“Whether you think you can or think you can’t- you’re right.”
In 1959, Falguni Devi fell from a narrow pathway while carrying lunch to her husband, Dashrath Manjhi.
At the time, the steep pathway up and over the mountain was the only way to get from the small village of Gehlaur to the neighboring town of Gaya.
Falguni was pregnant when she fell. Dashrath carried his battered wife and unborn child 70 km (almost 44 miles) to the nearest hospital. Falguni died shortly after giving birth to their baby girl.
The heart-broken Dashrath blamed the mountain for his wife’s death. He vowed to bring it down. With nothing more than a hammer, a chisel, and sheer will, he began picking away.
Twenty-two years later, Dashrath completed his quest- a 30-foot-wide 360-foot-long path through the mountain. In some places it was more than 25 feet deep.
Finished in 1982, Dashrath’s cut through the mountain reduced the previous 55 km trek between Gehlaur and Gaya to less than 15 km.
The BIG Idea
This is how you change things.
In the beginning, Dashrath had nothing but his will. He had no government support, no resources, no budget. Those who knew him thought him crazy. “When I started hammering the hill,” he later relayed, “people called me a lunatic, but that steeled my resolve.”
He never did receive any government support or funding; however, the mindset of his neighbors shifted as he continued forward. “Though most villagers taunted me at first, there were quite a few who lent me support later by giving me food and helping me buy my tools.”
Commitment. Dedication. 22 years.
There’s now a statue to honor him in front of his memorial at Gelhaur.
In 2015, a full-length movie was produced to tell his story: Manjhi: The Mountain Man. It’s rated 4.5 stars.
The movie is in Hindi; however, English subtitles are available. You can watch the movie trailer HERE.
In 2016, the Indian government published a postage stamp in his honor.
From the lowest caste in India, hassled by the authorities, initially ridiculed by his neighbors- sheer will and determination born out of love for his wife turns this guy into a hero.
How powerful it can be when overcoming an obstacle- whatever’s standing in your way or holding you back- when this becomes the goal itself.
While your calling might not be to carve a road through a literal mountain, there is undoubtedly something ‘nagging’ at you- some part of your purpose whispering in your ear, prompting you to take action.
Answering your call is how you change your world.
Does your ‘call’ seem impossible?
Remember- whether you think you can, or think you can’t- you’re right.
It’s time to begin.
What action can you take today to start moving forward?
Until next time my friend, be well and stay safe.