10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Truly Inspire Me

Before I begin, let me make one thing clear. This post is only about Narendra Modi's PERSONAL skills that inspire me — his qualities that I look up to. It has got nothing to do with politics. I am not affiliated with any political party in the country. This post is not even a "performance review" of Narendra Modi's tenure in politics. It is only and ONLY about him as a person, and what all I've learnt from him, by watching him at his work, and the way he deals with people, AND with his life challenges.

I know... quite a few people still hate Narendra Modi from the bottom of their heart. Some because of his humble background and less-than-stellar formal education. Some because he leads a "Hindu Nationalist Party". Some because of his connection with the RSS. And some simply hate him because they are not right-wing. Fair enough. To each, his own.

For the context of this post though, all these things are not really relevant.

What if Narendra Modi was not a political leader? What if he was an actor, like Aamir Khan? Or a cricketer, like my favorites Rahul Dravid and Dhoni? What if he was a legendary music maestro, like late Shri R. D. Burman? Or any other public figure, really? ("Public" obviously, because then only we would know so much about him, right?)

This post is about his 10 *personal* skills that would still inspire me. And I request you to read it in THAT light, without all the "labels" attached to him.

I originally published this post on my old blog, in April 2019. And today, on the historic milestone of the "100th episode of Mann Ki Baat", when Narendra Modi started the program by saying said that "Mann Ki Baat has become a great medium to learn from the qualities of others", it was like a "full circle" for me, because it reminded me of all HIS qualities that I have learnt from.

Resharing the original post below, from 2019, differentiated by its font-color. Some minor edits in places have been highlighted in purple.

. . .

10 Personal Skills Of Narendra Modi That Have Personally Inspired Me

  1. His Optimism.

    Time to confess. I was (and, at the time of jotting down this list in 2019, still am, to some extent) one of those "nirashavadi" people (pessimists) that he often talked about in his speeches. His optimism, and faith in the people of this country, seemed downright stupid to me. Every time, he talked about making "Smart Cities", my mental response was "Oh really! And how are you going to do that without smart people?"

    Narendra Modi's inspirational Optimism

    Five years ago (NINE now), when he first became PM, I used to hear his big plans for this country, and seriously believe that he was making castles in the air. Idealistic, yes. Grand, yes. But, still more like fantasies. I was a true cynic, in all sense. And then I continued to watch him work — with the same people, the same bureaucracy, the same media and government systems.

    And then Demonetization happened.

    I was stunned at the way the people of this country stood with him, as one, in all those long queues in front of banks, as well as BEHIND the counters in those SAME banks! That was the first time I experienced the tiniest flicker of hope for my country. That maybe, just maybe...

  2. His Energy.

    Another confession. In 2013 end, when he had started campaigning for the General Elections, I was fighting serious health issues, both physical and mental/emotional. (A 6-year long relationship, involving narcissistic abuse, had finally landed me into the ER and then the ICU, with a broken body AND a broken mind.) And I would watch him hold TWO rallies almost every day, at the age of over 60 years. Even in peak North Indian summers. And not show a trace of exhaustion on his face or in his voice.

    And then I used to watch him on his foreign trips. Multiple places on one trip. Attending meetings, conferences, and speeches, one after the other. Along with various cultural events planned in his honor. Even sleeping in his plane. And again, no trace of jet lag or fatigue. Looking fresh and vibrant as ever.

    Narendra Modi's inspirational Energy

    His energy and fighting spirit literally FORCED ME to find more strength inside me. "If he can do it at this age, I have absolutely no excuse to give up." That was the thought in my mind that time, that kept me going from one day to the next.

  3. His Passion and Dedication.

    My regular readers (of the old blog) know how much I admire Aamir Khan and Dravid for their dedication towards their respective fields. Narendra Modi has also become a part of that group.

    If he sets his mind on doing something, then he totally commits himself to it. Doesn't matter how difficult it is, or how much time or effort it takes. He would stay up the whole night, if he has to, but he WILL do it. He works, not like a machine or a robot, but like a person who enjoys his work and takes pride in it.

    Narendra Modi's inspirational Passion and Dedication

    And it shows, doesn't it? In his work, in his speeches, in his team. I'm even beginning to see a small spill-over effect on the ground! His passion seems to be contagious. It has started affecting the rest of the country too now!

  4. His Willingness To Learn.

    He doesn't have fancy professional degrees. He's not even well-versed in English. But he has never allowed that to lower his self confidence, or let it become an excuse for NOT doing something.

    He stays abreast of technology, treats it like his friend, and leaves no opportunity to learn about all the new advances in every field.

    My God. I've had so much of a better start in life than him. I've been working with technology (software part of it, at least) since I was 11. And still, I get scared at times! And then I again have to "pep-talk" myself... "If he can learn all this, at THIS AGE, seriously, what excuse DO I possibly have?"

    Narendra Modi's inspirational Willingness To Learn

  5. His Humility.

    About a decade ago, I was very much into reading spiritual stuff. My then Reiki teacher would share bits and pieces with me, and one such bit was about the challenges we all have to face during our spiritual journey. I remember reading that whenever anybody came into a lot of power, it would simultaneously be accompanied by the challenge to keep his/her ego under control and remain detached to that power.

    (Note: While I don't remember that entire article, I do remember this part, because we discussed it in the context of Reiki Grandmastership, that when new Reiki Grandmasters get exposed to students touching their feet and treating them like some kind of celebrity or God, it often gets to their head. And then they fail this challenge on their own spiritual path.)

    So, naturally I tend to notice how Narendra Modi remains grounded, even as half the nation worships him as a God. AND some portion of the global population too!

