When you decide to follow a certain path, you should follow it to the end and not be diverted from it for personal reasons.
Aung San Suu Kyi

The 1990 Nobel Peace winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, truly understands the importance of knowing one’s life purpose. She has lived to embrace her mission and persisted no matter what happens. Her father, Aung San, was a National Hero of Burma who led the fight against the British for the country’s independence, however, was assassinated by his rival. Her mother, Khin Kyi, was also political figure in the newly formed Burmese government. Aung San Suu Kyi knew that one day she will return to Burma and lead the people, so when she married Dr. Michael Aris, who was a Scholar of Tibetan Culture, she told him that she will only agree to marry if she will be allowed to go back to Burma. They met in Oxford, while studying there and raised a family together with their 2 sons, in London.

The fun of being together was robbed so soon when she returned to Burma to attend to her ailing mother. Her return galvanized people to start to revolt against the military power. People flock by the gate for hours just to convince her to lead team. This was a huge threat to the rival and everything became tougher and tougher each day for her and her family.

Aung San Suu Kyi House Arrest 2010

Huge crowds greeting Aung San Suu Kyi on her release from house arrest in 2010 – AFP

She was put on a house arrest for almost 15 years, she was not allowed to receive the prestigious Nobel Peace prize (her family received the prize on her behalf), her husband and kids were eventually denied of their visas and she never saw them again until recently (Kim, youngest son, came to visit after roughly 10 years) and his husband died of Prostate Cancer on his 55th birthday without her by his side. These were extremely difficult times and often times she was at the verge of giving up but she was steadfast on her mission to stay in Burma and give hope to the people. Her mission was fully supported by late her husband, kids and friends which fuel her passion and propels her to act.

To lead people is a difficult mission; and the fulfillment may not come fast and easy. It requires smart work, consistent and sound actions, unrelenting optimism amidst failures and a strong will to succeed with the sincerest love for the people. IT IS NOT A JOB. It is for the love to serve and using the talents and gifts to improve humanity. The money that comes with it is just a bonus. However, most of us are easily discouraged when things go wrong. We easily give up and literally move ourselves back to our comfort zones. We only aim for ease and comfort and we leave not minding about the people we left who will suffer even more. True leaders understand that sacrifice is leadership’s last name and that sacrifice is bitter sweet as it is painful for you but gives hope to your people who truly matter. The very least thing you can do is to be present, in tough times and great times.

Attributes: Passionate, Resilience, Tenacity

Reference:
BBC.com – Profile: Aung San Suu Kyi

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Fran

Learning and Culture Director at Stellar Philippines
Franelyn Saguindang Riego de Dios, MS has been in training and leadership development for more than a decade now. In earning her Master of Science in Biology degree, she joined the College of Science and Mathematics faculty of MSU-IIT and published her studies in Asia Life and Philippine Scientists Journals. For her, moving into the corporate world felt odd at first but with the scientific method and discipline in her backpack, it has become a fulfilling experience. You may also visit her personal Science & Leadership Blog Site at Leadership Genome Project. She also enjoys music (sings and plays the piano) and art (portrait sketch).
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