Updated: Oct 8
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THE CONCEPT OF SELF-GOVERNANCE
Before a person can lead or govern others, they must first be able to govern and make correct decisions for themselves. No one will give another person charge or oversight in any aspect of their life if that person does not have power or direction in their own life. The way a person conducts themselves will determine how they lead others. If you are successful, then people will flock to you because they know you can lead them to success. But success begins with the decisions we make on a daily basis. Much of a leader’s wisdom will come from their own personal life experiences and choices.
Everyone has an internal government. Which is to say that every individual has a uniquely specific set of laws founded upon experiential truths which determine their conduct. When you become conscious of the connections between the decisions you make, from the very smallest to the biggest, you achieve a degree of awareness which enables you to identify contradictions in your actions and convictions, leading to a more potent understanding of your identity and purpose. Your life is a reflection of what goes on in your head. If your mind is disorderly and lawless, then your life will be chaotic, confusing, and disorderly.
The mind and body have natural defense mechanisms which serve to warn and protect against disequilibrium. Let us examine, for a moment, the health epidemic in the United States. Very few people will admit what I’m about to say, but as a person who has struggled with chronic illnesses for 7 years, I know this to be true. The vast majority of physical and mental illnesses that people develop are 100% AVOIDABLE. In most cases, illnesses like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety do not develop out of mere chance or spontaneity! These illnesses can manifest in people because they IGNORE the perpetual warning signs!
Symptoms don’t just come after the full maturation of illness. Before a condition becomes life-threatening or irreversible, the body will produce warnings! For diabetes, the warning signs may be headaches, fatigue, and frequent urination. For obesity: the gradual increase in weight, clothing size, difficulty breathing, and decreased athletic ability. For depression: refusal to forgive, giving up, doubt, fear, resentment, etc…
I believe that my point is clear. Through the basic faculty of reasoning, we have the capacity to draw connections between the decisions we make and the effects they produce on our minds and bodies. However, at the same time, we all have an innate predisposition for denying the truth even when our life depends on it. When people refuse to accept what is known to be true, they corrupt their conscience, and by extension, their entire system of internal governance.
Because laws only exist by virtue of the inevitability of transgression, we can rationally deduce that there are forces which are determined to spread disorder and corruption. For this reason, one must understand how to consciously build mental boundaries and defense mechanisms to preserve the internal system of governance. Just as a nation must have a military and defensive fortifications, so too must the mind. The mind must be able to construct fortifications in defense of what is known to be true and execute counter attacks against forces of deception. These metaphysical defenses are constructed through consolidation of knowledge and experience born of trial and success. Without a profound understanding of the concept and mechanisms of SELF-GOVERNANCE, leadership is illusory.
Now let’s take a look at some of the ways in which we may practice self-governance:
Set high standards for yourself and align yourself to laws of conduct in accordance to those expectations.
Do not judge your own actions in accordance to the standards that others set for themselves. You are your own person with your own unique strengths, weaknesses and purpose.
Do not compromise on truth for the sake of appeasing others.
NEVER deny the truth. Even when you are at fault.
Leaders are destined to be so, and they are prepared for this purpose in their youth. A leader must be inclined to examine the entirety of their life through the lens of the goals they seek to accomplish. In this way, everything has meaning, and in everything is destiny! This is a perspective of life which produces constant growth because it allows you to see purpose and opportunity where others only see obscurity and misfortune. The value of perception as an energetic force of inspiration can never be overlooked. Your view of the world will guide you down unique paths into uncharted territory to be set apart from others!
The path to true leadership is paved by much trial and struggle. Those who seek to be leaders for selfish reasons never come to understand the essence of leadership because their selfish dispositions deny them the experiences which are necessary to imbue the qualities of a leader. The decisions they make in their pursuit of leadership are founded on a fantasy that they’ve created in their own mind.
The heart will determine one’s path in life. If you have a very compassionate and selfless heart, then you will be led to circumstances wherein your compassion and selflessness will be put to the test. Yet it must be understood that these trials only serve to enhance the fundamental attributes of a person by allowing them to manifest truth through actualization. In the same way, those whose hearts are selfish and merciless will be led to circumstances wherein said attributes will be tested, giving them an opportunity to determine who they are by the decisions they make, while, at the same time, giving them a chance to change. Either way, the truth will manifest in accordance to the decisions you have made. Whether you are warm or cold is your decision. In the end, we must all give an account to destiny.
If you can give your coat to a poor man in freezing weather, then the truth will strengthen you with the conviction to do it again, and perhaps at a greater price. The one who is willing to stand so that an elderly or pregnant woman may sit is the one who will be given the strength to stand in all aspects of life, even when it appears as though their legs may fail them. But the selfish person who lives only for pleasure and the satisfaction of their own desires is a person who will not be able to stand when there is no place to rest, and who will not be able to endure the cold in a blizzard. Truth and destiny are coauthors of leadership.
