I was standing on the edge of a waterfall around 180 feet above the ground. Almost equal to a 30 storey building. My hands were profusely sweating. I could feel shivers down my spine and my soul was encapsulated by fear. I closed my eyes and let out a breath I didn’t realise I was holding on to.
My heart is telling me just one more step then everything will be fine. My mind whispered, “ You don’t have to do it Roel “.I asked myself “shall I take the next step??? Is it necessary???”
I looked back with fear and I thought to myself I think it’s too late now. I started breathing profusely, my heart was thumping and pounding. My mind saying in a loud voice “ Don’t do it Roel , Don’t make this mistake”. I was completely numb and frozen just like a deer freezing looking at the headlights of a vehicle. “It was too late to step back,” I said to myself in dismay.
Have you been in a grave situation where you felt numb? when you wanted to take a step backwards but it’s too late ??
To let you know how I got into this helpless situation and why I took this drastic step, allow me to take you back in time to the previous day, June 16th 2018. It was around 6PM I was feeling lonely and lost. Everything was out of my control. I needed to change things around me. The same old routine of work and the home was numbing me from within.
I walked towards my living and was seated on the sofa.
I switched ON the TV
BOOM BOOM POW
“ Down goes Buster Douglas. WHAM, a big right uppercut by Mike Tyson sends Buster down on the canvas, and he seems out for the count” announced the commentator. It was an old match between Buster Douglas and Mike Tyson which grabbed my attention.
“1….2….3”,………. but Buster was on his last legs, losing consciousness. The situation was tense. As his mind floated out of consciousness and zoned out, he could see a white wall and a projector, where memories were being played on repeat. His mother, full of joy, speaks in the video – “My son will defeat Mike Tyson”, which was followed by silence for few seconds and another memory of his mother played in repeat. His mother was lying on the ground, DEAD…. just 23 days before this match.
The entire world knows no one can get up from the knock out the combination by IRON Mike Tyson.
The entire world knew, EXCEPT Buster Douglas.
“7….8….” and at the 9th count. Buster pulled himself out of the trance. Buster busted Tyson’s hopes as he staggered up! Tyson rushed to punch Buster. Buster could hardly see it coming, he could hardly stand up. As he could faintly see mike Tyson’s IRON FIST rocketing towards his face in slow motion,
everyone knew it’s over. There is no way that buster could survive this.
“TING, TING, TING” but the bell and fate saved Buster!
At the event, everyone who was watching the match knew that Mike Tyson would knock him down to the ground again and Buster won’t be able to make it this time.
TING TING TING
The next round began. Buster knew it’s now or never. With ferocity, Buster launched into Tyson, knocking him loose with an uppercut which stunned Tyson, followed by four consecutive punches to the face, and this time, with all the strength that gave him a reason to fight, IRON Mike Tyson kneeled and “THUD” fell to the canvas and was counted out. The undefeated Mike Tyson, the invincible IRON Mike Tyson, was on the ground, while Buster was victorious.
Looking at this entire match I was inspired and filled with motivation. Despite all the odds against buster with his willpower, he could do it.
I used to think these things happen only in movies. When everything is going against us there is no way we can come out of it.
“It’s all in the mind, “ I said to myself
When life knocks us down what can we do?
I have been knocked down by life many times.
How many times have you been knocked down?? Knocked down by failure, knocked down by your numbing comfort zone, knocked down by people’s opinion and zoned out.
When was the last time a bell rang out from within you, asking you not to give up, you can still do it?
What did you do about it??
Well!!! I was no different. After watching this match, it truly inspired me.
I said to myself “ Wow what a match, Buster Douglas proved everyone wrong”
After this match, as I was glancing through my Facebook, an advertisement caught my attention. It was about water rappelling.
Water rappelling is an adventure sport where you have to rappel down through waterfall.
TING TING TING the bell within me rang. My heart said “You should go for it “
Negative thoughts began to cloud my mind and my mind said “ Arent you scared of heights?? You seriously think you can do it?? What if the rope breaks?? What if you DIE??
Why don’t you grab a whiskey which is less risky??
But my heart was acting like a little kid. “ You should try it, it will be FUNNNN , let’s try something new “
I was fully pumped up after watching the match. My heart won the battle. I said to myself “It’s all in the mind” and I booked a slot.
“ What could go wrong?? There are safety equipment’s as well.
I set up the alarm at 6:00 AM, 6:10 , 6:20 … you know the drill right??
The goal is to wake up at 7AM so I set alarm for every 10 consecutive minutes from 6 AM.
Next day morning as I managed to wake up successfully from my sleep at 7 AM after the incremental dose of Alarm. I realised that my dose of motivation has also disappeared. I started reanalysing. “What have I done ?? What was I thinking?? One motivational video pumped me up to book the slot but that motivation disappeared like Anil Kapoor in Mr India movie.
I opened my phone to check the refund policy.
DAMN there is no refund policy as well.
Sometimes I feel life is also like those gym memberships which sounds good at the beginning but it comes with the very complicated refund policy.
I was running late to board their tourist Vehicle.
