As the world anticipates the impact of Donald J. Trump’s ascension to the role of U.S. President and commander-in-chief, many wonder who the leader will rely on for counsel.
Potential candidates are lining up and include former federal and state officials, business leaders familiar to the president-elect, campaign staffers, and Trump family members.
Thankfully, president-elect Trump has already signaled major shifts away from several controversial positions that polarized voters and spread broad concern about the future moral authority long attributed to the world’s remaining superpower. The future has not been decided yet.
Optimistically, I’d like to suggest two sources of sage counsel for our future president. Each man is a true Chief, connecting what he does (with discipline, creativity, and support for others) to who he is (with insight and a strong commitment to values).
Separately, each has earned the respect of tens of millions of followers worldwide. Together, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have recently shared a simple eight-part plan for success in The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.
Specifically, they offer “Eight Pillars of Joy,” which provide a foundation for happiness in the face of obstacles such as fear, stress, anger, grief, illness, and death. If our new commander-in-chief adopts this wise guidance, I believe he will be more successful at bringing our nation together, a goal he has expressed.
How can this eight-part plan be applied to the most demanding job in the world? Here’s my take:
- Perspective – Listen to the problems and worries of each group.
- Humility – Understand that you may not have all the answers.
- Humor – Be able to laugh at yourself once in a while.
- Acceptance – Acknowledge your limits.
- Forgiveness – Forgive those who have treated you badly and seek forgiveness from those you have treated badly.
- Gratitude – Be grateful for how far you have come.
- Compassion – Have empathy for each person you encounter, each group affected by your policies, and each nation you engage.
- Generosity – Give more than you receive. Always.
As individuals, each of us needs to make our own contribution to the future of our neighborhoods and communities, and to the world at large. It is important for each of us to be Chief as well, connecting what we do to who we are. Everyone has a role in creating a better future.
Author Frank Outlaw offers all of us additional sage counsel as we mindfully do our part:
“Watch your feelings, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch or actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character; it will become your destiny.”
So as we look to the future, let’s remain hopeful about choices others will make and hold ourselves accountable for our own.
What will you do today to contribute to a better future for us all?