As I was passing the elephants, I suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
I saw a trainer nearby and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well”, he said, when they were very young and much smaller, we used the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, they were enough to hold them. As they grew up, they were conditioned to believe they could not break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free”.
I was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we can not do something, simply because we failed at it once before?