Sometimes as they say you don’t find the book , the book finds you. Then you read some books in parts from the middle , from the end and rarely from the beginning. Some books I have read cover to cover effectively using marginalia. There are some books which I have bought and forgotten. In fact, there were times when I had bought two copies of the same book not knowing that I have one at home. After repeated mistakes, I now make a call to my wife from the airport book store to check if the book in consideration is already sitting in my library. As I started accumulating more books I decided to do random reads. That reached a point that I decided to switch to a Kindle, at least the algorithm will alert you that you already have a copy of the book.
Recently I picked up this book which was there in my library and I started reading it in bursts. After all, it’s not so much about what is there in the book, it’s about what you got out of it and made use of in your life. Another way is to experience an event and then go back and read books and see if you can make a connection and thereby bring out your perspective.
Yesterday during lunchtime my wife observed that my phone was buzzing multiple times. Initially, I decided to check it out once I was done with my lunch. Somehow I couldn’t control it so I went and checked my phone. I saw a very nice message and that put me in that state of happiness that I ate a lot of rice and fish. I am getting my senses back. That happy state made me realise what was happening to me in terms of energy levels and it made me take action on creating a report which I had procrastinated for some time.
Later in the evening, I was in a Team’s call, and in between a message came across that rocked my world. It was an escalation mail and that caused a lot of disturbance. I was analysing the root cause and was also thinking about how we have to close the escalation and in those moments the only thing I was doing was drinking a good amount of water. I was not keen on that call at 8 PM which was about discussing the escalation initially but I applied myself and attended the call. In the night as I was reflecting on what happened in the day it made me realise how powerful was that statement which I am yet to wrap my head around to get a handle, “ Life is not happening to you, Life is happening for you”.
I am currently reading Robin Sharma’s “Everyday Hero Manifesto” and in that, I found this line, “ Wisdom meets you where you are at “. I realised that the “Lead Self” program came at the right moment.
Lead Self had 13 sessions and it was a set of sessions with like-minded people who wanted to get a handle on how to manage themselves better. The preamble was to understand the Bhagavad Gita shlokas and use it as an allegory. It extended to neuroscience, philosophy, Buddhism and we tried to draw connections across various domains. At the end of the session, I felt that the vast wisdom and sharing that had happened from the sessions needed to be implemented into my daily life. I wanted to move away from implementation intention to intentional implementation. The simple question I framed was, ” Will the Lead Self takeaways help me bring harmony with self and external world when there is a war within?
So when I was pondering over that question Robin Sharma’s book came around at the right time. Call it a serendipity vehicle for me to go from asking that question and reaching a place that made me find answers to the same. So I started penning down my answers.
My mentor had asked me to list down all that I had learned from the program. To me, the Lead Self program came at the right time and it has prepared me to observe these events and then decide how I want to feel about them. It has helped me to reflect and bring this aspect of “Realisations”. Here are my top 3 learnings from conducting myself with the tools which we have learned:
- It’s ok not to be ok: When I was in that state of shock I was telling myself that it is ok and those famous words, “ This too shall pass” helped me to navigate well. I also understood the duality of life.
- How to act with volition and get your agency back: I had started a meditation practice and the only way to get control of myself is by practising meditation and also building pauses during the day.
- How to maintain equanimity: Now that post covid I am getting all my senses back, I believe that those horses ( senses) can be charted on to those courses which I believe is the best path for me. I am a firm believer that the only sense of fulfilment is when you feel good about yourself when you are all by yourself. To achieve this state of equanimity I believe in building myself to become the charioteer to exercise that discernment to understand those periods of joy and anxiety.
To lead others, first, it is important to lead yourself. So what I am learning in the process was what Sports writer Andy Benoit wrote on how geniuses work: “Most geniuses—especially those who lead others—prosper not by deconstructing intricate complexities but by exploiting unrecognised simplicities.” That is what our guide and mentor did with us in the program.
The Gita is an allegory of the war within us. Once that inner Arjuna inside you challenges you, you can bring in that “Everyday Heroics”. Here is my promise to lead myself in a way that changes my inner weather and brings in inner quietness.
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