In honor of Mandela day and for all that is accomplished through the inspiration of this great leader that we are honored to experience in this world.
Something I feel strongly moved to share: If you haven’t already had the privilege of the experience of the movie Invictus directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon, I suggest you indulge this notion soon.
The level of leadership, sincerity and authenticity moved me to tears throughout the movie as Morgan Freeman embodies the true qualities of an exceptional leader that Mandela unquestionably models through his life: compassion, strength, dedication, forgiveness, understanding and a level of intelligence that speaks for itself.
It moves me so profoundly for I am being inspired to share + step up more in my life, and this spoke to me on such a deep level, I am compelled to pass it along to all those who inspire others, who are acquiring the strength to overcome all challenges in their lives, to reach and strive continually for more so that they can make a difference in the lives of many.
This is what a true leader is.
Whatever you take away with you from this movie, whatever form your inspiration takes, it has a powerful impact.
We all have difficult life situations that we have endured. It takes tremendous courage to go through this world. Many of us have conquered the most challenging events a human can face: sex abuse, rape, murder attempts, abuse and violence on all levels and at all ages, false persecution, imprisonment, public ridicule and the many other attacks that we have encountered and endured.
At the age of three years old, I experienced the first three on this list, and they have all contributed to such strength, that I can only appreciate the lesson they have taught me, and how they have impacted my experience during this life time.
This is what I have learned.
The most difficult challenges in my life have turned out to be my greatest opportunities; they have taught me to appreciate life and its possibilities: they have led and inspired me to understand and appreciate life at a deeper level, and in return, given me so much: most notably, a capacity for love that is truly unlimited.
These opportunities give me a strong sense of myself that I love to inspire in others when I can, a certain quality of confidence and strength; a greater capacity for love. We have all been challenged to deal with intense loss, pain and to bear the unbearable. I believe that it is through the way we respond to these challenges that makes us the leaders that we are.
To the extent we can recognize the opportunity that challenges are, is the extent to which we are ultimately empowered.
This, to me is the actual essence of forgiveness: seeing the opportunity a challenge presents and allowing it to serve as an inspiration to love without limit.
"Forgiveness liberates the soul…forgiveness removes fear." Nelson Mandela in Invictus
We are all leaders. We are all called to lead in some way and at the perfect time, and some times this is harder than at other times. It takes great courage to believe in yourself; it takes a deep strength. It requires vision: the ability to see what is possible, and to hold to this no matter what you are actually experiencing.
As Nelson Mandela asks in the movie, “How do you get others to be better than they think they can be?”
This is, to me, the way a leader thinks; this is how a leader is motivated: by the success and achievements, not of their own, but of the achievements of the people and the nations they inspire.
How do we inspire others to believe in themselves? What is the greatest form of inspiration that we can share? How do we make a difference in the lives of others to inspire them to be leaders, as Nelson Mandela has through so much of his life?
This poem is the poem that inspired Nelson Mandela throughout his 27 years of imprisonment that gave him strength to stand when he just wanted to lie down:
Invictus by William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Expect more from yourself. Exceed your own expectations.
Allow yourself to be inspired.
Make the difference you long to make.
From my experience, I am inspired to create Premakarini International which provides global help and resources to those who have been exposed to violence or abuse and empower those wishing to empower others in this way. In order to create this I am using a high percentage of my profits to create this organization.
What makes you believe in yourself? What is your philosophy on leadership? What qualities make a great leader? Your comments inspire us all.