I’ve been listening to Bob Marley’s music for over 15 years now, and it always inspires me. From watching the documentaries on his life and reading books about Bob I have realized that while he felt he was on a mission to spread peace and love, and educate the people of Jamaica and the rest of the world on events which affected all of us; he also understood the principles of self-leadership. Principles such as – taking responsibility for your actions, making choices in difficult times and standing by them, and focusing your thoughts on positive results and outcomes we want to achieve. “Every man got a right to decide his own destiny, And in this judgment there is no partiality” – Zimbabwe We must first understand that we are the liberators as well as the captors, Yes, there will be times of difficulty and when challenges present themselves on many fronts, but by keeping things simple, resisting the urge to be negative, keeping our vision firmly in front of us success will present itself. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery None but ourselves can free our minds” – Redemption Song What are the negative thoughts and memories that keep us shackled in mediocrity? Failure is past instances when we have had to lead or make major decisions? Perhaps we’ve done things when we weren’t operating at our highest self. Those mental scars are lessons to be learnt from, and not to be chained too. Just remember it is us, and only us, that have placed our reality in captivity. The key to freedom is understanding that we are the liberators as well as the captors, and it requires just a change of lyrics thought or perspective in an instant that allows us to switch roles. “Open your eyes And look within Are you satisfied With the life you’re living?” – Exodus We must constantly ask ourselves the above question. As a leader we must continually move forward and not remain complacent. Tony Robbins teaches in his Unleash The Power Within Seminar that the two spiritual needs are “growth” and “contribution”. By keeping our eyes open and asking if we are satisfied with the life we’re living, the answer can only be yes when we are constantly meeting these two spiritual needs. There’s a famous Afghan proverb that says: “If you think you are leading and no one is following you, then you are only taking a walk”. Agreed. But, we are walking forward, and that brings us closer to what we want to achieve. I’ve felt that the four excerpts below help us build the foundation for self-leadership. Because you must first lead yourself before you can lead anyone else. “Every man got a right to decide his own destiny, And in this judgment there is no partiality” – Zimbabwe We must first understand that we are responsible for the path we choose in life. It is ultimately our decision on the life we lead. Once we start stepping up and taking ownership of our choices and judgments we become empowered and others are more likely to follow our direction. “Life is one big road with lots of signs So when you riding through the ruts Don’t you complicate your mind Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy Don’t bury your thoughts Put your vision to reality Yeah!” – Wake Up And Live As leaders we must trust our inner guide on life’s journey when making the many choices that affect us our family, friends, and people at work.