One of my favorite movies is 300. In it, you see a stark contrast between the leadership style of King Leonidas and King Xerxes. Both were effective, no doubt. Xerxes drove his people and his armies. He ruled with fear and an iron fist. His armies were powerful AND only as good as the strong whip and watchful eye on them every moment. Leonidas had a different way. He inspired his men with love. Love for the men on their left and right, the families they’d left behind, and the ideals of Sparta. Ideals worth dying for rather than a tyrant you feared would kill you.
Leonidas and the 300 died in battle AND they were victorious. Their efforts saved what they held most dear. Inspiration continued after their deaths and moved nations to defeat Xerxes.
The same leadership dichotomy exists within each of us. Most of us are driven by fear. Fear we won’t reach the mountaintop, fear we won’t be good enough, fear we live a life not worth remembering, fear we’ll lose what we already have, etc. A few choose to wake up, find their bigger dream(s) and let those govern and inspire. The inspiration gives far more fuel than the fear ever could. Those few find a love in and for the journey that propels them so much further than their own internal whip.
I know the type of life I’ll live or I’ll die trying. I don’t have a Xerxes threatening to kill me, of course, instead it’s my fears that I will not allow to slowly kill me. Sounds like hyperbole, perhaps, but in truth it feels the furthest from it. I believe that in this life, cage doors lock from the inside. I opened mine up years ago. Good luck putting me back in – I’ve found freedom, inspiration, love. I’ve found my big dream.
I’ll end with Chet’s questions for day 138: What big, physical dream is pulling you to new heights? What are you waiting for? Who are you taking with you? Remember, together we transform, always together…