Who am I?

Such a simple question and yet the answer is often unclear, vague or confusing. I have been spending time over the past few months reflecting on the next stage of life. In the background of this contemplation are the dramatic changes going on throughout the world. Much of what I thought was the “common sense” of how things work has proven to be incorrect.

One of the most powerful examples of a person who walked with certainty was the life of Mohandas Gandhi. A story that created a profound awakening in me was from Paramahansa Yogananda’s book, Autobiography of a Yogi. Yogananda visited Maganvadi, Gandhi’s ashram, and during one of his conversations with the father of modern India Yogananda asked, “May one not kill a cobra to protect a child, or one’s self?”

To which Gandhi answered, “I could not kill a cobra without violating two of my vows-fearlessness, and non-killing. I would rather try inwardly to calm the snake by vibrations of love. I cannot possibly lower my standards to suit my circumstances.” With his amazing candor, Gandhi added, “I must confess that I could not carry on this conversation were I faced by a cobra!”

I have read this story before and each time I would have some inner dialogue that started with, “yeah, but”. Surely I thought it is right to kill to protect. As I read this again over the past few days, I realize that Gandhi’s power to inspire both Indians and those around the world such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela was because of his clarity of who he was and what he should for and his absolute commitment to deliberately live his values.

I also would say to myself, well that was Gandhi but I am a “mere mortal”. I can’t live a life like that. This simple and undermining belief has been a nemesis for much of my life. Why do I accept that I can’t, each day, begin anew the walk of my own truth? Why can’t I allow the purpose of my life and the values I hold dear to guide every thought, inform every choice and fill every action? No reason actually, except my fear of letting go of some things I think I need.

Could I, like Gandhi distribute all my wealth to the poor and live a life of simplicity and non-attachment? I don’t know. What I do know is that it is important for me to examine my foundation to make sure it is firm. The first stage of that requires impeccable honesty, courage and an open heart.

With that clarity, I then can clearly see what I am called to do. Then the real test of my determination will be presented. I will share the unfolding of this process with you.

Until later,


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Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

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