Breaking boundaries


Akolawole Shoremi

“There are no limitations to the mind except those that we acknowledge.” ― Napoleon Hill

In the month of August, I came across a pathetic story of an Elephant as experienced in a zoo. According to the Author, an anonymous, the Elephant, a huge creature, was held by a small rope tied to the front leg with neither chains nor cages. Thereby it was obvious to the passersby that the Elephant could break away from the bond anytime. However, for reasons unfathomable to almost all observers, the Elephant did not.

The Author further stated how a passerby had inquired, out of curiosity, from the zoo Trainer why the Elephant despite all its strength preferred not to break the bond. And there the Trainer had responded, “Well, when the Elephant was very young and much smaller, we used the same rope size to tie it. Even though it was firm enough to hold it at that younger age only, the Elephant had been mentally conditioned to believe the rope can still not break away even if it tries. And so the Elephant never tried.” As expected, the observers were full of pity for the creature meantime they were also amazed at the stupidity of the animal.

At the end of this story, I laughed. I was neither amazed like the passersby nor did I laughed at the foolishness of the Elephant. Rather, I laughed at the naivety of the observers who were amazed at an attitude which many of us are obviously guilty of. Needless to proof that most of us at one time or the other also shares this attitudinal mindset. Of course, it further affirms the semblance in all creatures as basically animals. The only difference is the ‘higher’ we humans are better addressed with. It is this same ‘higher’ that somehow differentiate us from the other classes of animals. And it is with the presence of this same ‘higher’ that we are able to figure it out why other animals continue to remain mere animals. All credits to the mental works of Charles Darwin.

Often in life, we are conditioned to experience some certain challenges. Many at times, these challenges do not really demand physical efforts. All that will need is but a little mental exercise to understand the technicalities behind these challenges. Eventually, the consequences of our reactions either ends up paving way for us to be progressive or it ends up hindering us. And except we are true to our purpose of living and provided we remain firm in its pursuit, we are bound to be submissive to every challenge that comes our way.

I was once mentored on the act of learning; the ability to be able to unlearn what I have learnt. I was mentored to be open to new lessons every other day even when the new lessons contradict what I was taught earlier. According to one of my mentors, the secret about life will always remain a secret that requires series of secrets to be unravelled, hence, there is room to the advent of new approaches – new discoveries – new truths.

Success is tied to the ability to think outside the confines of our immediate environment. Success is tied to the will to break boundaries. And it is the number of boundaries that we can break, including their uniqueness, which determines the success we turn out to be. It is hereby my expectation that regardless of the circumstance we find ourselves, we must never let go the urge to make our dreams come true; this begins by a refusal to be restrained to the environment we continuously find ourselves.

The will to breaking boundaries involve the fundamental belief that there is obviously no limit to what we can achieve. In the words of Max DePree, “we cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” I hope to see you break boundaries!


We Can. We Will. We Must


Akolawole is a Social Media Executive for Airtel Nigeria, a Columnist with Stockswatch newspaper, a community Youth Leader, and an active Advocate on Entrepreneurship and Nation building. He can be reached via and/or +2348085366022 (SMS only).




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