October 1st 2015: Thought of the Day

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I have not posted in a while, since I have been inundated with medical school applications. I just submitted my last one today! Anyhow hearing the Robin Sharma quote above and volunteering at St. Paul’s hospital today inspired me to write a post.

Unfortunately, too many people believe that

Unfortunately, too many people believe that “leaders” are the loudest people telling everyone what to do. That is not true leadership.

In our age, the notion of leadership is completely distorted. A leader is NOT the loudest person who is frantically ordering everyone around. Leaders come in many forms. Yet all leaders share a dedication to service and contributing value to others.

Every Thursday I visit patients in the wards at Saint Paul’s Hospital. Having the opportunity to serve those who need help the most is truly rewarding. Reflecting on today’s shift made me think of the quote above. It is truly remarkable the impact one can have when you can put your ego to the side and be willing to serve and add value to others’ lives in any way possible.

Serving others to become the best leader you can be will not only drastically improve others’ lives but also yours. The research in the field of positive psychology clearly demonstrates that random acts of kindness are one of the best ways to increase your own happiness (If you are interested in learning more about this burgeoning field check out The Happiness Advantage).

So how can you begin implementing this wisdom in you life? I highly recommend that you being volunteering. It will not only make you happier but also give you the best chance of reaching your dreams.

On the other hand, if you absolutely can not carve out time to volunteer that is okay. Volunteering is great, but it is of secondary importance. What is most important is a permanent shift in your mindset The vast majority of people are much too concerned with themselves. That is why depression and stress related diseases are on the rise. When one is obsessing over themselves everything seems gloomy and a pressing problem.

When you change your focus to how you can serve, the world suddenly seems ripe with opportunity. So if you are unable to volunteer then focus on doing whatever you can to brighten someone else’s day. Maybe hold the door for that person behind you. Pay the toll for the person behind you. Smile at that stranger who seems down. The possibilities are endless.

Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,

Pavan Mehat

PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.

Pavan Mehat’s LinkedIn

Pavan Mehat’s Instagram

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March 28th 2015: Thought of the Day

In Stephen Mitchell’s adaptation of the Chinese sacred text Tao Te Ching he offers a powerful interpretation of Lao-Tzu’s approach to leadership:

 I have just three things to teach:

Simplicity, patience, compassion.

These three are the greatest treasures.

Simple in actions and thoughts,

you return to the source of being.

Patient with both friends and enemies,

you accord with the way things are.

Compassionate toward yourself,

you reconcile all beings in the world

I absolutely love this quote as it discusses a topic that is near and dear to my heart and something that I struggled with during my basketball career. Leadership. What is leadership? I wish I could give you a nice and succinct answer, but I cannot nor do I think anyone really can.

Lao-Tzu’s description of his approach to leadership may seem to encapsulate ideas one may think are not that important but I would disagree vehemently. Simplicity is absolutely essentially to being a great leader. Champions are not won on the day of the game, but by all the tiny, seemingly inconsequential, tasks that are completed on a daily basis without failure. This moment is the most important, no matter how mundane it may seem. Patience and compassion are equally as important as nothing great is done quickly, it takes time and requires that you love the process. Mastery of all these traits means that you are truly living as fully as possible in the moment and loving the process.

How would one take and apply this wisdom into their life? It is vital to remember that common action is NOT common knowledge and that all knowledge is dead unless it is acted upon. Sam wrote a great posts about mindfulness and being mindful and embracing what is, because that is life itself, is essential to mastering these three pillars of effective leadership.

It may seem that this monk and Michael Jordan have nothing in common, but that could not be further from the truth. The share an intense like focus on what they are doing RIGHT NOW.

It may seem that this monk and Michael Jordan have nothing in common, but that could not be further from the truth. The share an intense like focus on what they are doing RIGHT NOW.

You may exclaim meditation is not for me, and Michael Jordan did not feel he needed meditation. However, Jordan was a rare athlete in which he could instantly enter a state of laser sharp focus that many life-long zen practitioners would be jealous of once he entered intense competition.

So if you do not want to meditate, how can you use mindfulness to help you better implement these strategies into you life? Pay attention to your breath. Whenever, you find you are ignoring the simple things in this moment, or you want the future to be NOW or are getting frustrated with someone. Step back, and pay attention to how miraculous and beautiful it is that your body knows when to breath without you even having to think about it! The breath is a wonderful portal from the world of form in the formless realm. Enjoy the process, and remember that excellence matters.