I AM…….

The words “I am” are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to.  The thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you. 

~A.L. Kitselman, American author, early 20th Century

Some days back, on the seventieth Birthday of the iconic Mohammed Ali, I watched some of the old grainy footages of another time, another place. Of a newly crowned world heavyweight champion declaring, “I am the Greatest!” Did these words come from a space of vanity and arrogance? Of projecting a ‘bigger than life’ aura as a shield against racism and perceived injustice? Or was it simply to frighten and unnerve the opposition?

In my childhood, my parents and teachers told me, “Do not fall prey to self arrogance, be humble. Shun personal greed, be generous in giving, be of service.” And there were enough morals like ‘thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’’ floating around to reinforce the belief in me that anything to do with ‘Me, mine, I am…etc” reeked of selfishness and a self serving attitude and thus needed to be hidden from view.

And as I have gone through life, I have had my share of successes. In areas of family, work, money. I have run these races and done better than many. And at times like these, as I have looked at the other faces, did I feel those twinges of guilt deep down? Was this the underlying belief rearing its head to derail me from further success?

It was only the other day that my moderator Leon led me to the TBOLITNFL website featuring “The Deuce Lutui Story”. This is a story of Coach Steve Hardison and his coaching relationship with footballer Deuce Lutui. TBOLITNFL means ‘The Best Offensive Linesman in the National Football League’ and this is what Deuce transforms into. Watching the site video is a moving experience and brings home the sheer power of ‘I AM….’

For Deuce Lutui ‘I AM….’ resonates with the infectious positivity of ‘Personal Internal Commitment.’ As Steve Hardison writes to Deuce in one of his E mails, “Your commitment is so profound and so deep and so powerful.  I believe that if we took a blood sample right now and put your blood under a microscope and looked at the individual blood cells you would see letters floating in your blood cells. Do you know what letters you would see in the blood cells?  These letters: TBOLITNFL :)”

I reflect.

‘I AM…’ is about ME. But does it only relate to my personal internal commitment? The ancient Vedas of India speak of Soham which means, “I AM…” Soham is a Universal mantra with its breath like vibrations creating a bridge between the individual’s senses, actions and his awareness. But at a more fundamental level, Soham also celebrates that deep underlying essence of Being. The Being that does not need to react, that just is and is part of the universal consciousness.

I see the connection.

“I AM…” is what I am committed to, what I am passionate about. It is about rewiring my long held beliefs, my internal sinews and muscles as I proclaim “I AM…” to the outside world.  But my senses and actions come from the space of Being. “I AM…” therefore is neither my arrogance nor my selfishness. “I AM…” is no longer a zero sum game in which my wins are at the cost of someone else. I make the transformational leap   allowing my personal commitments to be at peace with my values of humility, generosity and service to others. “I AM…” is my tryst with the universal consciousness.

I realise now that Mohammed Ali’s declaration so many decades back had more to do with his belief in himself and his personal internal commitment than the opposition or the outside world. AsLeonbeautifully sums it up, “Failure to commit to I AM… is high cost of low living”.

I am an inspirational leader of men.

I  AM…..

I am a loving and positive minded husband and father.

I AM…..

I am the best CEO and Executive Coach for this age of discontinuity.


“When you truly want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

                                                                                  Paulo Coelho ‘The Alchemist’, 1993



In learning…….                                                                        Shakti Ghosal


Acknowledgement:  http://www.tbolitnfl.com

Author: Shakti Ghosal

* A PCC Credentialed Leadership Coach. * A qualified engineer and a PGDM (Faculty Gold medalist) from IIM Bangalore. * More than three decades of industry experience spanning Engineering, Maintenance, Projects, Consumer durables, Supply Chains, Aviation and Tourism in the Gulf region and India. * Top level management positions to drive business development, strategy, alliances all around the globe. * A visiting faculty at the IIMs. *A passion to envision trends & disseminate Leadership incubation globally. * www.linkedin.com/in/Shaktighosal. shakti.ghosal@gmail.com . +91 - 9051787576

43 thoughts on “I AM…….”

