District 41 Toastmasters

Navigating leadership and emotions

How do you feel today? A bit irritated? Or, motivated to conquer any herculean task? Welcome to the 21st-century emotional rollercoaster. Our reactions to these feelings are like compasses, aiding us to discover ourselves. Amidst this, I often ponder how leaders who inspire me daily are invincible to such emotional turbulence. How do leaders stay committed?

Agitation and Irritation are words that sound very similar but also are poles apart. The distinction lies in elements or situations that elicit such emotions. Remember your school days? Those days when you forced yourself to complete assignments and when you were anxious about tests. You feel irritated when you push yourself to engage in activities you dislike. On the contrary, you feel agitated when you engage in activities you are passionate about. Jumping back to our earlier example, I’m sure in your school days there must have been some competitions, and extra-curricular activities where you were nervous but at the same time excited to showcase your ability and perform. That’s the thrill of agitation.

Love, Joy, Passion and Dreams. In our modern era, pursuing passions is celebrated, and rightly so, as it brings out the best version of ourselves. But is that the sole purpose of life? Should we merely follow our passion and chase the thrill of agitation? Can it be that our role in this vast infinite universe spanning millions of light years is following our passion? I, too, have pondered these questions deeply. There must be some reason for our existence, a role to fulfil, and a goal to accomplish. I’ve come to believe that our true purpose in life is greater than our passion. It lies in dedicating ourselves to serving others. Lord Shree Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita has taught us that the purpose of human life is to solve life’s problems. My interpretation of this message would be to play out our unique role in this vast universe. Solving life’s problems doesn’t require a doctorate. But it does demand your sincere effort in whatever role you play as a guardian, as a professional, as a partner or as a mentor. It’s about contributing your part, however small or big.

The moments of profound joy and enrichment I’ve experienced didn’t come from chasing personal accolades or self-centered endeavors. Instead, I felt the happiest when I played my role in life, when I dedicated my life to serve others, working on projects as an engineer to improve interconnectivity in Nepal. I believe the reward of happiness in service to others is what keeps leaders motivated.

Being motivated to be a leader isn’t just limited to driving change and making a positive impact. Enjoying the process is important too, which is achieved by balancing the three main elements-understanding your role, dedicating yourself to service, and savoring the fruits of happiness that are nurtured through tireless endeavors. So, as we explore our passions, remember the essence of a fulfilling life lies in serving others. Embrace the thrill of agitation, but channel it towards a greater good. Let us navigate passion, noble service and leadership to create a world where our actions have a positive impact on the lives of others. No matter how small our contributions are.

Shreenij Maharjan
Kathmandu Toastmasters Club