Lead.er.ship Mind.ful.ness: SELF Realization of the EGO
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Editor’s note: This opinion piece is by special contributor Sheriff Osni, a graduate student at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Lead.er.ship begins with leading the SELF before leading others; the Personal before the Professional; Life before Business.
Mind.ful.ness is the awareness of the SELF, in the NOW and as a reflective practice, before minding others.
In mind.ful.ness, I realize that all my thoughts and words are the inspiration of the many people I learn from and the authors I read, and therefore I do not claim an original thought or word to call my own – yet. Rather, I see myself as a torchbearer, one of many, who are carrying on tried-and-true, time-tested, and timeless, principles; and it is my humble attempt to rework and re-awaken these principles by weaving all the knowledge that I have collected and continue to collect into one stream, at the very least for my own reflection and practice. My quest is that someday I will formulate and share a new thought that has never been thought, expressed, written, or said. Until then I remain a humble student of all and a teacher to a few.
The first step in Lead.er.ship Mind.ful.ness is to become mind.ful of and re.al.iz.ing your SELF (first article); the second step is to val.i.date who you are in relation to your actions (second article); and as a by-product, the third step emerges: the EGO (the Latin pronoun for “I”; and the “ME”, and “MINE” of the asmita in the Yoga Sutra), the consciousness of your SELF that is made up of many complex opinions that you have about yourself ranging from PRIDE to narcissism. EGO is neutral; it is neither good nor bad dependent on how you choose to maintain it in balance with SELF through the mind.ful or mindless decisions that you choose to make; the decisions you choose that are influenced and driven by your EGO can be destructive to SELF, and to others.
“Great leaders don’t think less of themselves; they just think of themselves less.” ~ Ken Blanchard
Dave Walters (in a 2012 article posted on belief.net titled Is the Ego a Bed Thing?), explains that we have two egos: the positive and the negative represented by the Tai Chi symbol as the yin (light) and the yang (dark) sides, and that both are needed to be in balance for our wholeness. Therefore, while it is unrealistic and impossible to completely get rid of the EGO, the negative, the yang, or the dark side; it is imperative not to allow the dark side to overshadow the light side.
Native American Wisdom
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Our journey continues soon, for Lead.er.ship is an ongoing process of Mind.ful SELF realization of the EGO.
Watch Oprah’s 2-parts on the Power of Ego at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAzVQ11Yp14; and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEVJac5kVIE
“The nice thing about egotists is that they don’t talk about other people.” ~ Lucille S. Harper