  1. wow, thank you for sharing this with me. I am in awe with your level of awareness & your wisdom. You are absolutely right. The only thing I would object to is, you entered this realm with nothing to learn but only to remember what you already know. And know this… You are a child of God. You are love. You are patience. You are truth. You are kindness. You are knowledge. You are ambition. You are God and with your own universe within you and you are here to experience the human experience. Namaste.


  2. This is a truly FANTASTIC post. I do so admire your turn around in firstly being skeptical of Mohammad Alis’s mantra of “I am the greatest” and then in the end not only admiring it but also striving towards it. After the significance of reaching “I am”, the next step I feel is “I will be… ”
    Something for the future. Now that is something to ponder 🙂

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      As you declare, ” I AM….” you start gaining actionable access to who you would like to be. Would you seek to be supported in this journey?

      Thank you for your very gracious acknowledgement and taking the time to comment on this earlier post of mine.


  3. This is a wonderful entry.. which explains the connection we should all of us at least start to be aware of now that the time of Awareness is upon us as we Wake up to ourselves within this reality…
    I hope you will forgive a share of a poem I wrote some time ago… But its on your title theme.. I AM

    A Poem ~ I AM
    I am the Sky
    I am the Sea
    I am in all you see
    I am the Wind
    Within your breath
    I am with you even in Death
    I am the space between your thoughts
    And nothing of me should scare you naught
    I am in everything you do
    And all I do is Love You.
    I AM ME..


    Blessings Sue

    1. You have indeed made my day, Sue. As I read your verse, I sensed such a beautiful vibration within that I had no choice but to say out aloud, ” I AM…!” Your verse completes what I set out to say in my post, you have indeed made me and my thoughts WHOLE! Thank you, you are a blessing.


  4. Your post reminds me of this:
    Nelson Mandela
    From His Inauguration Speech
    Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
    Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
    It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us;
    We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
    Actually, who are you not to be?
    You are a child of God
    Your playing small does not save the world.
    There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you;
    We are born to manifest the glory of God within us.
    It isn’t just in some of us, it is in everyone
    And as we let our own light shine
    We unconsciously give other people the right to do the same.

    1. Hi,

      That indeed is a lovely and incisive verse. The line that particularly resonates with me is , ” There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you…..”

      Thank you for sharing, I apprecaite you.

      Cheers and God Bless.

      Shakti Ghosal

    ” I AM ” going all Out / all the Way / the whole Hog…
    This is truly Inspirational…
    Thanks Shakti…

  6. Shakti, I made my way here via SoulDipper’s Occupy Blogosphere post; I am . . . so glad I did. Everything you say rings so true, especially about the negative beliefs we are taught about the self when young. I don’t believe this is done intentionally, it’s done in an effort to create thoughtful, caring, giving human beings, but sadly, the lesson often gets misconstrued and children, (I was one of them) grow up believing they are not worthy of anything good life has to give because they are ‘selfish’ or ‘self-centred’. Thank God I’ve learned that having faith, belief, love and trust for oneself is neither of those things. At the midway point in my life I’ve finally discovered true happiness, and that is because I am. Thank you.

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for coming here and for your kind acknowledgement.As you link true happiness with ” I AM…”, I guess you have reached your zenith of awareness. Nothing more really needs to be said! I feel blessed to have come in contact with you in this time and space…… Do keep in touch!



  7. What a wonderful contribution to Soul Dipper’s Occupy Blogosphere today. I believe there are no mistakes and I was brought here for a reason to read these words. Thank you very much for an important reminder that I AM!
    Gayle ~

    1. Hi Bodhirose,
      Thank you for your kind acknowledgement. Surely there is a Purpose and I believe this comes from a space of intention and alignment. One only needs to develop that purity of soul to become aware.


