14 September 2018, Kathmandu
“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul”. These are actually two lines from a popular English language poem “Invictus” penned by late nineteenth century English author William Ernest Henley. “Invictus” is a Latin language word which means unconquered.
“Invictus” was a favorite poem for Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary who later also served as President of South Africa, during his 27-year imprisonment.
Time is always in a flux. This is a new time and a new age.
Let alone live in a prison for 27 years isolated from the world, if I get disconnected from Wi-Fi for a 27 minutes – actually even 27 seconds — I start getting anxious.
How can an old rugged poem inspire us when most of us have an attention span lower than that of a goldfish?
We often get swayed by inspiring posters with a few words, at times develop a sense of revenge with the same piece of information and also burst into laughter with the humor in few other posters. We hardly have any patience for the big things with longer formats. We need everything quickly and easily or we get disturbed and we discontinue.
How would a Nelson Mandela get inspired in this age and time? How really could we go out of those boundaries of limits? Actually, do most of us even know that we have a world beyond the limits – or what we consider as limits — which gives an indication of the limitless beyond the presumed limits.
I recall how in my search for freedom from the search itself, I kept jiggling from comics to cartoons to movies to the dark closed shutters of my eyes.
My freedom from all limiting factors, actual or perceived, came in the form of shock I received from living in the moment and living each task of my life in totality. So much so that I only felt anxiety whenever I stopped being totally aware and involved with the task at hand.
Living fully in that particular moment, I deep and rather a great realization dawned upon me that I cannot capture that moment forever. I kept on thinking and imagining things in the past tense and future tense as they related to the past which was no more or to the future, which was yet to arrive, and which was uncertain as well.
Each suffering invariably leads people to somewhere. This suffering is not akin to something like a power blackout when you had reached the last level of your video game or when you were deeply engrossed in your favorite chit chat on the net. It is something more profound, more sensory, more surrounding, killing you every moment during the entire span of 24 hours of a day.
Your limitless and boundaryless certainly awaits for you. If it is not today, it could be tomorrow, or very shortly. Irony is that you might not be ready to grab that moment when the limitless and boundaryless opens door for you.
That moment will welcome you with open arms. May be the moment of opening arms might give impression of an an enemy trying to hug you with a knife ready to stab you in the back. But as the pain of figurative stabbing subsides, you will realize that you are not dead.
That is the moment when you will not cry and start living in true sense. You will try to get better, you will try to break the stigma of “limited” life that you lived earlier. You might try to protect yourself from the fears or throw those fears out, and then move on.
I know I might sound like a know-all guru, which I certainly do not claim to be.
Is there any one really who knows it all ? Perhaps none.
However, trust me, though I know nothing, yet I try to know everything as if I am making a fresh start every time. This is the way, this limitless and boundaryless works. Perhaps I should call it the Tao of the limitless and the boundaryless.
I guess many of you might be wondering what is so positive about this limitless and boundaryless that I am making rants about and raving about. I am pretty sure large number of readers of the article might be clueless as to what I am discussing or trying to drive home.
If you have not as yet figured out as yet, I am essentially talking about the limitless human potential. The one true ability of this limitless and boundaryless is that it will make you feel as if the opening of the boundaryless was a kind of a sleight of hand, which in one stroke changed your fortune once and for all.
Nothing will be the same after you have undergone the experience of breaking all the limiting factors. People will start wondering where did this all come from and where and how did they miss you earlier. They will then know that your limits have expanded but it will only be you who will know that you have become limitless and boundaryless.
We may be not be aware, but each one of us receives this opportunity at least once in our life when we can become limitless and boundaryless. Some really lucky ones get this opportunity even multiple times.
If it were not so, then how can you become the master of your fate or the captain of your soul like Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned with a life sentence to rot in the jail. But 27 years later and the limitless and boundaryless led him to become president of the “New South Africa”.
To some the prospect of achieving “the limitless and the boundayless” might sound like an anecdote from some fairytale. But these are no fairytales. They are simply the realizations of human potential which blooms at a certain time, at a certain place, and at a certain age.
(Nischaya Subedi is a Consultant Strategic Manager based in Kathmandu.)