How To Be An Inspirational Leader – Wayne W. Dyer

Just as we’re all students throughout life, we’re all teachers. In fact, we learn best by offering what we desire for ourselves to as many individuals as we can, as frequently as we can. And that’s one reason I wrote this book: If I instruct enough people for a long enough period of time, I’ll teach what I most want to learn, which is how to live in-Spirit. Following this line of thinking, it’s imperative that we make a deliberate effort to increase our inspirational energy, as this will lead us to being both a spiritual learner and teacher simultaneously.

Spiritual teachers have raised the vibrational frequency of their daily life to a point where they’re able to provide inspiration to others merely by their presence, and this is the standard to which we need to aspire. It isn’t necessarily a scholarly undertaking—there are no lesson plans or report cards for the kind of teaching I’m writing about here. Rather, I’m talking about the things we can do each and every day to inspire our fellow humans . . .

Kindness Inspires Others

Recently three of my kids and I were seated at the food court of a mall here on Maui. As we were talking and enjoying our meals, a young boy stumbled, and the tray full of hamburgers and French fries he’d just purchased from McDonald’s went flying all over the floor. His parents immediately came to his rescue, and the manager of the restaurant good-naturedly replaced all of the food at no cost. The boy was embarrassed, but it all worked out fine . . . except that people were having to dodge what he’d dropped as they lined up for their purchases.

Neither the boy’s family nor the people working at the restaurant took any initiative to clean up this mess, which was actually a hazard to the crowd at the food court. I watched for a few moments, and then I took an empty tray and proceeded to pick up all of the food and dispose of it in the trash container. I returned to my seat, saying nothing about the incident.

About ten minutes later, a woman who’d observed this scene without my noticing came over to our table. To my teenagers she said, “You girls have just been given a lesson by your father—he has shown you by his actions what it means to be a caring, helpful citizen. No one else in this entire place thought of doing anything about that mess on the floor, but he did. He inspired me, and I hope that you were inspired by his actions, too.” She left, and my girls sort of smiled knowingly, since this is rather a normal thing for them to see.

The point of this story is to illustrate that one simple act of kindness and service that’s in alignment with our Source will do more to inspire others than lectures on the virtues of being a thoughtful citizen ever could. All I wanted to do was eliminate the potential peril of greasy burgers and fries on the floor—I wasn’t trying to inspire anyone—and that’s the crux of this chapter When we elevate our consciousness above the level of ego, which says, “I didn’t spill that food, so it’s not my job to clean it up!” to the level that asks, “How may I serve?” we become an inadvertent source of inspiration to anyone who’s in the energy field of our spiritually based actions.

Gratitude Inspires Others

Without exception, I begin every day of my life with an expression of gratitude. As I look in the mirror to begin my daily ritual of shaving, I say, “Thank you, God, for life, for my body, for my family and loved ones, for this day, and for the opportunity to be of service. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

If we practice gratitude as opposed to maintaining an attitude of entitlement, we’ll automatically extend inspiration wherever we go. Being grateful helps remove the influence of our ego, which is certain that we’re better than everyone else. An attitude of gratitude allows us to adopt what’s called “radical humility,” a trait that’s very persuasive in helping others feel inspired.

Most of the people I’ve met or observed who are at the top levels in their chosen fields have these attitudes of gratitude and radical humility. After all, when so many high achievers reach for their statuette or championship trophy, they say, “First I’d like to thank God.” It’s almost as if they can’t help themselves—they’re so grateful for their accolade, but even more than that, they know that there’s a Force in the Universe way bigger than they are that allows them to act, sing, write, compete, or design. And if we adopt this kind of an attitude, we’ll inspire others. It’s that simple.

Generosity Inspires Others

It doesn’t matter if we call It God, Krishna, Atman, Allah, the Universal Mind, Ra, Yahweh, or even Anna or Fred—I think we’d all agree that the All-Creating Source of Everything is the most generous Being there is. Along with life itself, It offers us unending abundance in the form of air, water, lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and all we need to sustain life. On just this one tiny planet hurtling through space, Whatever Name We Want to Call It provides the ability to feed all of us and dispose of all of our waste, which then gets used to fertilize new life—and then repeats the process over and over again. . . . And remember, this is only one planet in an endless Universe of heavenly bodies. Talk about benevolence!

