Leadership is self-transformation

Leadership is self-transformation

In reality, the biggest gift we receive from the Almighty is the gift of pain. If we do not understand its source, we suffer its consequences. But if we learn the right lessons from the experience, the pain goes away. Pain, therefore, occupies the status of a guru. It is in fact, the real guru. It is Nature's way of providing us with self-correction.

Leadership is about mastering the fundamentals of the internal and external journey, the inner and the outer and using the head to conquer the heart. It is about self-transformation, self-correction and self-revelation. It is about correcting our defective vision by correcting ourselves. When we are able to accomplish this successfully, we are able to transform the pain of ignorance into the wisdom arising from understanding.

Leadership is, therefore, about becoming an Arjuna. When Arjuna went to win Draupadi's hand in marriage, he was asked by Drona what he saw. When asked if he saw his brothers, or his adversaries, or even Draupadi, he replied to all questions in the negative. Mildly irritated, Drona asked what then did he see. Arjuna replied saying he only saw only the eye of the fish swirling in the bowl of water. Such concentration is known as yoga. It holds the key to living a successful life.

The leadership challenge in India, as much as elsewhere, lies in restoring dharma or righteousness and satyam or truth to their rightful place. It is caused by the fact that we have people occupying leadership positions who have not been successfully tested in the trial of fire. For the next 20 years, India is going to have the largest number of young people in the world. This single statistic will help India transform itself into a global powerhouse.

There is a wise Sufi saying, according to which the most beautiful people are those who have known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

The lessons for young adults in these challenging times are indeed deep and profound: They must learn to successfully transcend pain. It lies in becoming beautiful.

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