In a day from now, we will be celebrating the Republic day of India. On 26th January 1950 – the Constitution of India came into force.
Coming from the world of Generative Leadership, believing in ‘Inside-Out’ leadership – meaning thereby when you lead yourself well, can you set yourself up to lead teams, organizations and nations effectively – I was pulled towards these two interesting words / phrases, namely, ‘Constitution of India’ and ‘Republic’.
First, the phrase, ‘Constitution of India’:
Constitution means the way in which a thing is composed. One would presume that a country would be constituted in its physicalness – however, isn’t it interesting to see that India is constituted in a document, i.e., in words, rather than its physicalness?
I want to connect this to you, and your leadership, but before we do that, lets look at the meaning of the second word that caught my attention: ‘Republic’.
The meaning of ‘Republic’ is: “a state in which the supreme power rests in the people (via elected representatives)”
I want to bring to your notice the depth of this – something that missed my attention despite celebrating Republic Day for over 35 years (ever since I started attending school):
1. That India got freedom in 1947, and that in 1950 India declared herself a Republic, meaning thereby, she declared that the people of India would have supreme power in its governance and in the creation of her future.
2. That India declared in words what constitutes India. This declaration, made in 1950 continues to be the supreme law and governs and overrules all other laws of this state.
If you are starting to connect with the profundity of this – that India is constituted in words, and not in its physicalness; and that India is a Republic, and it choosesto give her people the supreme power, then lets make the connection to you and your leadership.
The questions that come up are:
– How are you constituted? In your physicalness, or in your words that you knowingly or unknowingly use?
– Who has the supreme power in choosing your constitution?
Chances are your answer to the second question would be “I have the supreme power in choosing my constitution”, but the more important question is, “Are you effectively and consciously using this supreme power that you have in choosing your own constitution, and acting moment to moment inside of that?”
My guess is not!
You may have been born 25, 30, 40, 50 or even 60 years ago, like India was reborn as an independent nation in 1947. However, India took two and a half years to declare that the supreme power rests with her people, and to declare its constitution. Maybe time has come for you to declare that you
have the supreme power in the matter of your own life, and declare your constitution.
If this post makes sense to you, my request is please do not trivialize this process. India did not trivialize the creation of its constitution, and even to date, after 65 years, we celebrate India’s Republic Day.
Say it out aloud “I have the Supreme Power in the matter of my life”.
Say this to people that matter to you.
What does it mean to have supreme power in the matter of your life?
To have supreme power is to give yourself the authority in the matter of your life. Because you lead your life, is not evidence enough that you give yourself authority in the matter of your life. On the contrary, look around you; people have freely given authority away and are now living as victims of their spouses, managers, neighbors, and even strangers. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, living like, ‘feverish, selfish little clods of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making (them) happy.’
Give your self the ‘supreme power’ first, and then take your time to choose and create what constitutes you.
I want you to know that I was born in 1975, and only in 2010 did I give myself the supreme power to choose my constitution. Like the Indian constitution is a living document, my constitution also evolves with time.
As of today, I create, on the basis of the supreme power I give to myself, that I am constituted in my cares, and these domains of my cares, for your information and to support you to design yours, are (in no order of priority):
– My family
– My personal development, growth, and my health
– My organization – the Institute for Generative Leadership, and
– The foundation that I co-founded, Gift Your Organ Foundation.
I live every moment of my life only inside of taking care of these 4 cares now. When I created these 4 cares as my constitution, suddenly a shift took place in my life. I had an active social life earlier. My otherwise active social life was not a part of my constitution, and hence, actively socializing and partying seems irrelevant to me now.
This post, just before India’s Republic Day, is an invitation to you to:
1. Give yourself the supreme power – why, because you say so! (And do so aloud, unapologetically!)
2. Once you have done so, take your time to design what cares constitute you; and, design how can you take care of these cares that constitute you.
In the meantime, let’s celebrate India’s Republic Day. I am hoping that you will celebrate your own Republic Day soon!
Sameer Dua, Founder Director, Institute for Generative Leadership, India