Once upon a time, a boatman wanted to go from Mathura to Gokul. He sat in his boat on the banks of river Yamuna. But he was in a very dizzy mood because of excess intake of Bhaang (Mildly intoxicating version of buttermilk). It was quite dark in the evening. As soon as he sat in the boat, he started rowing the boat. He had complete faith in his muscular strength. He was pretty sure that by dawn, he would reach his destination. He was shouting that his boat would reach to Gokul anytime.
The rowing continued all night. The boatman was rowing with all his strength. Soon the dawn was upon him. With the sunlight visibility, boatman was perplexed looking the ambience similar to that of Mathura on the shore. He shouted at a person passing and asked him which village was that. The person replied Mathura.
It was then that the boatman realized that it was the same port where he was the previous night. He was in the same boat at the same place and the boat had not left its position. After he was sober, the boatman realized his foolishness. He rowed immensely but failed to untie the rope which tied the boat with the dock.
The boatman because of his dizziness makes effort for the whole night and still stays at the same place he was. Because he forgets to free himself from what is holding him back.
If you do not leave where you are, you will never be where you want to be. You have to leave a place to be at another. It is like everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.
In life also, we behave like this boatman. We set new goals for ourselves every time but we fail to understand the essence of going away from our old self. You cannot achieve new things by following same old methods. You cannot change if you do stay the same old you.
More importantly, you have to set yourself free from all the anchors holding you back. Just like a ship, we all have anchors holding us back. We need to set ourselves free from them.
Another thing that we have to learn from this boatman is sense of direction. It simply does not matter how hard you work if you do not have any right direction. Boatman is working extremely hard but is not moving at all. Even if boatman was free and was moving in opposite direction, he would not reach his destination. So it is very important to go with hard work focused in right direction after setting oneself free.