FOLLOWING THE PATH
In order to lead, you must first learn how to follow. No one can follow you if you are on your way to nowhere. There must be something that you’re pursuing or some goal that you intend to accomplish. People seek to grow and evolve. For this reason, a leader cannot be someone who lacks purpose and direction. Leadership requires exceptional work ethic, which necessitates discipline and strength of will. You must be a visionary with a wealth of experience and something to show for the time you’ve spent living in this world.
Be a lover of knowledge and spend time contemplating matters of truth. Human beings are not simple creatures. Our brains are the most complex out of all creatures on the planet. Therefore, a leader must be able to dissect the complexities of societal issues and devise solutions. The average person is not compelled to journey beyond the mental confines of their own personal life. People are worried about their families, their pets, their social lives, their jobs, and their finances. That is not to say that there is anything wrong with occupying your mind with such things. But it must be said that the thoughts of a leader will penetrate the boundaries of their own personal life and into the lives of others simply because it is in their nature to understand the complexities of human experience.
Humans have been on this planet for thousands of years and there is a plethora of knowledge to be found in books. It would be immensely foolish not to take advantage of the works, experiences, and achievements of other men and women to enrich your own life. Instead of indulging in fruitless entertainment, put your mind to work and learn a new skill.
Those who never ask, never learn. Don’t be afraid of appearing ignorant. Everyone is ignorant to some degree. When you ask questions, it shows that you are actively seeking a solution to ignorance. An intelligent person will show great appreciation for your interest and encourage your curiosity.
LISTEN MUCH and SPEAK LITTLE
A very common attribute of fools is over-speaking. Intelligent people understand the value of words, so they use them sparingly. Not only does it prevent one from making slips of the tongue, but it also maintains a veil of mystery, preventing people from knowing too much about you. A leader knows that if they speak little, people will be more interested in what they have to say when they do decide that it is the right time to speak. Foolish people speak impulsively. It may be because they like being the center of attention or it may be because they feel as though their thoughts are without value in the absence of a listener. Talking too much can be a manifestation of pride and insecurity.
Surround yourself with people that have more knowledge than you.
We don’t know what we don’t know until we know. For this reason, it is important to surround yourself with smart people who will exchange and discuss knowledge in your midst, the experience of which will illuminate your own understanding. Another thing to be aware of is the fact that intelligent people love good listeners. It can be stressful to have so much knowledge and no one to share it with. Some people have a habit of responding to intelligence by being pretentious and desiring to appear as though they know or understand as much as is being explained to them. That is nonsense! Learn how to receive in silence.
An essential attribute of a leader is great articulation skills. I honestly believe that most people have great ideas, but the problem is that they don’t know how to express them. Ideas in their raw mental state are not fit for articulation unless they’ve been fully deconstructed, assessed, and refined. When we attempt to express ideas in their raw form, they get rejected by people because we haven’t put enough work into developing them. Before an idea can be expressed, you must first question the validity of the idea? Determine whether or not the information being used to found the idea is based in fact or reality. If the information upon which the idea was founded is not factual, then the idea or notion cannot be true. If the information is, however, factual, then you can test the theoretical integrity of the idea by forming mental projections of the idea under hypothetical conditions. Can you or other people relate to the idea? After theoretical application comes practical application. When we apply the idea in practice, does it produce the projected/intended result?The average person never gets past the first step of this thought process either due to mental lethargy or simple indifference. Solid ideas demonstrate a clear vision. The power to convince lies in one’s ability to communicate ideas in a way that forces people to introspect. They must be able to draw a connection between what you’re saying and their own life experiences. Otherwise, you’re only having a conversation with yourself. Ideas without form or structure are chaotic and incommunicable. But those who take the time to explore, investigate, deconstruct and refine their ideas are the ones who will become the best at communicating them. As a leader, you must be able to consolidate ideas into a logical, sensical format for people to absorb.
The best way to enhance your communications skills is by writing. Writing is different from casual conversation in that it requires you to express your thoughts in a structured manner. The proper use of words, sentence structures, and logic will enable you to polish and refine your ideas in preparation for communication. Just imagine ideas as metal ore. The pen is your hammer and the paper is your anvil.
VALUE YOUR TIME
Time is more valuable than money! Use the time you have to engage in purposeful activities. People spend thousands of dollars on entertainment devices just to comfort them in their indolence. If you want to be successful, then avoid these 5 things: video games, social media, mindless internet browsing, television, and partying. Partying is supposed to be celebratory. If someone invites you to a party and it’s not a celebration of anything purposeful or significant, like a promotion or graduation, then don’t go. Understand how to use time for learning and personal growth!
