Working Together – Finding the Leader In You

The past year and a half, our local non-profit organizations (Sikh Dharma, SikhNet, 3HO, IKYTA, KRI, etc, etc) have been meeting on a regular basis as a whole, to unify our goals and leadership. In the past everyone seemed to work in their own little “box”, and as a result we did not know what everyone else was doing and things were not done efficiently. Many people (including myself) were quite busy and only had ownership in the particular area that they worked in.

We have made a lot of progress this last year and I am inspired to see how everyone’s consciousness is shifting to more of a “Group” consciousness. As a metaphor, It’s like a business is a person…and can be just thinking about it’s self. This has shifted from that, to the business thinking about how to best serve and reach the overall goal TOGETHER with other business. The result being a much larger impact from our Unified goals. Every day we are moving from a place of “That isn’t my role, or something in my organization/department”, TO, feeling more and more ownership and responsibility with what everyone is doing as a whole. This is important because the more unified we are, the more we can accomplish and help each other.

I think it is important as Sikhs and humans to find ways to work together to create positive change on this earth (not just with Sikhs). There is so much hate and anger in this world. People are longing for help, feeling empty, and trying to find meaning and joy in their lives. For me it can be very disheartening to watch the news or read about the current happenings on this planet. It makes my stomach turn when I hear about all the shady politics going on in this world. Then throw in the issues of the environment and corporate dominance. Corporations are doing terrible things to people and this earth; with only the motivation of profit. I have to stay focused and keep a positive outlook in spite of all this and know that as a unified body we have a HUGE amount of power to create change. We can’t give up hope.

Within the Sikh community many of us talk about how we don’t like what this or that Sikh Organization or person is doing. For any situation there are hundreds of critics and people making judgements. We complain and fight all day long for the smallest things. It’s as if spreading this negativity will make you feel better or make the situation better. What we are not seeing very often, are people who see things and then take a stand to make a positive change. It’s easy to sit at your desk and write some message on the internet, or complain to someone about something. It takes a lot more commitment, courage and leadership to take responsibility, look for a solution, and try to make a change. You may feel like you are “small” and can’t do anything. That is your mental limitation, because God gave us a brain and such creativity to find a solution to any problem. Where there is a will…there is a way. What makes an ordinary person different from a leader? Think about it.

Me and my wife have an understanding that if you are going to complain about something, it had better be just to “vent”, and something that you are involved with and are helping to change. So, the next time you have some critical thought or remark, think twice.

So, yes there are many things done within the Sikh community which are totally backward, and in my opinion “un-sikh-like”. My prayer is that the Sikhs of tomorrow (the youth of today) work together to make things better. To look beyond differences and find commonality, which is the fundamental thing which Guru Nanak taught. I already see many Sikh youth doing this which is great. We all have leadership qualities (whether or not you think so). It is just a matter of tapping into it and having the courage and strength to take action. I encourage you all to think about people who inspire you and the qualities that they have. Use those examples and try to find the leader inside you. Get other friends together and use your group power to do something positive.

Now back to my original topic of our local meetings. Yesterday some of our local Sikh youth headed up the meeting agenda and the whole half day meeting. It was an awesome meeting and an empowering experience. We discussed a lot about leadership and dealing with the issues of helping our “elders” pass on responsibility to the younger generation. We meditated together to set the tone for the meeting and then broke out into smaller groups. We spent a good amount of time brainstorming different issues and coming up with solutions. At the very end we were instructed to think of people and things that inspire you. From those thoughts we were told to write some words down on a card as an affirmation that will inspire you to be more of a leader. We did a sort of musical chairs and then ended up on someone else’s chair with their “affirmation card”. Then we all sat on the floor in a circular form around a bowl like a flower. We closed our eyes, and then one at a time someone would be tapped on the shoulder as a cue to read the affirmation card and then put it in the bowl…which was like a pool for our leadership projection. It was so cool to meditate and hear one by one these thoughts. The voices of everyone speaking would bounce back and forth from different parts of the room as each person spoke. It was a great feeling of group consciousness and very empowering to do this together as a group. This experience made me think how it would be cool to hear this again as a personal affirmation and to motive me. So I got all the cards after the meeting, and got as many people as I could, to re-create reading the cards. Then I added in some beautiful music by Balvinder Singh from Australia and it was done.

You can take a listen if you like, an hopefully it will help give a spark to you, to help find the leader in you.

Leadership Affirmations

Music by: Balvinder Singh (Australia)
Remixed by: Gurumustuk Singh, with affirmations of Sikh Youth from Espanola, New Mexico after the above mentioned leadership meeting.

Download Affirmations with Music (11MB)

The music in the above clip is by a new Sikh musician from Australia, Balvinder Singh. Please support him and his first CD by ordering a copy from his website.

Ps. Big thanks yous to: Nirmal S., Dharam S., Sat Jiwan K., Suraj, Gurudarshan K, Hari Mandir K, Lakhmi Chand, Himmat Singh, Hari Bhajan K, Kyla who were instrumental in organizing the meeting.

