Most high executives and business owners don’t believe in destiny. The very concept that our future paths could be predetermined by something or someone other than ourselves has been long outdated. Yet giving in to the life roadmap deeply encoded in our minds and bodies may be the only way to uncover the true leader within ourselves. This is one of those arguments you can never win: do we make our own destiny or does it make us?
Each one of us has a clear-cut, unquestionable answer to this question, because like all matters pertaining to the why of things in our world, a large part of the reasoning we use to justify our choice is not of this world: all those ideas and certainties we inherit from the religions and spiritual paths we’re exposed to from the beginning of time. Let me just tickle your brain with an intermediate shade of grey between the white slavery-to-the-unknown and the black know-it-all-control, ok? Many early human cultures were convinced that a man’s destiny was decided by “the Gods”.
All one could do was try to play nice to these scary invisible characters, some of which could have terrible, unpredictable mood-swings and honestly irresponsible passions. Greek and Roman mythology tales are as full of drama and suspense as any of our modern day TV thrillers. But alas, in the last few thousand years we’ve dominated unruly rivers with our dams, turned fire into our slave and figured out most mysteries hiding in our skies, beneath our skin, or beyond what our eyes can see or our ears can hear…we must be just about to finally predict the weather!
Humans have resolved so many puzzles about the world we live — and play – in, that we now see ourselves above Nature all too often. Not even volcanoes impress us now…we have a scientific explanation to deconstruct and downsize any and every aspect of random mystery around us. I won’t argue with you about how divinity may or may not hide beneath or behind the magnificent planet we live on. I’ll just point you to the part of yourself that is going to happen whether you like it or not: emotions, impulses, huge mistakes, and even sickness.
The secret pool of your unconscious mind and body hides many a prediction about who you will fall in love with, what kind of profession you will choose, and what type of bias you will repeat again, again and again, sabotaging your own leadership despite your best intentions.
Much to our middle-age dismay, our bodies and minds go through an elaborate process of unconscious imprinting from the day we are conceived to the day we come of age. Once we are eighteen, more or less, we are ready to go on our way, choose the lives we’ve always wanted and fight for them tirelessly. If only we hadn’t chosen them because our parents liked them or because they absolutely hated them, right?
By the time we become adults we have experienced millions of interactions with our parents and families which carry two intentions: a tangible, most often unimportant one like making us eat our macaroni, and an invisible, inescapable, inevitable one. An unconscious intention our parents may never become aware of, just as their own folks ignored what was being passed down to them.
These unconscious messages we inherit from old ancestors in our family tree are indefinable. They are not made up of words or reason. They are made of feelings, emotions, wants, frustrations…silent tears, forbidden loves, muffled screams and denied fears. A mother who loved another man lies to her husband, seeking secret complicity in her son.
A father who can’t get over his orphan complex is cold and distant to his kids….emotional wounds of different kinds take place in every family. As adults do their best to deal with life’s tests, children pay the price of what can’t be faced, can’t be admitted, or can’t be overcome. And so a part of our future lives is decided for us as we eat our macaroni or rebelliously make a scene about not eating at all. Because if we were exposed to an excess of parental pressure we will become leaders who push employees too hard, or we’ll be pushovers to prove our parents wrong.
If our parents were too distant, we ourselves will be cold, evasive bosses like them, or exhaustingly intense communicators who give too much of what they never got. Those of us who grew up in submissive poverty will build organizations to be above any risk of failure, or drive every enterprise we start up into the ground. Millions of childhood interactions gradually shape the map of highways and roads between our neurons, joining thoughts to feelings, connecting instincts to movements. They conform our views of life, family, and business, sculpting our characters and preferences.
They also trap us, however, into frustrating patterns of repetition in every aspect of our lives. Until we stop hiding from them or fighting them. Until we become aware of them and release them. Yes. We are driven by a certain kind of destinies. As long as we deny them, ignore them, oppose them, we’re forced to repeat well-known family failures.
The only way we conquer our fortunes like true heroic leaders, is by giving in to the emotional destiny our parents left to us. We can’t truly lead with passion and bravery until we stop wasting energy on hiding our deeper selves in a cage. We can’t envision truly motivational strategies if our hearts are locked in a battle against unresolved grief, anger or fear from our past.
We won’t make our followers feel safe under our guidance if one side of ourselves is violently attacking the other. Efficiency, growth and business success elude us as long as we still judge the part of our parents that lives on inside our souls.
When we finally give in to the emotional destiny imprinted in our bodies, we begin to lead others by example. As we slowly release each layer of unconscious emotion, our eyes gain luminous wisdom, our face relaxes to smile playfully at the future, our body regains juvenile flexibility and our presence inspires everyone to join us behind our energetic stride.
When we discover the unforgettable leaders we were meant to be, we come to actually get our parents at last.