Atreyu’s Lesson


G’mork: “I am G’mork. And you, whoever you are, can have the honor of being my last victim.”
Atreyu: “I will not die easily. I am a warrior! ”
G’mork: “Ha! Brave warrior, then fight the Nothing.”
Atreyu: “But I can’t! I can’t get beyond the boundaries of Fantasia!”
[G’mork laughs and Atreyu gets a little angry]
Atreyu: “What’s so funny about that?”
G’mork: “Fantasia has no boundaries.”

Do you remember The NeverEnding Story? This 1984 film adaptation of Michael Ende’s book was the Matrix before there was a Matrix. I remember seeing this movie with my father back in 1984. After weeks of begging, My dad, a physician, took time out of his busy schedule to take me to see this movie. I remember being enchanted by the then “cutting edge” special effects and the journey of the under-estimated hero Bastian and the hero of his “borrowed” storybook, Atreyu. You can’t help but be drawn in as they search to save Fantasia from destruction from an all devouring evil force.

I’ll never forget the exchange above between the hero and his nemesis in the film. Our hero, when confronted with the failure of his quest to get beyond the boundaries of Fantasia, is abruptly shown that there are no boundaries to Fantasia. The boundaries existed in his mind, borne out of his own lack of understanding.

Now, some many years later, I’ve had the opportunity to watch this film with my own boys. And lo and behold this little nugget inside of it.

How many of us have responded in work, our lives, etc. that we can’t get beyond some limitation? That there exists some task that seems insurmountable. Some problem that is intractable. Maybe its a limitation of our knowledge, expertise, professional network, etc. As CIOs we get the opportunity to stand at the boundary of frontier and established knowledge. The changes to our world can come from any direction and at dizzying speed.

My only advice for you as you gaze into that uncertain and scary “Nothing”. Remember this truth: Fantasia has no boundaries.

— Warrior

About The Warrior

The Warrior spends time as the Chief Information Officer at a Philadelphia non-profit, the father of 2, an amateur astronomer, a coffee aficionado, as a home theatre enthusiast, and a science fiction author.
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