I am writing this quick post from a beautiful retreat place in Oxfordshire, England.
I am on a Peace Retreat for the weekend and as I was driving down from London, I listened to President Obama graciously acknowledging the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to him just one year into his presidency.
Already there have been some suggestions that this award is a bit premature and that he is yet to have achieved anything.
However as President Obama himself said, this award is a call for action and acknowledgement that he and his team are on the right track.
The world today more than ever needs leaders like President Obama to stand up and do the right thing. As he said, we continue to face huge challenges of global warming, economic meltdown and nuclear war catastrophe.
Unless we all work together to tackle the challenge of global warming, just what sort of world will we be leaving behind for our children?
And as President Obama said, the removal of the scourge of nuclear weapons may not happen in his lifetime, but it is something to aspire to.
It is simple really – the world has enough nuclear weapons to destroy the earth many times over – and there can never be a winner either in any nuclear war as the whole planet gets damaged. So why can’t we just get rid of them?
Maybe I am being a bit simplistic – but I have learnt that life is simple. In this case it actually simply about death all around – I die, you die, we all die.
So can we all do for our bit?
What does one need to do to win the Nobel Peace prize?
Firstly, start with the lessons from Gandhi, someone who strangely never received the Nobel Peace prize but was due to be nominated the year of his assassination.
My last post about Gandhi’s lessons really hit the spot with my readers and received the page viewsever on my blog within just 24 hours.
So start with Gandhi’s 6 lessons.
To add to Gandhi’s lessons here are a few more key steps:-
1. Believe in a sense of destiny
Many world leaders like Gandhi and Mandela had a sense of destiny from early in their life and President Obama is no different.
So believe in a huge and noble purpose for your life – and you are likely to live up to it.
2. Create your vision for the world
Believe in the bigger picture and the higher good.
President Obama has recognised the need for the world to work together to tackle the challenges we face today – no one person or country can do so on their own.
It is a win win situation all around.
What is your vision for the world?
3. Believe in yourself
Trust yourself and your own ability to follow your chosen life path. Once you are on your journey, people who can help you on your way will always show up.
So come what may, believe in yourself and yet be humble.
4. Find a great, supportive partner
You will need great people around you for what could be a challenging and long journey. So have a supportive partner who also believes in your journey and chosen path.
President Obama is very lucky to have a great team around him but most of all he relies on Michelle Obama as his confidant, life partner and sounding board.
So find someone like that in your life. And of course create a great team around you.
5. Get Started
As I said the world needs people like you to take a stand for what they believe in.
So do not hesitate any longer – the world needs more leaders – why waste another day?
Why should you even want to win the Nobel Peace prize?
To summarise, we all have within us the personal power and capacity to be also one day bestowed with the Noble Peace Prize.
And that brings me to the whole purpose of writing this post – it is not about winning or being nominated for such accolades. It is simply about living your life in such a way that one day the world may choose to honour you in such a manner.
The ultimate honour and recognition from the rest of the world is but just a small part of the picture – your actual journey is what really, really matters.
I remember watching a documentary drama about the life of Dr Martin Luther King. The day he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize, his wife Coretta Scott King answers the phone and receives the wonderful news. She conveys the news to Dr King and breaks down with emotion and utters some words to the effect – “This means we are right. Justice and the world is on our side!”
One can even argue that Dr King winning the Nobel Peace prize gave his cause a big push and world recognition – the days of racial segregation were cleared numbered after that award.
Now over 40 years later, Dr King would have been so proud not only to see someone like Barrack Obama as president, but also winning the Nobel Peace prize. The world has come a long way since that time.
And the world has to go a long way if we are to even see out the next 40 years.
As President Obama said today, this award of the Nobel Peace Prize is really a call for more action in the right direction from him, his team and of course the global community.
So to conclude, lets us first put aside the arguments about whether or not this prize was merited by President Obama as this stage in his presidency.
My point is that to be even considered for the Nobel Peace prize or indeed any other such accolade, means that you will have made such a significant contribution to the world and created such a legacy that millions around the world will have lived better lives because of you. Or indeed they would lived at all, period.
And that surely is the ultimate recognition and the greatest satisfaction.
What a gift to the world your life can be once you dedicate it to a higher cause – don’t waste another day in playing small.
I’m going to have to disagree a bit with you, Arvind.
The Nobel prize is a great honor, it’s true – but not one that Obama yet deserves. In my book, the peace prize ought to be given out for things accomplished, not for things promised. There’s a big difference between words and actions, as I think Obama is learning while in office.
That’s why I’m rather disappointed in the Nobel committee’s choice … I think there were much more deserving candidates for the prize.
I think it’s also worth remembering that the Nobel prize isn’t an award from the world – it’s an award given out by a very small committee of people.
My point is this: instead of looking to win a Nobel prize from a bunch of people we don’t know, we should think hard about who the people we -want- to receive honors from are.
Jeffrey, thanks for your insightful comments about the justification of President Obama receiving the Nobel Peace prize so early in his presidency.
I too have mixed feelings about this but do believe that the award is for hope and anticipated steps in the right direction.
Let us hope he delivers – what a massive change and contract from his predecessor.
Arvind, I won’t go into a discussion whether he deserved the price at this time or not. There might be others who had deserved it just as much based on their achievements for peace. But what Obama clearly symbolizes (like Ghandi or Mandela) is a trust in ones ability to change things. To become the change you would like to see in the world. We have yet to see, whether he can really achieve what he strives for, yet the change that his election brought into the minds of so many people is already enormous. And I hope that this price (though maybe this time being more given as a call to action than as an honoring of already achieved things) will inspire him and the world to find and express the best qualities that are within him and us all.
Patrick, only time will tell us just how successful President Obama will be with his peace efforts. At least the Nobel Prize committee has given the prize to someone who has the power to bring about peace.
As you say, let this award be something that inspires all of us to express our best qualities:-)
hmmm, i’m wondering if people have missed the point with Arvind’s current blog…i don’t think it’s about whether Obama got the prize or now but about how we can be/become over powerful and integral in our own right and therefore creating positive change in the world and it future. just my thoughts…
ps Arvind possible to add facebook as one of your sharing options as i’d love to forward the video you created (woderful!) to all my friends there. thanks!
Exactly Tania, my point was to learn from the examples of Obama and other prize winners and see how we can bring about the same vision, drive and commitment to a bigger cause in our own lives.
PS Tania, I have now added Facebook as one of my sharing options – it was there at one time but had clearly disappeared.
Thaks for wanting to share my video with your friends:-)
Thank Arvind for taking on a topic even though it has a political twinge to it. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I love that you have tackled it. You will only become as big as you think you can be. If Martin Luther King had thought that he could only change his neighborhood then I am sure that he would have succeeded, but he never would have changed the world.
Geri, welcome to my blog, and thanks for the positive endorsement.
When I wrote this post on Friday afternoon soon after the award was announced I didn’t expect it to be a controversial decision.
The real question for all of us as you say is just how big a change do you want to make in the world?
Do you want to change the world or just your neighbourhood? I suspect that the time and energy required to change the world is actually not that much more! You just need that clarity and intention and anyone can do it in due course.
Lets all begin today in our way….
I like the point you made about finding a great supporting partner. For me it has been a world of difference in finding peace and perusing my passion. I appreciate the support my wife gives me everyday. I know a lot of other successful people that have the same support.
Jai Kai, in an ideal world we could do it all without a partner but having a supportive partner also makes it all more fun!
Arvind, one of your best essays so far!