I remember those fun occasions as a child when my teacher played “Simon Says” with the class. This game apparently taught me to follow any instructions that I heard only with only these two words so I would not be told “you’re out.” But I can say from this long ago memory that being taught such passive obedience at that time did not feel right nor does it feel an appropriate act today.
So as a basic rule throughout my life, I reject going on with such passive behavior to just play by others rules. Instead, life’s daily struggles since then have often required me to “put myself out there” and lead primarily by example when the situation calls. Consider for instance that during my thirty plus years of teaching, such leadership expectations drove me to either serve as the expert spokesperson who others relied on for information in a key learning situation or as a fair-minded mediator who just enjoyed bringing opposing sides to a more united cause..
With great relief in my retirement though, I’m no longer expected to play the role of an outwardly confident leader in order to fulfill the duties of a job. So I’ve alternatively become fascinated by the more subtle leadership ideals of yoga which connect my physical presence in the present moment with an energy flow that others can contagiously follow. For I now hope to prioritize spreading more kindness and gratitude to others without necessarily making my leadership intentions blatantly known.
Notably, however, this inward shift in my current leadership paradigm often seems fruitless to follow. For I seem to be living today amid a reality show plot where confrontation with so many others seems to the “modus operandi” of each day. There’s just often simply too many narcissist adversaries out there with their egos out of control. Thus, this quieter leadership message of mine goes on mostly these days to serve my smaller circle of trustful family and friends.
I find it amazing how we change as we go through life. Retirement is our time to relax within ourselves and stop and smell the roses. Excellent post, Jim!
Thanks for the wise advice, Eugenia.