  8. Hi Shakti,
    Immensely thought provoking. However why is there our obsession with “I” .

    A monk in a Buddhist monastry once narated thus in definition of God; “Travelling through a dense jungle in a stormy night the flame goes out from the torch, in the dark hearing a sound and fearing an imminent attack , the traveller makes a growling sound growl “Ommkaar” as a last ditch effort at protection; probably from a deeply ingrained primal instinct to growl back ; the fear abates giving a feeling of security.
    That “Ommkaar” is one of the definitions of GOD in juxtaposition to “i”
    Luv sanwal

    1. Hi Sanwal,

      Thank you for your visit and your lovely thoughts. In the Hindu philosophy, there are more manifestations of GOD than the number of beings on the planet.Could this be because the experience of God for each one of us is so personal? So intertwined with our beliefs and experiences? So, as each one of us becomes such a magnificient portrayal of individualism, so is our God. And this , I guess, is why GOD truly becomes a juxtaposition to ” I…” And could our obsession with ” I..” be because of this deep down manifestation of an universal consciousness that each one of us carries?

      Cheers and God bless.


  9. Shakti, thank you for visiting Occupy Blogosphere! Thank you for luring me here to the very site that I needed to read…this very moment, this very breath.

    I AM a part of the I AM existence. Why do I forget? It reminds me that I am a part of the tapestry of love known as humanity and I am here to bloom in honour of other’s wise reminders.

    Frequently, I’ve brushed by the thoughts you present about how we were raised to put other’s first, etc. etc. I’ve asked friends about my air of confidence that can be taken for arrogance. As a woman, my confidence is at first attractive, then a challenge to men because, I’m told, others cannot live up to the standards I set for myself.

    However…they are the I AM gifts and benefits. I was raised with the encouragement that I could be anything I wanted. I believed my mother – even though it seemed like a major job ahead of me.

    I remember and appreciate Coehlo’s quote from my reading of the Alchemist. I also love Invictus:
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

    Those two lines remind me that I am a partner of the Loving Force that resides in my Soul – where I find all that truly matters. I partner with Love.

    (I was just looking at photos my friend sent from Dubai today… She’s an I AM person too. Five years ago, she was worrying abut feeding herself. Today she travels around the world.)

    I am now going to watch the video.

    Hope you come to next week’s Occupy. You are a FABULOUS participant!

    1. Dear Souldipper,

      Our visits and our meeting are indeed providential. And I have just fallen in love with your comments. You have not only acknowledged what I spoke, you have gone ahead and expanded the concept of ” I AM…” to embrace new boundaries. I would like to thank you for that.

      Truly, ” I AM…”is such an intensely personal journey for each one of us, every story told can only be unique and a celebration of life. And the quotes from Invictus become so relevant here.

      I would really look forward to your comments after you have watched the TBOLITNFL video. It holds the power to change.

      And yes, I would be there for next week’s Occupy, its such a fantastic concept!

      Cheers and God bless.


  10. Aloha Shakti! I love this post, especially your perspectives on Muhammed Ali, who I once met emerging from his black limousine with pink chinchilla carpet 😉 I think you are right on all scores.
    Nice contemplative piece, well done. So happy you came by my blog so I know where you are in the virtual universe.

    1. Hi Bela,

      Delighted to have you visit here and thank you for your comments. In my childhood days, we didn’t have the frenetic 24X7 sports channels and thus were fairly restricted in our idolising sports personalities. And in my list, Mohammed Ali was right up there! Those were the days…….. Look forward to being in touch with you Bela.

      Cheers and God bless.


  11. thank you for leading me to this post. I wholeheartedly agree with your underlying suggestion about the true nature of ” I AM” rather than the one that is gathered by assumptions of identity based upon life achievements, or the reverse, family, gains or losses from the journey. If one takes Identity “I AM” from what is gained, then ultimately the losses and regrets follow as well or at times to hide them.
    In my quest, I discovered the beauty and power of the Vedic Mantra “Soham”
    It was one of the great blessings in my life.
    As a child, my mother taught me to meditate upon “I am that I am” and it never ends in its unwind and beauty.
    Thank you again, for what you are bringing here through your postings and offerings,

  12. hey there…thanks for stopping by my blog…in that way i found yours too……….. Your writings are truly impressive still i have just read this 1 post….but i will definitely be coming back for more 🙂

    1. Hi ,

      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind acknowledgement. Clearly our finding each others’ sites id providential. Thank you also for subscribing to my posts. Look forward to be in touch.

