A man went to the zoo and, at one point, found himself walking past some elephants. A bit confused, he turned back to where the elephants were tied up and looked at the thin rope tied to their front leg. The man knew the elephants could easily break the thin rope and wondered why they were not housed in a cage or even had chains to secure them in place.
A member of the zoo staff walked past and the man stopped him, asking about the use of such a small rope. “You see,” said the park attendant, “when the elephants are babies, we tie them with this size rope, which easily holds them in place. As the elephants grow and become much bigger it has been ingrained in them that they are not able to break the rope. It’s called ‘conditioning' . . . we condition them from birth to believe that they can never break free of the rope and this conditioning lasts throughout their lifetime.”
The man stood in amazement at such a simple explanation and what a huge effect this had on these giant animals. HE knew that they could, at any time, break free of the rope, but the elephants believed that they could never be free.
Do WE think like these trained elephants by believing that we cannot do something just because we have never done it before, OR tried once and failed?
“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”