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Timeless Leadership: 18 Leadership Sutras from the Bhagavad Gita by Debashis Chatterjee

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SUTRA 2

INVINCIBLE WISDOM

Leaders Create Alternative Reality

Arjuna’s despondency deepens. His intellect is dulled by self-pity. Arjuna’s mind is clouded by a reality that he constructs out of his emotionally turbulent mind. Krishna realizes that the only way to liberate Arjuna from his cowardice is to present to him an alternative reality. This is what timeless leaders do: They reframe reality in a way that gives hope to their followers, often in the most hopeless of circumstances. Krishna creates an alternative reality for Arjuna by showing him how to think like a victor rather than a victim. Krishna rouses Arjuna as he says, “How unbecoming of a hero is it to abandon a just war that was decided on after great deliberation? How can you protect your reputation if you retreat from the battle now?” His mentor’s words begin to have an effect on Arjuna. The cloud of despair that had gathered around his mind has begun to disperse. The warrior in Arjuna has begun to stir from deep inertia. The alternative reality that Krishna creates for him begins to move Arjuna toward action. It is here that Krishna unfolds before Arjuna the path of invincible wisdom.

GRIEF, PITY, AND SHAME: THE MIND’S GPS SYSTEM

Arjuna says to Krishna:

My heart is overpowered by grief, pity, and shame;

My mind is confused about whether to fight or to give in.

Tell me decisively what I should do.

I am your disciple. Instruct me for I have taken refuge in you.

(2.7)

Arjuna’s thoughts are guided by his mind’s “GPS” ...

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