It is amazing that supposedly unimportant accidents in life turn out to be life-changing. In extreme cases, such events may even turn out to be world-changing. One such event springs to mind- an apple falling off a branch. As simple and ordinary an event it was, it welcomed about unimaginable changes in history. For instance, it helped us understand why everything raised up down or because the moon revolves around the Earth, the Earth around the Sun, and the Sun around the Milky Way’s Galactic center. Slowly, orthodox views began to disappear, with superstitions like the Earth being the center of the Universe disappearing. Science emerged as the new religion and the rest is history.
Another popular incidental discovery, although the word ‘incidental’ is debatable, is that ‘Eureka’ moment when the Great Greek scientist and inventor, Archimedes founded the laws of Uprust. Given that there are unthinkable volumes of such ‘minor’ accidents, the worldought to expect more discoveries.
One such event, although not world-changing but certainly life-influencing if not life-changing, happened to me when I and a couple of my friends went swimming a few weeks back. I am a slow learner. After two days into swimming, all of my friends, first timers like me, had already started swimming half the pool, on the shorter and shallow side, while I was still just cycling through the water with my hands tightly gripping the steps that led into The pool. My friends would swim for hours as I, getting bored and frustrated, lay basking in the thinning-ozone-filtered Sun; Darkening the skin below and above my swimsuit. That day, though, turned out to be my ‘Eureka’ moment. I was, bored and frustrated as usual, getting ready to jump out of the pool and torture my skin again. It was almost raining and being a ‘concerned’ friend, I urged my friends to come out with me. Only they would not.
Realizing my hesitance and fear, they kept insisting me to push my body forward into the pool- closing my eyes, hands in “Namaste” post but held parallel to the water. Only I could not just let my body drown and let one fortune teller get one of his predictions about me right- that I would die by drowning. I am not a believer of horoscopes or of fortune-telling but I could not forget that these practices are not exactly disproved by science, not yet. Only my stubborn friends would not give up. “All right, that’s it. If I am to drown in three feet of water, I should.” I thought and asked each of my three pals to stand, as ready as the ground to be stuck by anything falling, one on each side of my body and one in front of me. Then I clasped my hand, thrust it forward, pushed my legs against the lower walls and I flew into the water, maintaining the cycling post but without the pedaling. So I respectfully grasped a hand of my friend on the right hand side, wiped my face with my left hand, my mouth taking deep breaths, my ears witness to short bursts of laughter. It was as though I was setting up a surround sound system to provide my ears the home theater experience.
That was it, I thought. Only they would not. I went on for a few more trials. The fourth turned out to be a partial success as I was able to stay afloat for few seconds and my legs despite pedaling but my eyes still shut and my head inside the water. This was the ‘Eureka’ moment. No, I did not discover anything purely scientific or I would have my ghost writer write this experience in a better, grammatically accurate way. No. I learned a far more important lesson although not commercially profitable. I will not say that I am the first to discover it or that I am pretending even though my actual ‘Eureka’ moment came just a few minutes earlier when I was thinking of a topic to write on. So, here it goes. Drum rolls please.
I have discovered the importance of letting go. Think about it. What is the one obstacle in the path to success or in my case, what was the one hindrance in my quest to prove the fortune-teller wrong? Fear. Yes, success can not be achieved without giving up the fear of failure or the fear of being slapped by your ‘crush’ when you ask him / her out or the fear of one frightening prediction being right. My friends, it is time to let go of off your fears and emotions, and act on them. Go hold the rubber snake and slap it across the faces of your friends who use it to frighten you knowing you are scared of snakes. Go spill your emotions to your crush. Go atop a high building if you are afraid of heights. Let go of you fear of failing. Start by targeting a small goal that you can easily accomplish and slowly increase the difficulty and importance of your goals. If you are trying to get in shape by going to a gym, start off by lifting smaller weights. But do let go. There is success beyond fear, as pointed out quite cleverly by the adverts of Mountain Dew. Letting go of your fears and emotions will propel you to success and happiness. Do not let your fears and lack of faith eat out every bit of strength in you. Sure, you may need a catalyst. Ask your friends to help you or if they are friends indeed, they will help out a friend in dire need, no questions asked.
by Pawan Dhakal