Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

Inner Drive

I was reading a post of Seth Godin with a wonderful story of Steven Pressfield. The main character, for me, is not the rifleman but an inner skill driving your life.

Photo by Nik Shuliahin
Photo by Nik Shuliahin

“A Ghurka rifleman escaped from a Japanese prison in south Burma and walked six hundred miles alone through the jungles to freedom. The journey took him five months, but he never asked the way and he never lost the way. For one thing he could not speak Burmese and for another he regarded all Burmese as traitors. He used a map and when he reached India he showed it to the Intelligence officers, who wanted to know all about his odyssey. Marked in pencil were all the turns he had taken, all the roads and trail forks he has passed, all the rivers he had crossed. It had served him well, that map. The Intelligence officers did not find it so useful. It was a street map of London.”

All the tools in the world are useless if you constantly drift inside your mind. The inner orientation ability of this rifleman is the star of this story. We all have it. Most of us might neglect it.

Some call it intuition, sixth sense, but I rather call it the inner compass.

It’s inside, but not inherent. It is built by small acts driven by small goals, through which you learn not who you are, but who you become.

It’s never too late to start small and generate the inner compass which tells you where to go with your goals regardless of the circumstances making the map of your life.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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