Mountains are placed before us not to defeat us but to make us heroes.

Life often puts an obstacle in front of us, that seems insurmountable. The death of a loved one, an endless job search, extreme poverty or a disease that keeps eating the body from within. Often in such moments, we are tempted to give up. The very sight of the mountain scares us. Today I want to tell you that you have the power to overcome any mountain that is placed before you. All you need to do is to unleash a few hidden powers within you. 

Let me tell you the story of a man who literally broke a mountain. In one of poorest parts of India without electricity, running water or toilets, lived a labourer named Dashrath Manjhi. Earning less than a 1$ a day, life was tough with most villagers having to toil all day and then for even the smallest of necessities, trek across a large mountain to go the nearest town. The nearest doctor was 70km away. In 1959, Manjhi’s wife fell sick. Unable to get to the doctor in time, she died.

 Manjhi was grief struck. He vowed that this tragic fate would not befall to anyone else from his village and decided to break the mountain that stood between his village and the nearest doctor. With his only tools being a hammer, a chisel and his will, Manjhi set to work on the mountain. He worked early morning, then in his fields and then came back to cut through the mountain again.

In the beginning people laughed, ridiculed him and many called him crazy. Manjhi persisted. He kept going. In a few years, he seemed to barely have made any progress with the mountain staring back at him. He kept going. Soon he won the respect of villagers who started bringing him food. He gave up his farm job and continued hammering away with a chisel and a hammer day and night at the mountain.

It took Dashrath Manjhi 22 years from 1960 to 1982, almost a third of an adult human life but his tribute to his wife Falguni Devi was complete. He had broken the mountain. The villagers were now free to walk across and reach doctors and essential supplies – instead of 55km over mountains the distance was now 15km through the road manjhi built.


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Manjhi died in 2007 a hero. He was given a state funeral by the government and now Bollywood is making a biopic on him which is due to be released in 2015. 

So if a dirt poor landless labourer with no education, no resources, no job, no support could break the back of a mountain, imagine what you have the potential to do ! How can each of us break the mountains that face us by learning from Manjhi

  1. Find your Purpose – Manjhi was committed because he was upset at his loss and hence he was willing to work hard to ensure that no one else suffered this fate ever again. What is the cause that fires you, a mission that you would do even if you were not paid for it, something you feel deeply and strongly about 
  1. Persistence wears every obstacle –  Remember that water with persistence can defeat sharp rocks and make them smooth. Whenever you feel like giving up, remind yourself of the reason why you started and know that if you choose to keep going, reaching the destination is inevitable. There is no power in the universe more powerful than your persistent commitment
  1. Believe and don’t give up – Walk and work in the knowledge that you are born for greatness. You have the inherent strength to overcome any mountain. Believe in your potential, in the Manjhi within you. Bring out that Manjhi within you and move forward to your goal.

In the end there is one lesson we can all learn from the man who broke the mountain. Mountains are placed before us not to defeat us but to make us heroes.

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