    Narendra Modi's inspirational Humility

    He bows down at the steps of the Parliament before entering it for the first time as PM. He literally bursts into tears when his seniors, his mentors, try to treat him any differently after his ascent. He forbids his ministers to touch his feet. If he meets anyone older than him, HE touches their feet instead. And in all his speeches that I have heard so far, he keeps emphasizing that all this love and admiration is for the "elected head of this country", AND for the "125 crore (138 crore now) people of the country", and NOT for Narendra Modi personally.

  6. His Oratorial Skills.

    In my early blogging days here (2007-2008 maybe), few people tried to pull me down because I have a very simple style of writing. No creative word puns. No big GRE level words. No hi-fi vocabulary. I don't even follow the rules of sentence construction all the time.

    I got so demotivated that I actually started questioning my abilities as a writer. But then, suddenly, three different people — who I wasn't even aware were reading my blog — happened to casually mention to me that they LIKED reading my posts, and for THAT very reason, that they are EASY to read. The exact phrase one of them used was — "not heavy".

    Narendra Modi's inspirational Oratorial Skills

    Narendra Modi's speeches are also like that — "not heavy". He speaks in a way that even the uneducated villagers can understand what he's saying. Like he is one of them. Which he is, actually, in a way.

    (Note: As I'm writing this, I remember that during my training for Dell Technical Support, we were actually trained to NOT use too much technical jargon, and just keep it simple basically.)

  7. His People Skills.

    Basic rules of good PR:
    1) listen to what people say
    2) remember little details about them
    3) appreciate them

    He follows all three. Plus, he's a great storyteller. He has all these small-small stories, from all the places he has traveled to, and he narrates them whenever there is an opportunity, using them to connect to some point he wants to convey.

    Narendra Modi's inspirational People Skills

    Every time he goes to a new place, he makes an effort to find out what that place is special for, and uses that to make an instant connect with the people he is addressing there. He adapts, to whatever group of people he is with... in the stories he shares, the words he uses, the questions he asks... so that they are able to relate with him.

    He gives credit where it's due. Appreciates people whole-heartedly. Comes across as someone who is very much approachable.

  8. His Independent Will.

    Being able to have an independent will is quite difficult in India. The parents, the relatives, the society — they leave no stone unturned to make you conform to their set standards.

    I personally know of so many Indians, of my generation, with high professional qualifications, even some who have studied and worked abroad for quite a few years, but who still lack the strength of will to go against the norm, and especially their parents' wishes. And, Narendra Modi managed to develop such a high level of independent thinking and assertiveness so many years BEFORE my generation!

    Narendra Modi's inspirational Independent Will

    Going off to the mountains to connect with his spirituality, giving up his personal life to become a public servant, holding his own when he is invited for lunch/dinner during his Navratra fast, and even being able to say "NO" to any relatives/friends who might have wanted any "extra favors" from him in all these years.

    Honestly, how does he do THAT?

  9. His Courage.

    Suppose you've been in an accident that has left your face badly scarred. Like really horrible, you know, that people don't even want to be seen in your company. No amount of plastic surgery can remove those scars. And it makes no difference whether that accident was your fault or somebody else's, because either way, YOU have to live with that face for the rest of your life.

    Every day you go out for work, a lot of people will ONLY choose to see those scars, and it is up to you... whether you want to hide in a hole for the rest of your life, or you want to go out and face the world head on, and do something that will make them look beyond the scars.

    Narendra Modi chose the latter. He chose to let those scars become a map to guide him in future.

    Narendra Modi's inspirational Courage

  10. His "Lotus" Nature. (No connection to his party symbol)

    Few years ago, I came to know about Nichiren Buddhism, the philosophy of the "Lotus" Sutra, which states that you don't need to denounce the world to become an enlightened 'Buddha'. It gives the analogy of the lotus flower that blooms in muddy swamps. It also emphasizes on the concept of "Value Creation" — of creating something of value out of any circumstances, even adverse ones.

    I read this concept, in theory, in the books of this philosophy. And then Narendra Modi demonstrated it to me in practical.

    They ridiculed his "deviation from protocol" at his first awkward international hug, but he made this "jaadu ki jhappi" the new international protocol. They made fun of his humble beginnings as a tea vendor. He made a brand out of "Chai pe Charcha with Modi".


    Whatever they throw AGAINST him, he makes it all work FOR him. All the criticism, and the mockery, and the snobbery... he creates value out of everything. The more mud they sling at him, the more he blooms.

    I wish someday I can achieve THAT level of wisdom — to be able to create such high value out of anything life throws at ME.

. . .

So, these were the 10 personal skills of Narendra Modi that inspired me enough to write about them 4 years ago, and probably not just me, but millions of other people too, all across the world. And while I may or may not agree with all his policy decisions as the nation's head, (Frankly, I don't think I even have that much of political accumen, or enough data, to be a fair judge of all those decisions!) I DO admire him as a person, and continue to inculcate within me, all his above mentioned skills, more and more deeply, not just in theory, but in spirit.

When I originally wrote this post 4 years ago, I didn't know anything about Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), but now I can see he is using it so adeptly, in practically everything he does. In fact, I was trying to imbibe all these qualities of his with no knowledge of NLP, whereas NLP actually provides a structured, systematic METHOD to model successful behavior of people.

And now I am a Certified NLP Trainer.

Like I said — FULL CIRCLE.

How about you?
Do you have a role model?
What kind of people do you look up to?
What kind of personal skills inspire you to become a better version of yourself?
If you could model any three people of the world, who would you choose, and for what skills?

Picture Credit: The credit for all original images used in these collages and captioned pics goes to narendramodi.in. You can get the images from there to make your own collage or captions, but please link back to this post if you're using one of mine. Thanks.


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