Conquer your mind (yourself) and the whole world would be yours
November 1, 20195 Minutes

When elephants are young, they are often tied to a pole with a small rope to restrict them from moving. The rope is an appropriate size for them as children and make it hard to break away from the pole. As they grow up, they wouldn’t even try to break free because their minds convinced them that the rope was more powerful than themselves.

There is a very important lesson here for each of us.

We’ve all been there when we have doubted our abilities and decided to give up. Believing that we can’t go on, don’t have it in us, and simply can’t do it. More than our body, it was our mind that lost the battle. In those moments, there was no difference between us and the elephants.

Over 500 years ago, Guru Nanak said:

ਮਨਿ ਜੀਤੈ ਜਗੁ ਜੀਤੁ ॥

man jeethai jag jeeth ||

Conquer your mind (yourself) and the whole world would be yours.

When the mind is able to let go of ego, lust, greed, anger, material pursuits, doubt, and hunger, to see the light beyond is when it experiences eternal bliss, peace, happiness and the release from the material world. This teaching of Guru Nanak applies to most of us today.

Being surrounded by many distractions, it is easy for our minds to act fickle and be lured by material pursuits. One moment it encourages you to save money while on the other, you end up splurging on clothes. It becomes difficult for us to act against indulging in materialistic pleasures.

Guru Nanak taught us to focus on the light beyond the worldly conscious and build unshakable walls against material pursuits. He told us that we hold the power to have our mind believe in achieving the unachievable.

Today, we are surrounded by many examples of people who live by this teaching of Guru Nanak, those who combine the power of their mind with their will power to make miracles happen. These individuals have proven to the world that with sheer will and determination, anything can be achieved.

Arunima Sinha, a national level volleyball player, lost her leg when a gang of robbers pushed her out of a moving train in 2011. But that didn’t break her spirit. With an amputated leg, she decided to set herself a bigger challenge: climbing the highest peak in the world. The climb wasn’t easy with injuries accompanying her all the way, but her belief in conquering any obstacle and setting an example, kept her going. On May 21, 2013, she became the first female amputee to scale Mount Everest!

Jyoti Amge, Suresh H. Advani, Preethi Srinivasan, H. Boniface Prabhu, Sudha Chandran – the list of people who’ve made the most of their abilities and achieved the greatest feats is never-ending.

Remember, a parade of grown-up elephants were convinced that a small rope could hold them back while an amputee scaled the highest peak on Earth! The next time you’re faced with a smokescreen of doubt, ask yourself why you started your journey in the first place. Ask yourself, is it an external reason that’s holding you back or is it your own mind?

For no matter how fickle the mind is, with Guru Nanak’s words by your side, you can conquer the mind and everything else thereon.