Untitled-1Monday Morning Motivation:
“Great Leaders Absorb Pain”.. Can You?


Happy Monday everyone!

“Great leaders absorb pain.”

I heard that last week while I was filming Sweet Retreats in Park City, Utah. Nelson Mandela had just died a few hours prior and, while on the treadmill I tuned into cable news. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in lake Forest, California was on TV talking about Mandela’s passing. He said something that I heard loud and clear, even over all my huffing and puffing.

“Great leaders absorb pain.”

Warren cited several people for whom this was true;  Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Junior and of course, Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela, the South African activist-turned president, certainly knew what it meant to absorb pain. Protesting against the systematic and government-sanctioned Apartheid, Mandela was jailed, spending nearly three decades of his life behind bars.

When Mandela was freed and elected as South Africa’s first black president, he had a chance for retribution. He easily could have struck out at his former captors, the very ones who imprisoned him in an 8 X 8 cell for nearly 30 years.

Related: Monday Morning Motivation: There Is No Easy Way! 4 Reasons You Should Stop Looking For One

But he did not. Instead, Mandela worked side-by-side with, then-president, F.W. de Klerk to end Apartheid and the two men ultimately shared the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.

I think the lasting lessons from Nelson Mandela could do us all a bit of good. When you look at where we are as a country, so divided, hurt and angry, there doesn’t seem to be one person willing to put down his or her weapon, to absorb the pain. Instead, so many of us are concerned with being right and saving face.

I say us because I count myself in that group. I have a short fuse and a long (LONG) memory; when someone does me wrong, it’s really hard for me to turn the other cheek. But I admit it and I’m trying to change.

Politically speaking, when we compare all the back and forth and one-upmanship of present day politics to Mandela and what he was able to accomplish, it’s easy to see why he was so special.

So how about a little challenge and I’ll do it too; today we lay down our weapons. Have someone at work who you’re getting along with? Try a little kindness. And if they don’t return the favor, do as Nelson Mandela did, as all great leaders do… absorb the pain and move on.

Can you do it? Let us know in comments if you’ll try it and how it goes!