One of the conditions that we have quite embedded within ourselves is hierarchy, the idea that there is always someone above us that we must follow/take orders from/obey and that someone is apparently always the one that is supposed to keep things ‘under control,’ to provide a sense of security and care as this overall omnipotent person or organization that we all make ourselves dependent on. In this, when we ‘follow’ we make of ourselves –by default – inferior to such idea of being ‘the leader’/a leader and within that, even if we have the most genuine intention to change the world, we continue being enslaved by our inherent learned programming of ‘following’ and waiting for others to take the first step.
In this process I’ve used comparison as a form to keep myself in a very comfortable position of believing that ‘well, others know better than me, why should I bother to take such position?’ ‘Oh well, I am not as good with communicating that, such person is better at it, so, why should I?’ ‘Oh, but, I don’t have the overall existential context of this, so my perspective is not as holistic as it should, so I rather leave that to another person that can give such perspective’ and so forth. This had prevented me from actually realizing that in these very excuses and justifications, I was rendering myself as ‘inferior’ in a deliberate manner which is not only inferior to this/that person, but simply by perceiving myself as inferior/ not yet good enough to keep myself in the background, to simply continue ‘following the leader’ so to speak.
What I have realized this is that the sole idea of a ‘leader’ as one single person already creates a point of separation, rendering unique abilities to one person or one organization, one ‘entity’ person or ‘god’ for example and in this the rest can remain comfortably ‘shadowed’ by this leader figure, which is why we become too complacent in a job that requires the least effort or responsibility, the least challenges. We fear change, we fear getting to know new people, we dislike breaking our routine/our known ways, disrupting our ‘territory’ and so remaining in the comfortable status quo is precisely what keeps running this world system as is: because we don’t challenge everything we see requires to be changed. It’s not the ‘few world leaders’ that keep it the way it is: it is our complacency, our apathy, our decision to live by the ‘law of the least effort’ and so avoiding responsibility and participation in the matters that pertain to our lives at all cost, not realizing that the ‘cost’ is high when it comes to merely following: the decisions, the contracts, the laws, the entire structures we continually comply to as our acceptance and allowance are not functioning in the best interest of all. The real cost is then life itself: our own disregard for life, for one another which is creating the hideous consequences we can all read about day by day in the news and world events. Why hasn’t anything changed then!? Well, because we simply haven’t stepped up to live the word Leadership.
See, instead of holding an image of this ‘omnipotent’ charismatic leader idea of individual/entity that we see as ‘leader,’ I suggest stripping the word to its basic meaning so that we can instead not believe we have to become yet another ‘character’ as a leader, but simply Live the word Leadership.
How to practically Live Leadership from the ground up?
Well, what I’ve realized is that because we have created such ginormous idea of what ‘being a Leader’ is or what ‘leadership’ implies, we become subject to our own fantasies, projections, beliefs, prejudices and in doing so, we separate ourselves from living the word leadership as the basic realization of each one’s inherent potential that exists within us by the virtue of being alive, being in a physical body, having a mind and using our will to become self-directive. Ok, so that’s the first point – you can check for yourself now: are you a breathing living human being? Can you see yourself being able to think and speak and direct your body according to what you decide to do in your thoughts OR are you being automatically driven to do/say/think things without you fully being aware of it? This is a first assessment of the physical ‘hardware’ we essentially require as ingredients to Live the word Leadership: to realize we have a body, we have a mind, we have our will.
Now, in terms of the ‘software’ here comes the tricky part. We have been essentially indoctrinated from the beginning of our time to believe that some priest, king, emperor, chief, master is always meant to be the head of the tribe/group/society and so lead the way – in this we never have in fact questioned such position: how did they get there? Did they get any ‘special knowledge’ beforehand? Are they in fact ‘the most well adapted individuals?’ ‘Did they use force to get to such position of ‘power and control’? We haven’t really questioned this in depth; we just took such positions for granted. So with having lived this way throughout most of our lives, we have then become subject to our own faulty programming: we have never been taught how to live the word leadership, how to not wait for others to ‘show us the way’ but use our basic physical hardware as our body, our mind, our will to do things and getting it done along with the investigation, research, trial and error processes that doing any sort of task or work involves, which includes of course even the changing of our individual mind patterns as well.
This is why we have to be very patient with us when it comes to wanting to live the word leadership: we first have to run a ‘defragmentation’ of our ‘disk’ as our mind patterns, our prejudices, judgments and experiences that we have attached to the idea of a leader or leadership in separation of ourselves, seeing it as something ‘superior’ or ‘too much’ or ‘frightening’ or ‘intimidating’ or any other adjective and/or emotional or feeling experience we have attached to it, which is then what one can see, investigate and realize as the limitation it creates within oneself when it comes to ‘placing ourselves in the shoes of the leader’ and so, what we do in such emotional experience or prejudices is that we separate ourselves from Living the word Leadership. All of these judgments, ideas, beliefs have to be thrown to the garbage for the past preprogramming they have been, for the self-disrespect they imply in terms of the limitations we impose to our body, our mind and our will. For this, we have the tools of writing, applying self-forgiveness for having accepted and allowed such limitations within ourselves and so, realizing that once that we have cleared out our viruses and old software, we now have a clean slate to write our own application as the way we see we can begin integrating the word Leadership in our day to day Living.
