? How did I grow?
  3. In what way(s) could I have made it more of a This Is It! moment?
  4. If I had participated more fully in this experience, what else might I have gained from it?
  5. Why is it important for me to “go for it” 100% in my life—to make every moment count?
  6. Am I aware that my attitude is up to me? What if I choose to have a positive attitude, every day, in every way? How might that affect my life?
  7. What are some specific things I can do every day to make the most of every moment?

“Wherever you are, be all there.” 

—Jim Elliot

SuperCampAbout the Contributor: Since 1982, SUPERCAMP, Monthly Mentor, has inspired and empowered thousands of teens to feel confident and motivated, and to excel in school and beyond. Held on prestigious U.S. college campuses (Stanford, CSU Long Beach, and Villanova), SuperCamp offers six-, seven-, and ten-day residential programs for students in middle school, high school, and first-year college. Living on a college campus is a great experience for teens and most of our grads go directly to a four-year college after high school. As teens from around the world gather at SuperCamp, they are inspired to believe in themselves and their ability to achieve, and they acquire learning and life skills that empower them to thrive in all areas of their life. Read More…

(See what some recent grads have to say about SuperCamp at

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