Meaningful Leadership and "The Why"

Did you know the majority of heart attacks occur around nine on Monday mornings? “One study showed that the most common factor in these heart attacks was that the victims were people whose work had become joyless striving. In other words, they could not find meaning in their work, and their lives had become so out of balance that, one Monday morning, their bodies said, You are not going to work today. Zap.”

While we look for more meaning in our lives at work, home, and play, and until we begin to find that meaning, we are unsettled. Did you ever notice how challenges in our lives cause us to ask, Why? We ask, because we want to make sense of the situation. We want to understand the meaning behind the event, so we can move on. When we don’t find meaning, we become disillusioned, lack motivation, and find substitutes for meaningful experiences. Some of us choose substitutes that may be unhealthy or destructive. Some of us just go through the motions and become human doings instead of human beings. Some of us succumb to overwhelming stress when we believe we are living a meaningless life. Even worse, some of us just give up on life when we perceive our lives to lack meaning.

A few simple steps to start you on the path of self-discovery and meaning:  

  1. The journey to leadership must start within. We need to go inward and allow reflection and introspection to develop our own leadership skills and qualities. Be still, turn off, unplug, and mute. Listen. Clear you mind of “to do” thoughts and just be still. Start with 5 minutes and work your way up.
  2. Grab your journal or notebook and a pen. Don’t worry about what to write, and don’t bother with grammar, punctuation, or spelling. Just write whatever comes to you. You will see some patterns emerge and creative forces that have been dormant will come into your consciousness. I love journaling and value the clarity gained from this activity.
  3. Do not to rush through this process. Allow yourself the opulence of transformation that occurs in your awakening. This is like reading a great book where you just want to soak up the story and don’t worry about the sentence structure.
  4. Pause and linger on your words, feeling the emotions that arise as you write.
  5. As you experience your inner signals of emotions and feelings, sit with them and reflect on what you have written and felt. As you experience these signals, ask yourself why, then why again, and still yet again. Dig as deep as you can and are willing to go. The grand prize awaits you in the profundity of awareness. I am always amazed at the clarity I experience with this exercise.
As always, I love hearing from you. What do you do to go inward?

With love,