Generosity is obviously one of the ways to be more God-like. I know that I’m inspired when I see evidence of it on the part of others. Very often it’s manifested during or following times of crisis, almost as if God gets our attention and reminds us to be more like Him when we face devastating circumstances. A tsunami diverts our aircraft carriers away from killing each other and into a zone where food and shelter are offered; an earthquake motivates us to risk our own lives to save strangers who days before were called enemies; and hurricanes bring out the best in us. Such so-called disasters lead us to the inherent God-like generosity that’s latent within all of us. However, we don’t need a crisis to remind ourselves to give—we only need to be in-Spirit to be reminded of the joy of donating our energy, time, and possessions to others.

For example, my brother Jim and my sister-in-law Marilyn are inspiring because of the time they give to our mother. Days spent going to movies and playing Scrabble are more than just entertaining activities—they’re inspiration in action because Jim and Marilyn are giving their time to lovingly be with a person who lives alone. While I’ve been blessed to be able to give to Mother financially, they’ve been blessed to give of their time.

Generous actions are always inspirational if we just spend a few seconds to notice and appreciate them. The message is that we must give whatever it is we have that will benefit others. It’s how our Creator conducts Itself—always giving and providing. When we emulate our Creator by giving, we become sources of inspiration to others.

When Oprah Winfrey visited Africa and vowed to give all that she could, including money and time, to help eradicate the poverty and disease of that continent, she inspired me and millions of others. When she said, “Now I know why I have been given so much. Now I know why,” I also began saying to myself, “Now I know why I’ve had so many financial blessings. I feel so grateful for all that has come my way that giving back seems to be the only avenue available.”

Listening Inspires Others

As ironic as it may sound, we’re far more inspiring to others when we’re willing to listen than when we’re giving them advice. That’s because conveying to others that we value what they have to say is a way of demonstrating that we care. It’s a way of being inspiring, a way of listening like God. People who find it difficult to listen to another person without bringing the conversation back to themselves are convinced by their ego of their self-importance. And as you’re well aware by now, that ego is an illusion that’s convinced us to pay attention to a false self.

There’s no higher compliment than to be told we’re a good listener. Everyone loves a good listener largely because it makes them feel loved, cared for, and worthy of being heard. When we leave any encounter where we feel we’ve been heard, even if we know the listener strongly disagreed with us, we’re still inspired. Why? Because for a few moments the listener has emulated what it feels like when we pray. In deep prayer, we’re not looking for the resolution of conflict or answers falling from the sky; we just want to feel as if we’re in contact with someone who cares enough to hear us out.

This brings to mind something Mohandas Gandhi, one of the truly inspirational beings of our time, once said: “Silence of the sewn up lips is no silence. One may achieve the same result by chopping off one’s tongue, but that too would not be silence. He is truly silent who, having the capacity to speak, utters no idle word . . .”

Being at Peace Inspires Others

Lecturing or demanding that others live peacefully is one of the least effective ways to inspire them; however, when we simply demonstrate that we’re living peacefully, we offer other people a large dose of inspiration by our mere presence.

During my first encounter with Swami Satchidananda, for instance, he emitted such an aura of peacefulness that I felt inspired by merely standing next to him. It would have been impossible for me to feel anything other than peace in his midst. That day I purchased his wonderful book, Beyond Words, and on page 21 was given an inkling as to why I felt so inspired merely by being in his company: “If anybody asks me, ‘What is your philosophy of God?’ I say, ‘Peace is my God.’ If they ask, ‘Where is He?’ I reply, ‘He is in me and He is everywhere. He is all peaceful; He is all serenity. He is to be felt and experienced within oneself.’”

