Day 34. Nelson Mandela reminds us of The Long Walk to Freedom, during lockdown

We are nearing the end of these Life-lessons from Nelson Mandela during lockdown aa we end on Thursday 30 April. From Monday, 04 May we have a personal challenge to put these wisdoms to work in our lives with the launch of the ‘Self-coaching challenge: Learn to coach yourself to a new future.’ More on 04 April.

It would only be befitting to end off with the one of the major lessons Nelson Mandela shared with us. The lesson that life is a Long Walk to Freedom.[i]

Aiming high

Nelson Mandela started his life in humble, tribal, illiterate circumstances.  He ended his life at the highest level of personal, social, professional and political attainment.

However, Madiba said:It is not where you start but how high you aim that matters.”

Madiba aimed quite high for his frame o ftribal reference, as he believed that:

‘I always thought that I would become the Counsellor to the Thembu King.’ Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela became the counsellor to the world. He showed us a new way. He was a real, authentic leader. Today we still learn from the Madiba-wisdoms.

Madiba’s vision was replaced with a universal calling

Madiba’s initial vision was being a freedom fighter and liberating his people from suppression and discrimination. However, he ended liberating the hearts, minds and soul of the world with his message of forgiveness, love compassion and progress for all.

Madiba thought he would become the Counsellor to the Thembu King. Madiba became the President of South Africa and an iconic leader that counseled world-leaders.

He thought that he had lost his family and friends, but he gained a global family and made new friends that still celebrate Nelson Mandela Day on 18 July each year.

Nelson Mandela’s narrow tribal vision was replaced with a universal calling, vision and purpose. He was also prepared by the Universe for this task.  

We learn that ‘nothing is as it seems’.

The question is: How did Nelson Mandela get to this level of attainment? Madiba answered this with: ‘It’s a Long Walk to Freedom’.

The unfolding of life takes time

Life is a journey. Accomplishing your goals is a journey. Finding your soul purpose and universal calling is a journey – an adventure and takes time. Making your mark takes time. Bringing your offerings to the marketplace of life, takes time. In order to accomplish this all, you first have to sort yourself out. This takes time.  

A friend sent me the following insightful WhatsApp message.

‘You can’t rush something you want to last forever’.[ii] Kushand wisdom

Making your mark

The human race has, over eons, always placed a sign, left a mark or symbol at the places they visited along the routes of their journeys. Journeys were marked so that others could retrace their steps or follow in their footsteps as necessary.

Usually the travellers erected piles of stones or built monuments in order to make the statement, “I was here”.

Ancient Stone markers

Other markers along the way may include marking significant trees, natural sites such as grottos, hills or mountains. Some used holy places like burial grounds, natural spots like waterfalls or rivers, while others used man made symbols like planting a tree, building a structure or planting a cross. Diaz planted his cross on the Southern point of Africa[iii] in order to make a statement ‘We were here – first!’

Making your mark today

Today we use different markers. They are however, no less significant and powerful as those that mark history. We are making our own history. We are writing our own script – step for step. We follow in the steps of others. Others follow our markers. THey follow in our steps. Everyone is on this journey we call – life.

The questions each one needs to ask are: Whose markers am I currently following? Where do they lead? What is my marker? Where and when did I make my mark? What is my symbol or mark? Who is following my lead? Am I on the right path? Do I need to change direction? Why? How? When?

The road less travelled

The Long Walk to Freedom, is not an easy path. It is in essence all about climbing the mountain of life. It is the search for deeper truth and new understanding. This leads to a new kind of future and the developing of a new kind and quality human-being. We are in the process of creating a New Earth.

This is the road less travelled.

Authentic leaders

It demands a new kind of quality leader to show the way. This path produces real-me people and authentic leaders.

All those who have chosen this road less travelled, are now becoming these quality people. They are taking back their power and learning how to reactivate their DNA success-blueprint. They are becoming connected, centred grounded.  

As authentic leaders they know the way, go the way and show the way to authentic self-expression and quality living that benefits all.[iv] Where do you stand?

The long walk to freedom and truth

It is a universal fact that ‘the truth sets you free’. The Long Walk to Freedom is a lifelong search for Truth. We are originally programmed with family, tribal, educational, religious and social views. These are their perceptions and people’s interpretation of what life should be like.

There is however, big difference between Truth, that is unchangeable and is relevant for all and opinions and perceptions that if only relevant for the group. The challenge is to leave lower perceptions and assumptions behind, expand our horizon and open our consciousness and awareness. We need to bring more light – even become enlightened. This means we need to let go of the old and move to a next level of knowing and understanding. We are on the path to universal wisdom.

