Break The Barrier

By Raghunandan Srinivasan • April 11, 2014

Breaking The Barrier

“When an Egg breaks from outside, a life Ends .When an Egg breaks from Inside, a life Begins ”

It all started when I was 10 years old. I was on a school trip to Mysore, India. I saw my friends have the time of their life when they jumped into the Cauvery river and started swimming. They called out to me “Hey Raghu .. come on .. jump into the river. It is awesome “.Since I did not know swimming, I said ‘It is dangerous to swim in flowing water. There could be currents. I am not getting into water”. That evening, when I went home, I told my mother “Mom, I want to learn Swimming. Send me to swimming classes”. True to our customs, traditions and superstitions, my mom consulted an astrologer to see if it is ok for me to get into water. That is when I heard the verdict of my fate – “you cannot get into water till you are 18”.

All Life’s circumstances can be seen in the form of egg wherein the soft yolk inside is our desire to do something and the hard shell outside is the barrier. When the barrier breaks from outside, our desire lays crushed but when it breaks from inside, you learn a new skill, a new habit and a new life.

In my case, the yolk was my desire to swim and the permission from my parents was the barrier. The shell got broken from outside.

As soon as I turned 18, I registered for swimming classes in Sadashivnagar swimming pool. Religiously I went for my swimming classes every day morning at 6 AM. I had to swallow a lot of ego as a 18 year old since all my classmates were just 5-6 yr old. I had to swallow gallons of chlorinated water as well. After 1 month taking incessant shouting from my coach, I overcame my fear of water. With my patience and persistence, I had finally broken the egg from inside. I was introduced to a new world of swimming – a habit and a life-saving skill that would remain with me for my lifetime.

It is not always the other people who act as barriers. Many a time it is the circumstances and situations that prevent us from realizing our full potential. Years later, I encountered a self created barrier.

I was 22 years old. I did not know where the kitchen in my house was since I had never gone into the kitchen before. All of a sudden, I had to leave to America to pursue my master’s degree. That is when it hit me that I had to learn to cook a proper meal in order to survive. My desire to cook began to take shape. The yolk was stirred.

The first time I made rice, it came out like white glue. Within a month of experimenting with different recipes, I mastered the art of making chinese fried rice, north Indian curries and also dosa. This breaking of the egg shell from inside gave me yet another skill for life, cooking. Now that I look back, maybe my wife agreed to marry me for this skill alone.

It is easy to break an egg from outside. It is difficult to break it from inside. What is even more difficult is to influence from outside and break the egg from inside. That is where the role of a teacher, mentor or a coach comes in.

As a father, I took it as my responsibility to teach my son cycling and swimming. In this case, the yolk was the untapped potential of my son and the barrier was his fear of losing balance. It took a lot of months of patience and coaching to help him overcome his fear. It was an uphill task to keep him motivated through failures. Finally I was glad and relieved when he learnt both these life essential skills.

The important lesson here is that the egg will be broken no matter what. Success is when the egg breaks from inside and failure is when the egg breaks from outside. Success is more about what you overcome than what you achieve.

Life always throws up challenges. We come across many such issues like mending relationships with someone, trying our hand at business or learning a new skill. I urge you all, pick up the phone and make that call that you always wanted to but didn’t , learn the instrument that you always wanted to play but have not played so far, get the experience that you always wanted to get but have not got so far.

As the saying goes, there is never a lock without a key, never a problem without a solution. Persist, Believe in yourself and allow the yolk to break all barriers and realize a new soul, a new you !

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