How to Lead Authentically
A troubled mother one day came to Mahatma Gandhi with her daughter and explained to him that her daughter was in the habit of eating far more sweet food than was good for her.
She asked, would the Mahatma speak to the girl and persuade her to give up this harmful habit? Gandhi sat for a while in silence and then said: "Bring your daughter back in three weeks’ time, and then I will speak to her."
The mother and her daughter returned after three weeks. Gandhi quietly took the daughter aside and in a few simple words urged her to abandon the habit. Thanking Gandhi for giving her daughter such good advice, the mother then said to him in a puzzled voice, "Still, I would like to know, Mahatma, why you didn't just say these words to my daughter three weeks ago when I first brought her to you."
Explained the Mahatma in reply, "three weeks ago, I myself was still addicted to eating sweet foods.”
This story depicts a great quality of a true leader. You cannot preach effectively what you do not practice yourself. You need to inspire people with your actions, with your words. In words of Mahatma Gandhi, "You must be the change you want to see in the world. As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”
If you change yourself you will change your world. If you change how you think then you will change how you feel and what actions you take. And so the world around you will change. Not only because you are now viewing your environment through new lenses of thoughts and emotions but also because the change within can allow you to take action in ways you wouldn’t have – or maybe even have thought about – while stuck in your old NEGATIVE thought patterns.
To Create a New Story in Life, Accept Challenges
It once happened to a man who was traveling by train. He noticed that another man who was his sole companion in the compartment was behaving in an unusual way. For some time he seemed to be chuckling to himself very happily, and then a serious look would come over his face and he would make a gesture of impatience before resuming his chuckles again.
After a while, the first man could not stand it any longer and said, "Excuse my asking Sir, but what is it that amuses you so much?’
‘Funny stories, of course,’ he promptly replied, "I am telling myself funny stories.’
‘How very interesting,’ murmured the first man soothingly, and then added, ’but every now and then you look very serious. Why is that?’
"That is when it is a story I have heard before.
. . . . adapted
This is how things go on. If you yourself are telling the story, how can you tell the new story? All stories are heard before; you can just repeat. Your life cannot be a life of newness, of freshness, of morning. Your life is bound to be stale, stuffed with just repetitions; at the most an efficient mechanism, but no consciousness.
So whenever you are ready to take the journey for the unknown, fear will arise. Fear of losing that which you have never had, fear of losing life. Life you have never had — just a mechanical thing: the fear of losing a repetitive efficiency, the fear of losing your old pattern. It may be comfortable and convenient, but it is not alive. Life always creates new troubles. Those troubles are not really troubles. If you look rightly, they are challenges to grow. Take them heads on
A man woke up early in order to have his morning Prayers. He got dressed, set on his way to the Church.
On his way to the CHURCH, the man fell and his clothes got dirty. He got up, brushed himself up, and headed home. At home, he changed his clothes, and was, again, on his way to the CHURCH.
On his way to the CHURCH, he fell again and at the same spot! He, again, got up, brushed himself off and headed home. At home he, once again, changed his clothes and was on his way to the Church.
On his way to the CHURCH, he met a man holding a lamp. He asked the man of his identity and the man replied ‘I saw you fall twice on your way to the CHURCH, so I brought a lamp so I can light your way.
The first man thanked him profusely and the two went on their way to the CHURCH.
Once at the CHURCH, the first man asked the man with the lamp to come in and offer Prayers with him. The second man refused. The first man asked him a couple more times and, again, the answer was the same.
The first man asked him why he did not wish to come in and pray.
The man replied, ‘I am Satan’. The man was shocked at this reply.
Satan went on to explain, ‘I saw you on your way to the CHURCH and it was I who made you fall. When you went home, cleaned yourself and went back on your way to the CHURCH, Jesus forgave all of your sins.
I made you fall a second time, and even that did not encourage you to stay home, but rather, you went back on your way to CHURCH. Because of that, Jesus forgave all the sins of the people of your household.
I was afraid if I made you fall one more time, then Jesus will forgive the sins of the whole nation (world) so I made sure that you reached the CHURCH safely.’
Do not put off the good you intended to do as you never know how much reward you might receive from the hardships you encounter while trying to achieve that good—for your righteousness can save your family and nation at large.
Do this and see the victory of the Jesus.
People Are Like Clay Vessels
A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay vessels. It was like someone had rolled balls of clay and left them out in the sun to bake.
They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.
He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!
Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay vessels. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of pesos worth of jewels in the 10 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him.
He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!
. . . . Adapted from an unknown author.
It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.
We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or powerful. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.
There is a treasure in each one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.
May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay.