Leading yourself in order to lead others

When Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them”, he pretty much was echoing a wisdom that predated him for centuries. It says in the book of Proverbs, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him”. 

Foolishness can both be a condition or a reaction. We often get caught in between certain behaviors in people that it is almost impossible for us to forgo our rights to redress or claims for dignity. When people misconstrue your actions (or words) and then you remember Covey’s 7 habits, one of which is, “seek to understand and then be understood”, you wonder if this particular “specie” is one of those less evolved (just a little), and knows not the way of decorum as to employ the habit in relating to you. The interesting thing (and intriguing maybe) is that you are bound by the same principle.

To not answer a fool according his folly, is to realize that there is a reaction targeted at you that seems to fall short of the basics of decorum yet providing a similar response puts both of you in the same level. Once you answer a situation (or the antagonist) according to its claims, you have both subscribed to the same heritage – that’s right, foolishness.

…always find a way to raise your awareness beyond and above whatever you might be experiencing at the moment.

Choosing to respond from a more aware position will reduce tension, elevate the other party, sought of call forth a dignified recourse, and then we have a WIN-WIN situation. Solutions are not about engaging the problem with any idea that comes to mind; it is about taking your thoughts to a higher frequency of awareness, sought of viewing the problem from a summit, in order to provide a profound and permanent solution.

If you think about a problem while you have already entered a worrisome state, you will only aggravate the situation. Find a way to put yourself in a restful, joyful, grateful state. How? Think of what you are most grateful for…the best moment in your life…your biggest achievement…etc. If you fix your mind on it, you will suddenly realize that you have shifted your vibration (your feelings) to a more constructive one. When you are in creation mode, the solution gets clearer in your spirit.

If you have not yet shifted your feelings about a verbal assault from a friend (or foe) or a less than desirable incidence, don’t proceed with your search for solution. You will dissipate energy; and because your energy is vibrating in a negative format, it depletes your capacity for resolution, even on the long term. But if you wait…just go get something that takes your mind off of it and puts you in a state of gratitude to God, excitement about life, anticipation of better times – music, poetry (may be a love letter from your spouse or would-be), and of course scriptures (where you are reminded of God’s love and promises to you) – and you will shift your mind to a more positive state where it will be easier to grasp the solution.

Even if you choose to answer the fool according to his folly, just make sure you precede it by answering him not according to his folly. ‘Cos that is the exact same order given in Proverbs. After answering him not according to his folly, then you can now drop the “bomb”; for it will be less hurtful for your “opponent” and he might be remedied from his folly.

Always meet life at a level that commands its immediate submission. Or what else is leadership if not the ability to see things in a bigger, larger perspective than your immediate challenges/than the people in your immediate environment and beyond?


Scripture Quotation from Proverbs 26:4-5 King James Version

Image from Google

Published by Olamide OPEYEMI

Personal Mastery Advisor. Consultant. Speaker.

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  1. Profound reflections indeed. To master reactive feelings and choose to impose a higher reality on every experience is how we grow to find our most noble self. Thank you!


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