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Why Mandela Won


My fascination mandelais with Icons. Titans. Heroes. And Legends…

…the great souls who accept the call to greatness we each have on our lives and rise up to their best.

On a visit to Johannesburg to deliver a leadership presentation a while ago, I had the privilege to have a private conversation with someone in Nelson Mandela’s inner circle.

I learned more of his visionary nature, his rare-air discipline and his longing to be a force for good in an increasingly chaotic world.

What has stayed with me most is that I heard Mr. Mandela only became Nelson Mandela during his years in prison. In other words, it was the solitude, degradation, devastation and inhumanity of that time in confinement that made him who he became.

Here’s my real point…

…it was the time away from the world that allowed him to lead in the world.

While he was on Robben Island, he read the books of the iconic leaders. He studied the habits of the great souls. He reflected on the key moral virtues. He transmuted hostility into opportunity. He transformed his anger into forgiveness.

And as the gorgeous result of his inner work, when he was made president of South Africa, his jailers were invited to the ceremony. When asked why, he replied that if they were not there, he’d still be in prison (because his mind would still be in chains).

And so, I ask you with true respect…are you longing to work and live at wow in the world but walking through your days with a mind shackled by chains?

Nothing is more important than building your inner architecture of undefeatability and greatness.

Nothing is more important than strengthening your character, elevating your thinking and releasing your fearful beliefs.

Nothing is more important than cleansing your heart of resentment and forgiving those who have wronged you.

Nothing is more important than shifting from selfish to selfless–and donating the rest of your life to a mission that is bigger than yourself.

I guess the idea I’m really inviting you to play with over the next few days is that your outer world is a beautiful (or messy) reflection of your inner world.

Victims blame everything on everyone. But to really LEAD your life, you and I absolutely must own that all that’s in our lives right now is the result of our own actions. Every movement we’ve made has created a consequence. Every cause has had an effect…

…and as we make the rise to excellence of thought, performance and being, all we do rises with us.

Anyway, hope this relatively quick piece I’ve just tapped out in a burst of inspiration and desire to serve is helpful. And that it reminds you of your truest nature…as well as the potential within you asking to be expressed.

Make today epic. This IS your time. And I’m here with you on this ride.

With much appreciation + encouragement,

why mandela won




By Robin Sharma, #1 bestselling author of The Leader Who Had No Title

Read this blog on Robin Sharma’s website by clicking here

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Comments (2)

  • Avatar



    Awesome story about Mandela and about the way to rise above lief’s challenges for the better,emt of mankind. I thank you Sir for posting


    • Avatar

      Trish Taylor


      Thank you for the reply. Mandela was such a legend, and such an incredibly inspiring gentleman, that all stories about him are wonderful. Us, South Africans will be eternally grateful for his leadership, and wisdom.


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