Day 5. Nelson Mandela teaches us about the power of the 3 S’s during lockdown

We ask the question: How is it that Nelson Mandela emerged such a powerful, but humble man, from his lockdown?


Power is the driving force that keeps us going, giving us the motivation to persevere, the driving force to carry on, even under difficult circumstances.

We find external and internal driving forces. Nelson Mandela had an internal driving force that not only kept him going for nearly 28 years in prison, he emerged inspired, enlightened and empowered after his lockdown.

We can ask: How did Madiba maintain this inner driving force?

I believe he found this power in the 3 S’s. The 3 S’s are Silence, Solitude and Simplicity.

The power of the 3 S’s


Just imagine how still it must have been in prison. Nelson Mandela harnessed his period of silence by going within. He didn’t look at external circumstances to keep him occupied – or even sane…

Where do you go during periods of silence?

  • Going within

Going within means connecting with deeper values and meaning while elevating your resonance. This can be done through meditation and prayer or just being still and opening your mind. It will come to you.

  • Connecting with your higher mind – with God

It’s during silence you can connect with your inner real-me, higher, authentic self. You can even connect with the universal Mind, the God Mind. Here you can tap into the wisdoms of the Masters while connecting to the mind of the Creator.

This is also a practice used by our world religious leaders like Jesus Christ and Buddha. Current leaders include Gandhi, Tolstoy, the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and others.

  • Finding you purpose

These influential people, all had the practice of harnessing the power of silence. Inner stillness, the absence of the inner chatter in your head and noise in your heart, allows you to move past the delusion of the shadow ego self and find the truth.

You can let go of the need for external stimulation of light, sound and movement. You become still. It’s a choice.

In the space of silence, you can ‘hear’ clearer. By asking the right questions, you can also find your purpose and calling. You can also replenish your power.

Make time to be still and silent.


Retracting from others and creating a time of solitude and silence, allows you to identify and reconnect to what really matters in your life. Here you can identify what you really want and need to be truly happy and fulfilled.

You also gain clarity about what your next step could be. Here your vision could become clear.

Nelson Mandela was in maximum security for most of his tine in lockdown. His vision became clearer. He knew what he needed to do.

  • Missing silence and solitude

Later, as president of South Africa and world leader, Madiba remarked that he missed the long periods of solitude and silence when he could read, meditate and just be still.

The question is: How do you create a place of solitude and silence when you are in lockdown and surrounded by many people?

The answer is: Make it a priority and make a plan.

Ps: My friend Lientjie, who had four small busy children called it her ‘toile-therapy’. This was the only place she could be alone – even for a few minutes.


Nelson Mandela knew the power of simplicity. He had experienced it firsthand by spending a large part of his life in the simplest circumstances you can find – in prison.

Madiba lived a life in a simple cell with a simple bed and bedding, with simple food, simple clothing and little or no recreation

Nevertheless – Madiba not only emerged inspired and empowered, he also emerged a loving, kind and humble man.  

  • The power of simplicity

Once we understand the power of simplicity, we are prepared to let go of all the ego-trappings accumulated over time. We re-define our definition of ‘success’ and know ‘less is more’

  • Simplicity and beauty

Simplicity has a beauty all of its own. It’s uncluttered, uncontaminated and unpretentious. Simplicity is beauty in action.

Beautify your life by getting rid of over-indulgences. Clean up and clean out your heart, mind, body and soul. Detox and detangle from negativity and destructive habits, patterns and overindulgences.

Re-align with new, deeper universal, spiritual values. If you don’t know what they are – then stay posted.

To do list:

Here are a few suggestions to help you on your path.

  • What can you do to become still? Try exercise, yoga, meditation, create something, listen to music, etc…
  • If you are surrounded by people, what can you do to have a time of solitude?
  • Remember, simplicity is beauty and less is more. Detox, detangle and redesign your new life.
  • Mindfully harness the power of the 3 S’s: Silence, Solitude and Simplicity
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Take care and stay connected.