The connections you make with people will allow you to establish solid, enduring relationships. You have to surround yourself with people you can trust to make the right decisions. Sometimes a leader may be required to appoint other people to positions of power and authority. This requires discernment and accurate judge of character. Getting to know peoples’ strengths and weaknesses through relationships and experience will enable a leader to assign people to roles which are in accordance to their respective competencies. Your reasons for appointing people to positions of authority cannot be selfishly motivated. Romantic interests and familial appeasement must be secondary to actual competency. Appoint people to positions because that is where their skills will be most effective and useful, not because they are a family member or friend.Leaders must have the discipline to put aside their own feelings and desires for the sake of those they lead. A leader will be called to make important decisions and meet with certain people at times when they are engaged in personal affairs, like time with family or necessary rest and relaxation. Therefore a good leader must be loving and compassionate enough to put their personal life aside to help others. In like manner, they must also possess the strength to deny their own entitlement.
Here’s some WISDOM
Discard Prejudices. When you’ve already made up your mind about someone before getting to know them, you may find your assessment of them to be erroneous and miss valuable opportunities to network and build relationships.
Prepare yourself for sacrificial responsibilities by making small daily sacrifices. Deny yourself small pleasures and comforts. This will strengthen your mental resolve and spiritual constitution.
Stay at work for an extra hour even if you don’t want to.
Pick up the other person’s slack when you don’t have to.
Choose to stand when you have the option to sit.
Being a leader is a huge responsibility because when you have people observing your behavior as a reference on how to live their own life, then there is a moral accountability that comes with bearing the burden of the example. The behavior you exhibit and the decisions you make in front of others will affect their lives. A true leader will be humbled by the attention they receive and understand the great honor and privilege that is to have influence in the lives of others. When you have people who depend on you, strength and nobility are not a matter of choice, but duty!
MAINTAIN A CLEAN APPEARANCE
A leader must demonstrate their capacity to discern the secret thoughts of others. By maintaining a clean appearance, you project the message that you have an awareness of your image, and thus an acute understanding of the way people see you. A person who does not maintain good hygiene will reflect the image of a child who has not fully come to understand the significance of impression. Don’t be sloppy. Be mindful of your dress, hygiene, and manners. Your physical appearance is your first line of defense against those who seek to harm you or sabotage your reputation. When people cannot criticize your image, they are forced to criticize your character. And THAT is MUCH harder to do because it requires actual intelligence.
In the same way that a leader is aware of their societal image, they must also be aware of their own self-image. This is how you learn to be self-critical by identifying and compensating for your own faults. Most people wait for others to notice their weakness before they decide to change. But a leader understands the disgrace of having to listen to people judge you when they only know half the story. A leader understands that true judgment is within and in order for it to remain within, one must be willing to embrace the truth before their inadequacies manifest externally and they become a burden to others. Be quick to apply the truth that you’ve learned from making mistakes.True confidence comes from an acute awareness of one’s own strengths and weakness as affirmed from experiences in trial and error. When a person has true knowledge of their strengths, then they can make decisions in good faith, with their head high. The same cannot be said for those who claim to aspire confidence yet are not willing to work toward improving their own capacities. In order to be confident, you must first have something to confide in. You cannot be confident without having done the work which is necessary to act in certainty. No one is going to follow or take advice from a person who cannot even be certain about the decisions they make for themselves. There are two kinds of conflict and a leader must learn to identify both.
Sterile Conflict and Fertile Conflict
Sterile Conflict is any conflict that is recurring as consequence of an inability or unwillingness to apply a solution. Fertile Conflict is any conflict to which knowledge is applied for the purpose of securing future success. Some people only experience sterile conflict because they are too afraid or too lazy to apply a solution. They tend to avoid conflict all together because they are comfortable in their inadequacies and don’t want to progress. Then there are those who experience fertile conflict because they see struggle as an opportunity for growth and they use it to make themselves stronger. Recognize conflict as an opportunity to solidify your convictions and achieve a greater awareness of your identity. A strong knowledge of self will give you the courage to withstand fear of ridicule and move in your own uniqueness by expressing your individuality.
Many people want to be a leader for the wrong reasons and so they end up misunderstanding what a leader actually is. When they look at a leader, they look at the wrong things. Their attention is on the things which are only consequence of the elemental foundations of a leader. They see the power, fame, and even fortune. They are focused on the things that are temporal and indefinite. Because they are focused on the external attributes of a leader, they never come to understand that internal attributes which laid the foundation for the ascertainment of the external things. This is the mystery of all that is true. If you only understand things for their surface value, you can be deceived into believing a lie. This is a just system of universal law because every human being is born with the supernatural ability to see beyond what is in their immediate site. Leaders are only as strong as those they lead, and a leader who has no concern for the ability of those they lead to govern themselves is no leader at all. The point of leading is not to make people dependent upon your leadership, but to bear the example of effective self-governance in faithful anticipation of birthing future leaders. Only a depraved person would want an entire group of people to be absolutely dependent on them. The goal is to show people that ultimately there is ONE leader over all, and that is TRUTH! If you want to be a leader, then all you have to do is be true. True to yourself, true to others, and true to reality!