      Cheers and God bless.


  13. Shakti…You did it again. This post instills such soul searching in its readers. It is a wonderful piece and is just one more reason I enjoy coming here to have my life refreshed by your thought provoking words. Thank you so much….Blessings…Visionkeeper

    1. VK…. Thanks for your kind acknowledgement. All of us write from a space of passion, the light sparked off by some specific experience. And so it was with me as I was led to the TBOLITNFL site and as I journeyed through it. As I tried to reconcile it with my own beliefs, ” I AM…” took birth.

      Cheers and God bless Shakti

  14. “I am”…I said To no one there And no one heard at all Not even the chair “I am”…I cried “I am”…said I And I am lost and I can’t Even say why “I am”…I said “I am”…I cried “I am”…I said. I know these are Neil Diamond Lyrics but I feel they do have something very serious to say! I am , so I exist do not ignore me I am here! I am the way forward for me! x

    1. Thanks for your comments and reminding me of that Neil Diamond classic, ” Iam… I said.” ND was such a great singer and remains a great favourite of mine to this day. My only regret remains that I forgot about this song when I was penning my blog, otherwise surely I would have incorporated it 🙂



  15. Shakti you did a very great point in this post… I AM.. this is very inspiring and if most of us have time to reflect from this word I AM, well peace and harmony will be expected…

    “I AM…” is what I am committed to, what I am passionate about. It is about rewiring my long held beliefs, my internal sinews and muscles as I proclaim “I AM…” to the outside world. But my senses and actions come from the space of Being. “I AM…” therefore is neither my arrogance nor my selfishness. “I AM…” is no longer a zero sum game in which my wins are at the cost of someone else. I make the transformational leap allowing my personal commitments to be at peace with my values of humility, generosity and service to others. “I AM…” is my tryst with the universal consciousness.

    can I reblog this in my site?

    1. Hi,

      Thanks for your lovely comments. Its words like these which inspire us to write. Of course, you can re-blog in your site. It would be a pleasure and an honour.

      Cheers and God bless.


  16. Dear Shakti,
    Thank you for this beautifully articulated post, which effectively projects an existential dilemma faced by each one of us. On the one hand, the defining of the very core of one’s identity, the discovering of the multiple facets of the “I am”, serves to indicate not only where one is positioned today, but also leads one to the inevitable corollary — “what will I want to be tomorrow”. It is this self-examination which triggers the quest for excellence and success, which constitutes the essence of human ambition, and is the motivator for the ceaseless march towards breaking new records and scaling new heights. On the other, as you have stated, without a conscious attempt to temper the ego with a generous dollop of humility and realism, one inevitably develops arrogance, becomes insufferable, and encounters disappointments and hubris. Finding the balance is a key challenge, and not everyone succeeds.

    Yet, should the TBOLITNFL approach be the universal mantra for everybody? Is it not the reality that not everyone in the rat race called life can be a champion, and there would always be runners up and the also-rans? Should one be driven and so focussed that “success” is to be achieved at all costs? Should it not be up to the individual to step back and assess one’s own individual priorities, and then decide where one wishes to be positioned?

    Coincidentally, just yesterday, I was talking to an old school classmate over dinner at the Atlantis in Dubai, who had, over a half century ago, articulated his guiding principle while he was in the IMA. I reminded him that he had stated that in any cross country jog, he had long decided that to get to the head of the pack involved disproportionate effort; he would periodically peer over his shoulder to just make sure that there were a respectable number behind him! He confirmed that this had been his approach in life ever since then, and he was convinced that this had made his life far less stressful and much more fulfilling.

    Who is to decide that he was not right?