It is fascinating but one can jump into conclusions or future projections on how ‘Living the word Leadership’ will imply immediately taking some sort of ‘presidential’ position in your community or in your house or in a group or else – but nope, the actuality of this is that one truly first requires to focus on oneself: to become the directive principle of our lives in every moment that we are breathing, here, alive, physically present. Why? Because when one is only parroting the old patterns running in auto-pilot mode, the old ‘me’ that stood as a follower to my own thoughts, what I believe I feel or experience about myself then I simply re-load the obsolete program as ‘the old me’ and continue running this ‘me’ as the automated ‘app’ we have reduced ourselves to – and in this I also then keep my environment, my surroundings, the people I interact with in that same mentality as well: we keep each other caged in this same old patterned reality where we blindly follow ‘everything we’ve ever known, everything we’ve ever been,’ which is the who we are as our mind, as all our perceived ‘lacks’ and self-judgments, comparisons, rivalry, superior/inferior mentality, specialness, indifference, apathy, superiority, etc.
So, within keeping ourselves in the ‘old frame of mind,’ it becomes rather impossible to live the word Leadership, because the first step is to actually Lead ourselves ‘out of the mind and into the physical’ which is not some kind of magical statement or involving anything else other than stopping ourselves from following our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, any form of confusion, friction and conflict and focus on our ability to make a conscious decision to STOP running in the speed train of emotions and feelings, to STOP playing that ‘old me-record’ and decide to orchestrate a new tune, a new move, a new me, a new approach to the ‘same old’ and so really put the effort to create a solution in our lives, in such moment, in such situation or with such individual/s. This is how we can then begin challenging ourselves in a way that it becomes a learning and expansive process each day. It’s interesting how one can ever perceive ‘boredom’ outside of ourselves as if ‘the world is boring’ and so go seeking ‘positive experiences,’ without realizing that the we are the ones that create the boredom by becoming subject to our own ‘known ways,’ the same old ‘paths’ and predictable behaviors and not really using every day to innovate, to challenge ourselves, to step beyond the limitations we saw within us the day before, to see our day to day as an opportunity to challenge everything we’ve ever known and so in doing this genuinely see how an opportunity to let go of the limitation steps forth.
Self Responsibility comes First
This can be an expansive and learning process that can be lived in many ways ‘toward others’ or ‘outside in the world’ as well, but the first point will always be to start leading our way within ourselves: self first, which is: becoming self-directive in our own minds, to have the volition to not follow the ‘same old me’ and play the broken record that I know where it’s going to lead me, but to rather use the moment, the life that I have to expand, explore, do things, learn from mistakes, learn from others, interact and within doing so already leading ourselves outside of our comfort zone, which is the mind, the known, the unchangeable, the false-sense of security we have in our ‘known ways.’
About the word ‘Leadership’ – It is truly a word that I recommend us all to practice living it, becoming it within its most simplistic consideration at this stage which is to ensure that one is not ‘being ridden’ by the mind, but that one is first of all clear, stable, grounded here – absolutely here – and aware of every word, experience, movement, decision that we make, assessing at all times ‘what is my starting point for doing/saying this? Where is this want/need/desire coming from?’ ‘what is the starting point of me saying/doing/acting in this way toward this person/that situation?’ ‘Is this decision or consideration something that is beneficial for myself and others?’ ‘Am I actually considering living principles here and preventing consequences?’ ‘How can I best learn from this mistake and redirect it toward a solution?’– This is then when we stop seeing the decision to ‘live a word’ as some kind of magnificent plan in separation of ourselves, but we actually first of all focus on living it ourselves in every moment of the simplicity that implies breathing, assessing one’s very next move and so see one’s entire day as a blank canvass where we always can decide when, how and why we paint the next stroke – in the end, we will have to live with ourselves as our creation, so why not take the wheel instead of sitting in the backseat to ensure we can be entirely sure that what we live and create is entirely our set of decisions/our mistakes/our challenges/our learned processes, ensuring that we truly gave our 100% to our process of self-creation.
I challenge myself here the same way that I was once challenged by one great man that left the Earth one year and some days ago. In that moment I knew: we have to all pitch in, this is it! To live leadership, to learn how to trust my decisions, my principles, testing what works, to not allow any belief or experience to hinder my experience and if so, assessing, aligning, correcting, debugging and taking the next breath to keep moving on. Life is not difficult, life is not a struggle: we are the ones that have ‘made’ it this way, so it is in our hands to make it a truly enjoyable, learning, productive and challenging experience for ourselves as human beings throughout our lifetime.
So, let’s ensure we can do this for ourselves and for the generations to come.
To learn more about Self-Leadership: