In every sphere of life, our goal is to progress. And, for any sort of progress, there are only two barricades: external and internal.

The external hurdles are tough to handle. Many a times, they are beyond our control. So, we try our best to overcome them… and, when we realize that they are beyond our control, we let go our futile struggle… we accept the situation, change our route and move on…

That, too, is progress…

Imagine what would happen, if we do not realize the futility of our struggles and keep breaking our heads against the hard wall… Imagine, if we keep flogging a dead horse hoping that it would come to life… We would stagnate; in fact, we would slide down in life!

Outside hurdles are tough to deal with… But, not all of them… Not until we attempt to for a reasonably long period of time.

The internal hurdles are our own creations… We create them through our ignorance, attitudes and personality traits. Almost all of them are within our reach… Yet, we, often, allow them to be on our path to progress…

A young mother had brought her ten-year son to me just a while ago. She is a school teacher and has realized the importance of making children very confident and expressive in life. She told me that she has been battling her own ghosts of speaking before formal gatherings… how she had been constantly trying to escape from accepting the challenge… and why she was keen that such a thing should not happen to either her own son or her students.

“Sir, even though I have been so positive when it comes to my child or students, in my own case, I am so helpless,” the young mother confessed, almost in tears, “Why am I not able to get rid of these ghosts?”

I smiled…

“It is my story, as well, ma’am,” I told her, “Some ghosts can be very friendly if you do not fight them!”

Tears just rolled from the lady’s eyes… “I have been taking one step forward and two steps back,” she managed to tell me, “it was leading me nowhere.”

I loved that phrase, “One step forward and two steps back…It was leading me nowhere!”

“So, every time, you kept saying ‘Why am I not able to get rid of these ghosts?’ you took two steps back… because, you were doing that even though you knew it was futile… isn’t it?” I gently asked the lady, who now seemed a lot unburdened. “Yes, to progress, we have to mind the steps that we take backward… for every step forward,” I said.

What good does it serve, even if I am able show compassion to the whole planet, but ignore the pain of my own heart? So, the next time I say - “Well done to some struggling soul on this earth, let me say it to myself not once, but twice… “Well done my boy, well done!”

And, the next time around, 

every time I console a heart-broken soul 

with the words - “It is alright”, 

let me, also, say to myself, yes, twice so – 

“It is alright, my friend, really alright!”

Only then, will I progress in life…

Only when mind the steps that I take backward for every step forward…

Yes, in every sphere of my life!

In the years that we danced together
(For)Each step forward we took two steps back
Each step forward we took two steps back
One step forward and two step back
Nobody gets too far like that
One step forward and two steps back
This kind of dance can never last
One step forward and two step back
Nobody gets too far like that
One step forward and two steps back
This kind of dance can never last

For a change, let me dedicate this country song of Desert Rose Band to ‘myself’… before I dedicate it to you…

Because, that’s how my life may really progress… In its true sense, in deed!


Pic.Abhishek Iyer


priya ram said…
thank you Sir for this thought provoking post. Yes, before we console others, it is important to console ourselves first. keep writing. Thanks.
Ravi Mishra said…
Wonderful post. eye-opener! Ravi

Popular posts from this blog




There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...