I rushed into the washroom brushed my teeth.
I turned the nozzle on the shower steam filled the bathroom. I took a quick shower.
Wrap the towel around my waist I did a little dance before leaving the bathroom.
Thinking to myself “This might be your last dance “
I slipped on my blue jeans and my favourite orange T-shirt. My friends are already tired to see me in that same T-shirt.
Does this happen to you as well??
I boarded the tour bus and we were heading towards the madhe ghat.
As we reached there I could see the mountains were bathed in the glory of a rising sun and everything looked majestic. The trees were so high that they seemed to be receiving messages from heaven. There was greenery everywhere. A beautiful place, well connected and rooted in nature.
The bus stopped at a small café near a stream of water.
Facing the view and Enjoying the tea, I was lost in my thoughts.
A couple of co-passenger or I could say co adventurous asked me “So how come for this adventure what motivated you? You do these things more often??”
I told them “ I do these things when I get an overdose of motivation from motivational videos” in a sarcastic tone.
I explained to them the entire incident about the Buster doglous videos. The silence was very loud for a few seconds and after a couple of seconds, we all burst into laughter.
We all boarded the bus and the journey continued through the beautiful region.
We finally reached the top. We were around a group of 20 people.
I could see the first batch of girls going down through the waterfall effortlessly. After they climbed up to the spot. I was getting anxious waiting for my turn. I was still not sure whether I should do this or not.
I asked a girl “ How was the experience ??”
She said “ WOW It was fantastic. I want to try again, you should skip the line and go next it will be fun.“
Wow, now I got the second dose of motivation.
I requested the instructor I want to go next. Little did I know what I was asking for.
He looked at me in a confused mind and said “ Sure “
Next thing I know, I am suited up, 180 feet above the ground, on the edge of a waterfall.
Now at this point when I looked down, I lost my mind. My heart dropped into my stomach. My belly filled with fear, not beer for a change. I was trembling.
My mind told me in a voice filled with attitude “ I told you it’s a bad IDEA”.
I looked back to give up. But all the cute girls were waiting for their turn. My mind said “ It’s too late now”
My bubbly heart was telling me “ GO GO GO… take the next step”
I was numb. I pulled myself out of the trance and took a deep breath, prayed to GOD almighty to protect me. Actually, I could also see angels in the sky waiting to take me.
With fear, I began the climb down. I was going down slowly and steadily my legs shivering, mind saying “Whiskey was less risky “ and my heart bubbling with joy. It was a cocktail of emotions.
After a long time when I was almost getting comfortable, I decided to look down.
I knew It been a long time a few more steps and this will be done. When I looked down I experienced Einstein theory of relativity for the first time. What I thought was a very long time was just 1 minute.
“OH GREATTTTTTTT!!!!!” I said to myself.
I started descending again.
and 30 feet later, my mind started giving way. The back hurt, the water hit my face harder than I expected, I was having difficulty in breathing, and I was thinking –“ I should rather be at home, and not do this! “
My mind asked me, “should we give up?”
The truth was it was too late. I didn’t have an option. I was literally hanging 150 feet above ground trusting my entire life on a rope.
That very moment, I took a break, closing my eyes I faced the opposite side of the waterfall.
As I opened my eyes I was awestruck. It was a breath-taking scene, I saw mountains enveloped in fog and lighted by the sun, and this was a heavenly sight. I felt like I was floating in mid-air, gushing waterfall covering me like a blanket and the other side the scenic mountain view. It was like looking at nature from a different perspective. LITERALLY!!!!! I could also see a monkey in one of the trees. It might have been wondering “Why these HUMANS are doing the monkey business “
A minute or two later, I gathered my wits, my heart filled with courage I began my descent.
After a few minutes Once my feet touched the ground. I could feel a sheer joy gushing through every cell in my body. A sense of achievement, joy and pride was overflowing. I was glad I listened to that bell inside me. And it was in this moment I realized the most profound lesson in my life and that is, Fear is like beer. You will not like it the first time nor the second time but eventually, you will outgrow it, and start enjoying it.
After that day, whenever fear tried to knock me down,
Whenever negative thoughts cloud my mind I take a deep breath calm myself and I face fear readily because my WHY is greater than the fear. I know how it feels to be knocked down by failure. Knocked down by fear, knocked down by opinions, knocked down by doubting myself. Even Buster Douglas was knocked down and everyone gave up on him.
All you need to do is go within yourself and find the right memories to play in that projector, and that reason alone will help you to go through anything as it did with Buster. If your WHY is not greater than the punches you face, then life will knock you down every single day. It’s never too late to try something new, face your fears, or to start dreaming.
Stand on the edge of the fear which is holding you back
Belly full of fear, a heart full of courage redesign yourself
What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?
How big would you play
Where would you leap?
Let’s Hold fear in one hand and passion in other and leap
One of 3 things will happen
- You will learn to fly
- You will have a soft landing
- You will fall hard and you need a band-aid
Either way, you will find what you searching
To you I say, Dream on.
Remember whiskey can be less risky, but overcoming fear will take you higher than a bottle of beer.