    Viney Sahgal ’58
    ( posted in Lounge session Group)

    1. Dear Sir,
      Loved your so insightful comments.

      You are right, my post did arise from a fundamental dilemma that I faced after watching the highly inspirational TBOLITNFL video.( Never realised how the 2 hours passed by! ) And the fact that each one of us needs to sort our issues of our actions and striving to attain more success vis-a-vis our inner moral compass to really be able to act on our ” personal internal commitments”.

      But TBOLITNFL is really not about any rat race or becoming the champion.Neither does it speak of success at any cost. It has more to do with rewiring our inner beliefs.. It is about believing in our own selves, it is about self empowerment, it is about taking responsibility. It is a way of life. TBOLITNFL resonates with the power of commitment.

      And yes, one needs to maintain a balance in our perceptions of life. Being conscious of the space below at all times can indeed be a contributor.Becoming obsessed with ” being head of the pack” can become a huge block to our further development of the self.

      I am taking the opportunity of copying your comment to my blogsite for the benefit of outside readers.

      Kind Regards

      Shakti Ghosal ’74

  17. Dear Shri Ghosal,

    “I AM” what I am; not because of my abilities, not because of my beliefs, not because of my dreams (or goals), not because of anything BUT because of what I chose to do.
    It is the choice that one makes, which defines him.

    You’ll find that literature and history is replete with such instances.

    Achilles was foretold by his mother that if he joined the Trojan war with the Greeks he would be famous and remembered for centuries, but he shall not return back alive. On the other hand, if he stayed back, he would raise a family to keep his lineage going and be happy.
    We know him today for what he chose to do with his abilities.

    Choosing is a difficult decision, often influenced by our emotional taggings and peripheral cues or perceptions. Think, don’t you try to justify your decisions? In choosing good over bad; right over wrong or just God over Devil?

    Steve Hardison merely guides Deuse Lutui to choose. By creating peripheral perceptions and emotional taggings. I am sure your mentor Leon is also doing so (maybe without knowing) by directing you to the TBOLITNFL site.

    Of course our inherent urge for fame is a major cue to be factored in, sometimes. Then fame itself needs to be defined; fame of the moment, fame of a season, fame for a generation, fame for a lifetime or fame for eons. You can always catalog the famous in these groups. Acquisition of wealth is the other denominator amongst others. That’s how our brains have evolved and sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Yet we are still a species sharing our plant with our less fortunate lifeforms. Is this where the Homo-Sapiens have blundered in their choice of genetic mutation? Of mismanaging the gene pool? Aren’t such a choice beyond the realm of the individual? And how such choices are made?

    To end the monograph on “I AM” I quote the world’s shortest poem (obviously of two lines to make it a couplet, one word in each line to make the lines shortest and lastly each word of one syllable to made the word phonetically smallest):



    Saibal Bose

    1. Dear Saibal,

      I wish to acknowledge you for coming here and the fact that I simply fell in love with your comments.

      You are right. It is a question of choice, what we choose to do at a point in time. And that becomes our responsibility, our ability to respond, to choose.The way I see it, choosing is never a difficult decision provided one is conscious of the space one is coming from.Our space of Choice…. It is but an attitude and our challenge is of actualising it.When we choose and acknowledge the fact that our choice may have nothing to do with the final outcome, we take responsibility of ourselves. We are conscious that there are external factors that may mean success ( our desired outcome) may not happen. We are conscious of our intention to enjoy the journey itself.Such a choice leads to a lightness in our lives.

      But when, as you say, our choice is influenced by ” emotional tags, peripheral cues, perceptions”, when we try to ” justify our decisions”, do we realise that we are inherently trying to follow someone else’s script? At this moment, we are making someone else responsible and have chosen to create our life as they ” see” it.When we make such a choice, we enter a space of difficulty and heaviness. And why does this happen? Because we get into a thought vortex which keeps on telling us that if only we were to do something differently, we would achieve success. Getting emotionally tied down to the outcome brings in the heaviness.

      And I do like your sign-off poem. Maybe it would inspire me to “choose” the idea of a new blog!

      Do come again.

      Cheers and God Bless.

      Shakti Ghosal

Leave a Reply to Saibal Bose Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s