Being at peace with ourselves is a way of going through life eschewing conflict and confrontation. When we’re in a state of tranquility, we actually send out a vibration of energy that impacts all living creatures, including plants, animals, and all people (even babies). And, of course, the reverse applies as well: Belligerent individuals who live in turmoil and revel in hostile encounters send out nonverbal energy that adversely impacts those around them. The immediate impulse is to remove ourselves from these low-energy, nonpeaceful people because sticking around means tension and a lowering of our energy. Moreover, we become a counterforce to what we’re experiencing, meaning that we become angry at their anger and arrogant toward their arrogance.

Practicing a peaceful approach to our life on Earth is a way of returning to where we came from. At the same time, it’s a powerful source of inspiration to all living creatures.

Some Suggestions for making these qualities work for you:

— Work on becoming more peaceful, and start noticing how you’re perceived by others. Practice daily meditation to become more peaceful, and then watch as others who previously engaged you in confrontation are less inclined in that direction. Decide for yourself that you’re an emissary of peace and that that’s precisely the energy you’re going to radiate wherever you go. By lifting your thoughts upward so that they resonate with the peace that divines your origination, you’ll automatically become a person who inspires others to do the same, without having to adopt any new strategies and with an absence of “effort” on your part.

— Actively work at reducing your inclinations to interrupt others with an I reference in conversations. Just “stifle yourself,” as Archie Bunker used to say. Make a concerted effort to be silent when you’re about to interrupt. See the words stifle yourself flash on your inner screen, and remind yourself at that moment that you inspire by listening and encouraging, not by self-reference or sermonizing.

— Before speaking, consult your inner “truth barometer” and resist the temptation to tell people what they want to hear if that feels untrue to you. People do respect those who are willing to speak their truth, and even more, to live the truth they feel. When I write an article, for instance, I know precisely who to show it to for comments if I want a guaranteed set of compliments to come my way—but I also know who’s unafraid to come from their truth, and this is where I seek feedback. Not that someone else’s truth will automatically match up with mine, but at least I’m hearing from a person who lives and speaks from their own inner fidelity. This kind of person inspires me by being aligned with our place of origin, which is, of course, pure honesty. You can be this inspiring kind of a person by abandoning your need for approval and replacing it with authenticity and integrity.

— Let everyone you meet know that there’s one thing about you that isn’t up for discussion: You are going to live your passion, and there’s absolutely no room for compromise on this point. Carry yourself proudly and show your enthusiasm in all of your waking hours. Be passionate about all of your activities, and keep reminding yourself that you will never elect apathy or ennui. Never! By refusing to concede this point, you’ll become a model for others to live out their lives in-Spirit.

When I speak to audiences, I’m always aware that by my being in-Spirit and conveying this vibration to them, I’m offering everyone there an opportunity to do the same for themselves. When beginning speakers ask me for advice on how to become an in-demand lecturer, my answer is always the same: “Talk from your heart authentically and be enthusiastic.” Passionate, truthful communication is always inspiring.

— Practice being generous as often as you can. Promise yourself to extend some kind of unexpected generosity to someone, preferably a stranger, every single day for two weeks. This will not only help you develop a habit of giving, but you’ll also discover how wonderfully inspiring your generous nature feels. The more you practice being charitable, the more you’ll impact others in an inspiring way. By letting others know that you’re willing to give of your time as well as your possessions, you’ll serve as an inspirational model. Who isn’t inspired by those who’re willing to share their time, money, and possessions? We name cities (San Francisco) for such people and we nominate them (Mother Teresa) for sainthood . . . you too can inspire by being a benevolent soul.

Also practice tithing (giving 10 percent of what you earn in a given period to support teaching that provides you with spiritual uplift) and see if it doesn’t return to you tenfold. This has worked for me my entire life, and continues as I practice my natural instinct to be generous.

This is an edited extract taken from Inspiration by Wayne W. Dyer available at all leading retailers. For more information CLICK HERE.

Wayne W. Dyer will be appearing live at I CAN DO IT! August 2010. For details and tickets CLICK HERE.

One Response to “How To Be An Inspirational Leader – Wayne W. Dyer”
  1. There are so many wonderful gems in this article by Wayne Dyer. I love his work! Especially love the bit about listening and being a great listener inspiration!

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