Were You Born to Lead?
“Freedom, by definition, is people realizing that they are their own leaders.”
- Diane Nash, civil rights activist
You may not know it yet, but you are a leader.
You are the only person who can truly decide where your life is going.
Take a look at your life today. Who is in charge?
Or are you waiting for someone else to show you the way?
Are you floating along, thinking you can’t swim, a victim of the current?
Or are you taking responsibility for your life and for the lives of those you love?
Because if you don’t, then who will?
One of the world’s greatest leaders, Nelson Mandela, spoke of reading The Diary of Anne Frank while he was in prison.
Identifying deeply with her writing, he was encouraged to remain strong by her example through his long years behind bars.
The young girl’s words profoundly touched and encouraged him as he realized that if a 13-year old girl could take a stand for hope, then he could as well.
Anne Frank demonstrated the invincibility of the human spirit.
Mandela considered her one of the greatest fighters for human rights and was inspired to maintain hope of returning from prison to overthrow the National Party in South Africa that was enforcing policies of racial segregation called apartheid.
Anne Frank said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
If a 13-year old girl can impact the life of Nelson Mandela so profoundly, what do you think is possible from you?
First, take a stand for yourself.
Banish negative thoughts from your life. What we think, we become, so take responsibility for your diminishing thoughts and shift them.
Instead of reactively following your thoughts moment to moment, align them with a long term vision.
Stand for something bigger than yourself.
Bruce Barton said, “Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.”
Are you superior to your circumstances?
Or do you allow them to control your life and hold you back from your greatness?
Because no matter where you find yourself, you can choose to be bigger than poverty, imprisonment, oppression, disability.
Anne Frank, one of the most discussed victims of the Holocaust, had every justification to hate the world she was living in but instead she chose to believe, despite everything, that people were good.
Instead, Anne rose above her circumstances and with her voice inspired the world.
She didn’t have money, or worldly power, or the internet, or even her freedom.
She was a child.
She chose to quietly lead herself out of the darkness that was closing in on her, and in doing so cast a light into the world.
Just like her, all the power you need to fulfill your purpose is alive in youright now.
You were born to lead.
Maybe it’s not a huge company or running in politics.
But what you were born to lead, above everything else, is yourself.
Lead yourself to happiness.
Lead yourself to fulfillment.
Lead yourself to health.
Lead yourself toward your vision.
Lead yourself into greatness.
And lead others to do the same along the way.
YOU're the powerful leader you’ve always been waiting for.
And it’s time to lead.
Lewis Howes is a New York Times bestselling author of The School of Greatness and The Mask of Masculinity. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high performance business coach and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men’s National Handball Team athlete. He hosts a top 100 iTunes ranked Apple podcast, The School of Greatness. Howes was recognized by the White House and President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under 30. Details magazine called him one of “5 Internet Guru’s that can Make You Rich.” Howes has been featured on Ellen, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The New York Times, People, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health and other major media outlets.