An Elephant’s Memory

An Elephant's Memory

“The elephant is the beast which passeth all others in wit and mind.”

—Aristotle

The elephant plays a significant role in various cultures around the world. He is considered a symbol of wisdom, famed for intelligence and is revered as one who never forgets. With a gestational period of 22 months, it is common for an elephant calf to weigh 250 pounds. Fully grown, a male can weigh more than 20,000 pounds and stand at a shoulder height taller than 12 feet.

But how does a circus trainer contain an elephant? She ties the elephant to a small wooden stake that is secured in the ground. During the first few years of his life and training, the elephant will try to pull the stake from the ground, but he lacks the necessary strength. With purpose, he will attempt to remove the stake until he concludes that it is impossible and eventually gives up.

As the years pass, the elephant won’t attempt to pull the stake from the ground because his past reminds him of all the times he could not. Although the elephant has the strength to move and carry heavy objects with his trunk, his brain is trained to tell him that he is incapable of pulling the stake from the ground. He is conditioned to fail and won’t even try.

How often do you and I have the memory of an elephant and allow our minds to limit our current or future success? Just like the elephant, do you and I conclude that most feats are impossible and just give up on even trying?

Our memory should not be an impediment to future success! We all need to learn how to move forward with confidence.

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