"I feel driven towards an end that I do not know. As soon as I shall have reached it, as soon as I become unnecessary, an atom will suffice to shatter me. Till then, not all the forces of mankind can do anything against me." - Napolean Bonaparte.
When I first saw this quote, I thought, wow, how profound and insightful... Then I began to think more about the quote, and I began to ask what does this mean? What was Napoleon saying? I tried looking online for what it could possibly mean, but I came to a dead end. So I am going to give my interpretation of it.
I believe Napoleon was saying that as we live life and go about our daily activities, learning more about ourselves and growing, it's all for a purpose. To an end goal that honestly none of us will ever know as we stand here today because we have not lived through the end. But once we finally reach that point where all of it makes sense, and we have lived through the definitive moment in our lives, we will no longer have a reason to be in existence. Life will be pointless. However, until I reach that moment, nothing can stop me from getting there and reaching my goal, especially if it was planned, destined, and made for me. With some context of Napoleon, he was a French military and statesman whose goal was to establish a democracy in France. He was determined to overthrow the French monarchy, create a free public, and fought many battles to maintain a revolutionary government.
Napoleon believed in a bigger plan and a bigger picture. His destiny was to serve that plan, which helped him even greater as he led his troops to victory. He was known as a genius, and not only that, he set the people free of oppressive rule. This reminds me of the Bible story of Moses and the Israelites. God sent Moses back to Egypt to warn Pharaoh to let his people go and then went on and freed his people from the bondage of slavery and oppression with the help of God. Moses did not get to see the promised land he led his people to, and the people were appointed a new leader. He was born for a purpose greater than him and what he even thought he could do or desire, and once fulfilled it, he passed.
Sometimes in life, I question why God created me and what is my destiny? What am I supposed to be doing? What am I made for? What I am good at, what will I be good at? And there are moments where I don't want to accomplish anything significant and stay in my quiet little bubble in the corner. But how much choice and control do we really have over what is inevitable and was specifically made for us? Like a key to a lock, designed for that specific part, to do a particular thing that no other key can do. I always wonder where life will take me how far I can go. But I only have one life, and why not try to live it the best I can, with what I have. I'm never going to get this chance again to do the things I want to do and experience the things I want. I might as well give things a try because sooner or later, time comes knocking on the door, ready to take me away. Like I said, we will never know tomorrow or even an hour to reach, but I have this second right now and what I will do with it. The actions of the now lead to the inevitable unknowing outcome of tomorrow.
I feel it's not about the end goal and my purpose in life. It's the journey of self-discovery through faith, hope, life experiences, either good or bad. Time will be a testament to my missions in life (because it definitely can be more than one). Time will open my eyes to what is and was my definitive moment in life. And when I reach the end, that's when I know if I've lived it through or not. It is not within our power to decide whether we have a future or not or to be fated to do something. There will always be paths in life that will direct us to that race. Still, as individuals, it is up to us, with our choice whether we will live it out or not, how determined or tenacious are we to live a life that is more than what we think we are capable of. Moses, who had a stutter, managed to lead a race of people to freedom. This is probably more than what he could ever imagine. However, if he let that stop him, who would say what life would have been? Moses courage gave birth to more leaders and bought to life others with opportunities to succeed and avail like Joshua and so forth. One man's and woman's courage makes a nation. Andrew Jackson, 1767–1845.
Moreover, as mentioned above, Moses did not get to see the promised land, the home in which he was leading his people. And this is why I wrote on the journey, discovering yourself and living through that, rather than driving myself to find my ultimate purpose, to focus on the end. In my opinion this is just looking to the grave. Setting goals is good, but discovering my soul and passions while getting there is even better.
I know I am made for more, and I can and will be more, and in the meantime, I'm going to do more, even if it's as little as thinking positively or picking up a new skill. It all does count when it matters. I will not concern myself with how far I can go. This could lead to disappointment, but what motivates me and encourages me to press forward.
What encourages you in life? How did you interpret Napoleon's quote? It could be the most minor thing?