As said. People are yearning for truth, knowing and understanding and universal wisdom. We want our freedom. The Long Walk to Freedom is a journey up the mountain of finding and living Truth.  Only you can walk this path. Only you can choose to be free.

Here are the levels we will go through.

Levels of faith and finding Universal Truth

Finding Truth means climbing the mountain of life

The New Earth with its new leadership, is all about making your unique mark while climbing the mountain of life. Nelson Mandela had an inner knowing and understanding that he had the mountain of life to climb. So do we. He said:

 “I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”

Nelson Mandela

Liberating yourself – liberating others

Only by embarking on this path, this road less travelled, can we contribute to liberating others. Leadership means ‘to show the way. We become way showers, path finders and mapmakers.

We lead by example. We just need to be who we are and live our life, purpose and calling – boldly and unapologetically. By just being – we show others how to just be themselves. As we shine in our space – we make our mark on the fabric of life. We silently give others to shine as well.

Pictures speak a thousand words.[v] Below we find our artist’s view of this liberating path up the mountain of Truth.

Enlightened people making their mark so that others can see in the dark

This is the Long walk to freedom, Nelson Mandela was prepared to walk. So do we have the choice to embark on this road less travelled.[vi] This is the path of enlightenment. This is the Path of the Christ. Buddhists call it the Path of of the Buddha.  It is the path of awakeing.

Unfortunately, there is also a downside, a dark side to this exciting journey. Here we find implosion.

The downside journey to the dark side

We live in a mirrored universe. On the one hand we find the difficult path up the mountain of life – The road less travelled, the Long walk to freedom. This is the path of evolving consciousness, the emerging of a new awareness and attainment of enlightenment. The is the path of freedom for the soul.

Unfortunately, there is always the other side. Here we find devolution – the downward spiral of the human consciousness and the loosing, even death of the soul.

Below you find a summary of these two paths. You can choose which path you want to take. Because these paths are mutually exclusive, you can’t have both.

The Long walk to freedom

In religious circles we will find terms like: The Buddha versus the anti-Buddha; Allah versus the Anti-Allah[vii] (infidels); and the Christ consciousness versus the Anti-Christ (sinners). Each have their own religious dogma and interpretation of how to save your soul and achieve enlightenment.

Tribal dogmatic religion is exclusive. They believe that only they, their belief system and the religious dogma, have the truth while others are wrong – even condemned.  Nelson Mandela could rise above this all and find Universal Truth and the collective Ubuntu. So can we. The Christ consciousness is not only for a select few – we all have a choice to access this level of enlightenment. There are others, like Jesus Christ, who went before us and left His mark on the fabric of life. .

Enlightened people – new pathfinders and mapmakers

Nelson Mandela confidently made his mark on the fabric of life.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
Nelson Mandela

It is only when you have lived your life well, and are satisfied with the mark you have made, and the legacy left behind that you can say:

  “If I had my time over I would do the same again, so would any man who dares call himself a man.” Nelson Mandela

To do list

Here are a few ideas to help you on this path:

  • Take the diagram of the two possible paths we have in life and think through the different sides and what they represent. Check yourself as to where you stand?
  • Subscribe for your free Daily Power Tools for Power People delivered to your inbox. Available here. The Daily power tools are designed to keep you going on the Long walk to freedom. We all take one small step every day. Don’t miss this opportunity.
  • Contact us if you need any assistance
  • To catch up and previous lessons see. Website:
  • Free E-book: Read the free E-book: Coaching yourself to ultimate success. Available here
  • To book a personal coaching session via Skype, Zoom or WhatsApp, call and leave a voice message or send a message to (027) 066 29 26808, or send email:  We will get back to you ASAP
  • Book Dr Brenda as speaker for organisational, leadership and/or staff training and as speaker for your next event. Email:

Stay safe – stay connected

Brenda Hattingh


[i] [i] Mandela, Nelson, R. (1994). Illustrated. The long walk to freedom. The            

          Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Little, Brown & Company: London.

[ii] See. Kushandwizdom

[iii] See:

[iv] Hattingh, Brenda. (2020.). Authentic living and leading. What you should know and how to activate it. Currency Communications Pty.Ltd.: Johannesburg

[v]   From an early Emperor of the Xia Dynasty in China about 4,000 years ago.

[vi]   Hattingh, B.( 2012 b). New leadership DNA. Developing enlightened leaders.

                Johannesburg: Currency Communications.

[vii]All Muslims and most Christians acknowledge that they believe in the same god even though their understandings differ.


Unless otherwise stated, all Nelson Mandela quotes were taken from his  illustrated Autobiography as referred to below.

Mandela, Nelson, R.  (1994). The long walk to freedom. The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Illustrated. London: Little, Brown & Company.