We’re all called upon to lead – if you have children, direct reports in work, people who confide in you – Leadership is required of you. You mightn’t call it that, but that is what it is. Above all, we’re required to lead our own lives. Yes, leadership is called for and few wish to shoulder the responsibility. Most normal people will look to someone else – if not for leadership, then for blame. It’s the bankers’ fault that my business is suffering – it’s politicians’ fault that my standard of living has deteriorated – it’s the system’s fault that I didn’t get promoted. Get up off your ass – start promoting yourself! Aren’t you meant to take the lead in what is, after all, a lifetime for which you can write your own screenplay.
But what does it take to be a leader? How do you write your own script for the life that heart desires? Well, surprise, surprise, the answer to these two questions is the same! It takes presence – the hallmark of super- successful people, the very essence of leadership. And the wonderful news is that we can all develop our presence no matter how ineffective you think that you might be – if you’re suffering from a lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem or poor self-image, get real, they’re all figments of the normal mind’s obsession with paying attention to everywhere except where life is really lived – the present!
This is how you develop what is commonly called presence – there’s no magic formula, no big secret. Psychological research has concluded that your ability to be happy and successful – and your ability to be impressive – is down to how you pay attention! Yeah, it really is that simple – pay attention to what’s actually going on and you’ll activate parts of the brain that are only ever otherwise activated when you get a natural high. In simple English, turn yourself on – tune in to the only place where life can be lived – the here and now – because tuning in tunes out all the noise in your head that has misled you into believing in your own inadequacy.
Tuning in means actually seeing what’s going on now for what it is – it means coming to your senses – in other words, seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling and tasting the reality of the moment – not squinting out through the crud-covered window of your own sick mind (no offense meant and, I hope, none taken, all normal minds are sick). And, you know what, if you bother to turn up to the present moment, you’ll stand out from the crowd. You will be present – and, if you are present, you will have presence – and the rest is up to you.