Mahatma Gandhi's quote, "Be the change you want to see in the world..." is a perfect example of what it takes to be a mindful and conscious leader. It puts the onus on one's self. If we want others to act and behave differently, we have to implement the change in ourselves first. Asking others to change while we stagnate in our character and habits is not only ineffective, but it is also unrealistic and hypocritical, quickly eroding trust and creating resentment.
Change is hard and most of us don't look forward to it. How many times have we tried to part ways with a bad habit that we're not so proud of, only to fall back into those tendencies? How many New Year 's resolutions for eating healthier, exercising, saving more money or having better relationships have we committed to, only to lose our determination one week later?
Change is also not something that manifests overnight. We have to work for months or even years to be the change we want to see in the world. Change requires patience and time, and if we can understand this, we will save ourselves much frustration and heartache.
Mindfulness provides the means through which we can develop this greater level of patience. It's the act of becoming aware of our thoughts, feelings, desires and emotions, and bringing the distracted mind back to the present moment. This in-the-moment awareness is so important because too often we keep pushing through our day, never stopping to think about our emotions and how we are being influenced by them. With each negative and difficult exchange, we add additional baggage on our already weighed down mind, which not only adds stress to our lives but also clouds our judgment and ability to empathize. Through mindful awareness, we can