No Longer A Leader

I was raised to be a strong leader throughout school and with various jobs, and while I’ve been successful in many leadership roles, I’m discovering that I no longer identify as a leader. Vipassana meditation is about one’s personal journey. The reality that this journey is discovered almost entirely within one’s own body is powerful. It means that to be the best person I can be, I must walk the path for myself. I can’t rely on other people to tell me where and how to walk. In the same way I can’t expect someone to lead my life for me, I can’t expect anyone to reach their potential by following me. They need to discover their own path the same way I’ve needed to discover mine.

I’m not devaluing the importance of titles and hierarchies. In our global community of complex interconnected pieces, detailed organization is essential. We need managers to be managers and mentors to be mentors. But instead of being driving, determined, win at all costs leaders, we simply need to be role models of behaviors we believe in. Let individuals figure out who their own role models are and discover what communities they best fit into.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to discover how to be the best leader that I can, but meditation is showing me that the most valuable thing I can do in this world is walk a noble path and let other people make their own choices. There’s only so much I can do before I’m getting in the way of people walking their own paths. All I can do is role model what I’ve found to be right for me, and trust everyone else to walk their own path. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

2 thoughts on “No Longer A Leader

  1. Leading for you is growingly inward. Now, you are leading your own life by way of your own actions.You’re beginning to own your walk. That is pure leadership.

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