Life – Work – Duty – Happiness: My Reflections on President’s Day
It was today, twenty eight years ago, that I started my first real job, in a small southern town in Tennessee. I am so blessed to be able to work even harder today, but with considerably much less stress. It is also very auspicious that my work anniversary landed on President’s Day this year, a day to honor two great presidents of our nation, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
I decided to write this post after realizing the significance of two quotations from these two presidents in my life. They have helped me stay centered and grounded during the ups and downs throughout my professional career. They helped me even today, when the tasks ahead seemed formidable and beyond reach, given the limited resources at hand.
Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
It’s almost one year since I dedicated my life to building a mindful nation when Congressman Tim Ryan inspired me to start a foundation to help more Americans slow down, take better care of themselves and those around them. I believe these are the fundamental building blocks for establishing a more peaceful and resilient community in this crazed and busy digital age.
Having left a great job a little over a year ago after considerable deliberation, I was thrilled to be part of a new challenge of unknown proportions. It is amazing to experience the kind of energy that one can harness when you are inspired and jazzed with possibility. But as reality wears you down with obstacles and impedes your progress, it is very easy to feel dejected or demoralized.
One of the key insights that has saved me from getting dejected or demoralized on this journey was my choice to label the statement, “Building a mindful nation where inner wisdom energizes people to thrive in harmony,” as a dream and not a mission. I was concerned that by labeling this statement as a mission, my ego would get attached to the outcome and start monitoring the progress and the results too closely which would create an unhealthy situation.
Just yesterday, we unveiled our Mindful Nation movement at Wisdom 2.0 in San Francisco at a session titled “Igniting the Quiet Revolution: Making Mindful Living Mainstream,” which was very well received by an esteemed audience. While we celebrated the milestone, it also dawned upon the team as to all the things that are yet to be done. It’s just the beginning… and the remainder of the journey felt arduous and very long.
After a good night’s rest though, and being reminded by the same two quotations, I am once again as energized as ever and thrilled to fulfill my duty and add life to my years. The key next steps for our team is to inspire and recruit ambassadors across the nation to form a community that embodies the virtues and benefits of leading a mindful life.
In the spirit of our 16th President Abraham Lincoln, building a mindful nation has to be a movement “a quiet revolution” — of the people, by the people, for the people; only then can it sustain the forces of apathy and that of the status quo and shall not perish from the Earth.”