By Henna Inam
Dr. Wayne Dyer was one of my favorite authors. He passed away on Aug 29, 2015 at the age of 75.
If leadership is about influencing others, Wayne Dyer was one giant leader in influencing millions of people around the world. He was a master salesman, making many of his 30 books best-sellers, and raising over $100 million dollars for public broadcasting. His essential leadership message was to lead from the power within us. Most remarkably, he lived the messages he taught. Here are ten of his most powerful quotes to inspire your leadership today.
1. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” The essence of this message is the power of perspective. Our leadership challenges and behaviors often come from how we see things and the “story” or “meaning” we make about what we see. We can transcend many of the challenges we face simply by deciding to find a more empowered perspective. Wayne Dyer lived most of his childhood (up to the age of 10) in an orphanage. His father walked out on their family and his mother could not afford to take care of three young boys. He was able to transcend his childhood difficulties and indeed used his challenges to teach others. What will you see differently today that will serve your leadership?
2. “A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.” Our 24/7 workplaces have us stressed and overwhelmed. More than ever, we need to find our center to make the right decisions. How do you find your center in the midst of the chaos and churn to make emotionally intelligent decisions?
3. “Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.” Wayne Dyer, who had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2012, talked about his death as “the next adventure”. He continued the pace of his teaching despite health concerns.
4.”Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.” The essence of leading well is being present to the opportunities in the moment right now. Yes, we need to create plans. And in a world that is constantly changing we need to be able to adapt to the environment around us. How are you doing that?
5. “Truly inspiring leaders get results by their own example: They encourage others to be responsible and do the right thing…they create space for others to be inspired and to achieve their own greatness.” Who are you inspiring today to achieve their own greatness?
6. “Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.” How have the choices you are making today impact who you are becoming? Is this the legacy you want for yourself?
7. “Self-actualized people are independent of the good opinion of others…Be a scurvy elephant”. As a child one day Wayne Dyer returned home, upset because he overheard his teacher calling him a “scurvy elephant.” When he shared this concern with his foster mother, she called the teacher who said, “Oh, that Wayne — he’s always getting things wrong. I didn’t call him a scurvy elephant; I said he was a disturbing element (in class).” Wayne Dyer was willing to take risks, do things differently, often driven by his inner voice. He was a pioneer in the “self-help” genre before it even existed. He quit his job driven by the conviction of his inner voice.
8. “I never sell a book. I sell myself. And, the way to sell yourself is to be an instrument of love.” Many of Wayne Dyer’s 30 books are best sellers. His message to his audience was to start by serving others rather than thinking about “what’s in it for me?”
9. “Relationships based on obligation lack dignity. Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others.” Who are you judging today and how is that impacting what you can create with them?
10. “There’s no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love. There is only a scarcity of resolve to make it happen.” After writing his first book called Your Erroneous Zones, Dyer quit his teaching job and began a publicity tour of the United States, pursuing bookstore appearances and media interviews out of the back of his station wagon, making this book a best-seller. In this way he reminded us that “the extra mile is never crowded”, to always go the extra mile.
Wayne Dyer was an inspiration to me personally, and millions of others. We all wish him well in his next adventure.