Break the Sound Barrier !!

F-A-18C hornet jet breaking the sound barrier (image courtesy:

The ‘Sound barrier’ is the name given to the imaginary wall of sound waves which obstruct and create drag for any object which moves at the speed of sound. Any object is said to be moving at ‘supersonic’ speed when it attains a speed faster than sound.

Before going supersonic, any object which moves lesser than the speed of sound is said to be moving at ‘sub-sonic ’ speed. We all know that sound propagates in the form of waves. At sub-sonic velocity the sound waves coming from the object travel well in front. Since the propagation of sound waves is limited, the object (or the sound source), if moving at a relatively high speed can catch up with the waves it produces. As the object approaches the speed of sound (sonic velocity), these sound waves begin to pile up in front of it, forming a seemingly impenetrable barrier to cross. But if the object has sufficient acceleration, it can burst through. When this barrier is broken, a loud sound now known as the ‘Sonic Boom’ is heard on the ground directly below it. After penetrating the barrier, the object is now moving at ‘Supersonic velocity’ i.e. moving faster than sound itself. Depending on it’s speed, the sound caused by the object will now be heard long after the object has passed through.

We can draw a parallel and apply it on our very own lives from the phenomenon explained above. All of us (read Humans) generally move at Sub-sonic speeds or below. Symbolically, it means that we move very well within our comfort zone. We are at harmony with nature and liked by all. As the saying goes, you’re an awesome guy until people start to realize that you’re competition. Sooner or later in life, we suddenly desire to move ahead faster. It could be because of an external influence or an innate desire …. It could be an inspiring speech from any businessman or leader who’s made it big, it could be the success story of the neighbourhood dork who has suddenly turned into an overnight success. Whatever the reason may be, the ‘impact’ registers on our conscious and sub-conscious minds. This impact causes the initial ‘thrust’ and ‘acceleration’. We slowly begin to feel dissatisfied with our surroundings and our current mode of life. The desire for adventure, to earn fame, fortune, wealth and to step out of our comfort zone overpowers us. We become aggressive in pursuing our goals and proceed with great velocity.

That’s when the sound waves start piling up. The sound waves could be both internal as well as external. The internal soundwaves are our own doubts and insecurities such as lack of self-confidence, ignorance, low self-belief and other things. External waves are what others feel about us, their opinion of us and their attempts to pull us back when we try to move forward. You’ll notice a change in attitude of people who you earlier thought were your friends; some will be subtle, some not so subtle.

Many of us will falter at the first hurdle. The weak will look for excuses or a scapegoat to blame their failures on. The strong will pick themselves up and proceed, undeterred. As we push higher and harder, we find that the path has become even more rugged, the slope steeper than before; challenging the strongest among us. And yet, those who possess sufficient momentum and acceleration in the form of motivation, will-power, determination, dedication and discipline will push forward and forward until the defining moment comes. This defining moment is the final step towards total self-confidence, self-reliance and self-belief. This is the toughest obstacle. All our internal and external sound waves will stand right in front of us like a tough and solid insurmountable wall, an impenetrable barrier allowing no one to pass through. But to those who have come this far, it’s a matter of taking just one more step. It will test all your strength and resolve, everything you’ve got. But then again, you haven’t come here all the way just to back out at the crucial moment. And then you push through. It will take all of your effort, self-belief, strength and will power, but you finally do it! You are finally through! The impenetrable wall has been broken! The wall which barred your way earlier now comes down in a heap, making a loud noise. This noise is your very own Sonic Boom! This Sonic Boom signifies your triumph over all adversities and insecurities. This is your way of telling the world that you have arrived; with a Bang! You are now ready to face the toughest challenges and hurdles undeterred and caring two hoots of what the world thinks of you. You are now steadfast on the way to success, least bothered about the insinuations and the accusations of lesser men and women.

When any object attains supersonic velocity, fragile objects on the ground such as glass panes are known to shatter. When you become supersonic, fragile things such as ego and other negative stuff which impede your growth; shatter! They become broken relics, no longer an obstacle to your growth and success. When an object becomes supersonic, such as a fighter plane, the sound it produces will now be heard long after it passes through (depending on it’s speed). Similarly, when you become supersonic, all the soundwaves which hindered your growth will be left far behind. They will holler no doubt, but it will be like throwing water on a buffalos’ back; like lame complaints made by weak losers who see the winner running away with the rewards.

Become supersonic and leave all your doubts and insecurities far behind. The going is tough. But then again, no path to growth and success is easy. It will test all your strength, your resolve, will-power, determination and strength. But if you have it in you, if you persist despite the odds; you will break your Sound barrier!

Become supersonic and break the sound barrier!