7 Responses to “Working Together – Finding the Leader In You”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Waheguru Jee Ka Khalsa! Waheguru Jee Kee Fateh!

    The music and affirmations really touched me. I have always been inspired by your guys commitment and drive to better the sikh panth and finding realization through the guru. May God keep showering you with these blessings. Truly, a I feel overwhelmed with emotion and teary-eyed. Thank you so much!

    Waheguru Jee Ka Khalsa! Waheguru Jee Kee Fateh! the way i met Gurmustuk Veerji in Toronto (we all went to the zoo and had a time of true enlightenment at Amandeep Veerjis house).

  2. Bhai Gurumuatak Singh jee….

    You said, “Within the Sikh community many of us talk about how we don’t like what this or that Sikh Organization or person is doing. For any situation there are hundreds of critics and people making judgements……..It’s easy to sit at your desk and write some message on the internet, or complain to someone about somethingâ€?.

    And you also said, “The next time you have some critical thought or remark, think twice�.

    And then you also said, “there are many things done within the Sikh community which are totally backward, and in my opinion “un-sikh-like””.

    You are doing the same thing which you are asking others not to do, being judgemental and critical.

    As far as I think, a healthy criticisim is the best way to learn as one may be thinking and acting based on their own point of view. When you receive criticism, it gives you an opportunity to look at your actions from another angle and there by you can improvise and be better in what ever you are doing.

    Chardi Kala….

  3. Sarvjeet, I don’t see my remarks as judgmental. I am not criticising or putting anyone down with my comments. I am merely trying to share my experience of how I see things happening around me. And, I AM trying to help change things (which is the point of this post). Most of the critism that I see is more of “slander” than someone personally giving someone constructive criticism. Let’s not confuse the two.

    Quite often when I post a picture/video on my blog I get someone emailing some critical remark about something in the picture which “is wrong according to Sikhi”. It’s kind of frustrating sometimes getting these nit-picky comments. It’s as if people are looking really hard to find fault. I am not perfect and neither is anyone in our community. We just do the best we can and try to live Sikhi as best we know.

    Anways… I do my best to steer away from judging, and try to keep an open heart and open mind, even with those that want to hurt me. I find keeping and open heart alows me to see beyond people’s anger or hate.

  4. Bhai Gurumustak Singh jee

    I know you are doing a great job and so do the people (know) who visit your blog, there is no doubt about it. The remarks you are talking about are mostly left by anonymous visitors except for some of the times. My suggestion to you is donot take these remarks personaly, especially the anonymous critics. I believe if a person is giving any criticism without his/her name being published, it is not a healthy criticism. I will be glad that if I say something and I get healthy critical remarks. I view it as an learning opportunity. And the unhealthy remarks, I dont think that it is worth spending time on them as you donot know who are you interacting with.

    I also know that you are not criticising any person in your recent blog that you published. You are talking about Sikhs as a whole. And you said it very right, that a Sikh should have an open heart and mind, even towards the people who are not our well wishers or donot agree with us on certain issues. Thats how humble a Guru’s Sikh should be, who should be thinking of “sarbat da bhala” at all times as he/she gets included in it as well.

  5. kiran says:

    hey GM,

    jus wanted to say that the post was helped me some…


    you always find something to pick on, don’t ya…


    ps it was a nice day in London today…not too cold.

  6. Kiran jee….

    Thanx for your remarks. All I can say is that it depends the level of inspiration of a person. Some are already inspired enough and some need more of it. Furthermore, I always have said and acknowledged that Bhai Gurumustak Singh is doing a job not many can think of doing or can achieve. You will find the proof if you carefully read my last comment to which you passed this beautiful remark to me and many other posts that I wrote in the past. Whatever I write in response to Bhai Gurumustak Singh’s posts, I consider it as healthy exchange of views. If in you vocabulary it is called picking, then I better stick to American English.

  7. xSHANTIx says:

    this is a great blog entry. i guess i do complain more than i realise rather than actually taking action and trying to solve a problem, i want to get better at making changes where and how i can. I hope Guru Ji gives me the strength to do so. Sometimes i feel that when i reccommend things to my sangat, they always take my ideas as being too white or too western, but actually they are, i believe, Sikh ideas, jus not punjabi. People in my sangat tend to try and tell me how to live my life, who i should talk to, what i should dress like, how i should act even what music i listen to! Although i do want to make a change, it is very hard and very mentally tiring, sometimes i just feel like i shud give up hope and play into their ways for an easy life, but then i guess Guru Ji sends me a message not to give up, at least not yet. If someone is going to take a stand and not be just another small person who cant do anything, it should be advised that they may face much hostility and grief, its at this time you need to keep up your banis, your sadhana and keep as Gurmukh as possible. Without mentally preparing to stand up and be counted, i think there will be no power in it. Sorry if i offended anyone, just my thoughts. Bul Chuk Maf Karna.