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The zen path to leadership: how to lead by creating happiness for yourself

Honestly, I’m not so sure that all people are capable of becoming high level leaders.

I don’t think that everyone is going to master the skills required to influence and motivate the masses. Realistically, most people are just trying to find the courage to take a risk or leave their comfort zone.

And that’s totally ok.

Even if you don’t aspire to become an elite leader, you can still change thousands of people’s lives.

The trick is to focus on creating genuine happiness for yourself

You don’t have to try to save the world. Instead, try to improve your own life. Be true to you. Be honest with yourself. Be daring and excited and bold. Start doing the things that have been quietly burning inside of you.

I don’t mean you should chase the sugar high of things like promiscuous sex, mindless TV, junk food, binge drinking, etc. That’s pleasure. Pleasure is noted by its fleeting nature and is very different than happiness. Happiness is the enduring sense of contentment punctuated by joy and enchantment that comes from honesty with yourself and others.

Create happiness by aiming to align your internal world of thoughts and feelings with your external world of actions and behaviors. Get good at being you.

Then begin helping others create happiness.

Once you’ve gotten good at creating a happy life for yourself, begin helping less fortunate people find their own happiness. Aim to make one less fortunate person’s life a bit better every single week. You can:

  • Buy a sandwich for a beggar
  • Volunteer locally
  • Volunteer globally
  • Buy juice and a balloon for someone crying in the street
  • Start a charity
  • Genuinely listen when your friend needs to talk
  • Give a sincere compliment to someone who’s down
  • Join the board of a non-profit
  • And dozens of other things

If you help just one person a week be a bit happier, a bit more stable, a bit more ok with life, then you will improve over 50 lives a year. If you do this every week for the rest of your life you will help thousands of people.

The zen of leadership

And here is the amazing thing: you’ll notice that once you’ve worked to make yourself happy, investing in other people’s happiness increases your own. Our lives are improved when we take the time to improve other people’s lives. It’s one of the most beautiful things about humans.

The zen path to leadership is accomplished by taking good care of yourself and then helping to take good care of others. Doing so will build a beautiful, happy, and engaged life for yourself while improving the lives of thousands of others.

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2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “The zen path to leadership: how to lead by creating happiness for yourself”

  1. A little ways down the road July 12, 2013 at 9:53 am

    In other words: “To be able, at any moment, to sacrifice who we are, to become what we might be.”

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