I grew up in an altruistic environment where ‘I’ was not considered to be good. ‘I’ was equated with selfishness, lack of empathy and insensitivity towards others. I remember the first time I read The Fountainhead, I almost hated the author Ayn Rand. I found the protagonist full of everything I mentioned above. It remained so till the time someone gave me a magical lens which changed the meaning of ‘I’.
Recently, emceeing at the annual conference on Inclusive Leadership by Biz Divas, I-Inspire Season 3, I felt the room energised by the power of ‘I’. Those ‘I’s who did not wait for the world to change but believed they were the ones who could mobilise the change or be the change.
Priti Patkar, Founder of Prerna, an NGO working with children of prostitutes; Anjali Goplan, Founder of Naz Foundation, working with transgenders and children affected with AIDS; A. Muruganantham, the man behind low cost sanitary pads which has impacted thousands of women; Sonal Kapur, founder of Protsahan working for the education of street children – each one of them started their journey with ‘I’. How their ‘I’ could create the change they wanted to see, experience and good Lord, how many lives have they impacted, how many smiles have they painted?
In the more popular canvas, we can find hundreds of fine examples – Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln, Florence Nightingale. The list goes on. The story of each of these inspiring people, was a story of ‘I’ – a story of one. How one person, one day, decided to bring about the change in his or her individual capacity.
So what stops us from leading the life we want to lead? Because it is ‘I’ who has to make the decision. It is ‘I’ who has to change gears and make the shift and it is ‘I’ who can make myself happy and perhaps others around me also.
So, when it comes to work, my goals, my dreams, only person who can take me forward or stop me from moving forward is ‘I’. Know your ‘I’. Unleash the power of ‘I’.
And, forgive me for putting on my mentoring hat for I cannot resist giving advice. Do believe in your ‘I’. For it is belief which will make it happen or not. I find it very strange when non trusting people are ready to put their trust in what others believe and not what their ‘I’ would believe.
Start with a simple, “what does my ‘I’ want?” note, and then start working on it. Step by Step. Do it for yourself. This is the opportunity to get rid of ‘I never did anything for myself’. Do it for the larger fraternity. As the saying goes, just do it!
For further details on Biz Divas and I Inspire 2015 go to www.bizdivas.in