I’ve recently decided to read some material about Nelson Mandela’s remarkable story. Needless to stay, I am impressed to the greatest extent.
The question I am now asking myself is what universal lessons can we learn from such an exceptional human being?
It is always hard to compare anyone’s life to the one of a man who remained in a small cell for 27 years but yet managed to keep faith in human nature and change the course of history.
I can still see many similarities between Mandela’s state of mind and the one of people who, at their modest level, succeed in life. Let’s break them into 4, universal, “Mandela Rules”.
- Mandela wasn’t too happy about this whole apartheid thing. He fought against it, and, after 27 years in prison, eventually beat the crap out of it. Same should go with anyone else’s life: when a rule seems unfair, wrong, or just plain stupid, be determined in breaking it.
Rule #1: Break the rules when you disagree with them.
- Just because he was black and because his pairs had been discriminated for centuries didn’t stop Mandela from believing they could live a different life. He eventually proved he was right. This is a lesson for everyone, as there is always a way to reach your goals regardless of what your past and background is.
This takes us to
Rule #2: Never let your background stop you from reaching your goals.
- Mandela fought and lived for the right of black people, and against their prosecutors. Nevertheless, he didn’t try to take any revenge once he got into power. It is quite the opposite actually, as he showed mercy and compassion towards those that had made him and his people suffer for decades. He knew that this attitude was necessary to reach reconciliation, which was the only way to eventually bring happiness to the whole nation. Yup, remember peops: doing good brings you good, whereas being an ass is short-sighted and won’t ever get you real satisfaction
Here it comes,
Rule #3 Always care, about people you love and about everyone else.
- Even during his worst times in jail, Mandela always “stood up when (he) wanted to lie down”. That’s because his will to succeed was unbreakable. That’s because his determination was total.
You know where I’m going with this,
Rule #4: Never give up
And of course, I had to end this post with the cliché quote we all heard in 2010 blockbuster Invictus. But how couldn’t I? You, my friend, are responsible for everything that’s happening to you.
“I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul”