There’s lots of information about how to be a leader of an organization or a group or in the bigger circles outside of yourself. There isn’t as much research about how to be a leader of yourself. Most of what I talk about is health and wellness, but leadership ties into this space really well. If you can’t be a leader of yourself how can you expect to lead by example for others? Or to be a more successful or productive leader within all of the other aspects of your life?
I’ll leave the leadership talks to the leadership experts in terms of how you run organizations. That’s a whole other ballgame. How you lead through yourself is definitely in my wheelhouse.
When we think about leadership, let's go back to the blog post from last week that talked about stoicism. If you haven’t heard about Marcus Aurelius’, the idea of Stoicism focuses on the contrast between our vices and our virtues. It’s the constant put between them. The idea of balance doesn’t exist. Balance is bullshit. Between virtues and vices, one may have a much stronger pull on you.
When we pull that into the idea of being a leader of yourself, the idea of leading by example, it’s thinking about how you can play on those virtues and vices. Which one is weighing more in your own mind in that one specific moment? Or in multiple situations over the day? How do you decide to pursue or not pursue those virtues or vices?
Thinking about personal leadership, ask yourself-how you can be consistent in your own body? How can you show up consistently in the world? How do you reflect your virtues or vices? Rather than focusing on all the bad things, the vices, let's direct your focus towards your virtues. How can you exemplify those more frequently?
A great way to direct this intent is to ask yourself-Are you ok with your current behaviours and your current habits? That doesn’t mean that they all need to change right now. Are they consistent? Do they consistently connect and align with those bigger goals that you’ve set? Are they in alignment with your virtues? If the answer is yes, then great work! Keep doing what you’re doing. Sometimes there’s a bit of a disconnect. A misalignment. Your big goals are in one direction, but your actions are saying or doing something very different.
How do you apply that to a goal? Let’s say you have a business goal. You want to make a certain amount of money. You’ve got a specific financial target. Are your actions in your business in alignment with generating leads and generating sales to achieve that goal? Sometimes the answer is yes. Sometimes the answer is no. You can get caught up in the minutia. The little paper shuffling tasks that don’t matter.
In your personal life, you can get caught up the same way. If your goal is to lose weight, are the little things that you do on a consistent basis in alignment with that goal? Are they driving your ability to lose the weight? Or are they sabotaging your success? Let’s say you do things like regularly buy candy to fill the candy bowl on your desk. You’re then surrounding yourself with this constant temptation to have food that may not be consistent and in alignment with your goal to lose weight.
When we look at the bigger picture, how can we pull all of these ideas together? When you focus on being a better leader within yourself, you’ll then be able to set a better example for others. We’ll talk about ways to be a better leader in other aspects of your life in upcoming blog posts. Being a better leader of yourself can be accomplished by being consistent and persistent of values in alignment with your bigger goals.
The next blog in this series is going to focus on how you can be a better leader within your family and how that relates to your own health and wellness.
As a way to get you thinking:
How are you a great leader in your personal life?
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