THE ELEPHANT STORY …
Beliefs and their Awesome Power!
I like the elephant story, it demonstrates quite clearly yet powerfully, the effect good or bad – that beliefs have on us.
Makes no difference whether you are an elephant, a human or an ant. The same will apply everywhere. This story is often told in slightly different variations, the following is mine.
Here we go…
Somewhere in the world, a mother elephant gives birth to a her baby. This should be a normal birth setting in the wild but regrettably it is in a staged environment involving a shady circus set up. As soon as the baby leaves the mothers body and first struggles on the earth beneath, the circus people will force the mother away from her baby and force the mother away and out of the environment all together.
The baby elephant, in a combined state of confusion and physical exhaustion after having just been ‘born’, now does not know what to do. There is no mother around to nurture. At this point the circus people come in and do a very profound thing that will shape the baby elephants life…forever to come.
They drive a big wood peg in to the ground, attach a strong chain to the wood at the top and then attach the other end of the chain around the baby elephants rear lower leg via a buckle.
Out of instinct the baby elephant struggles and fights to get away from this chain with all its might. Bear in mind that a baby elephant weighs between 90 – 120 kg at birth so this ‘baby’ is a rather large and very strong baby already. This struggle happens until the baby elephant tires and strolls leisurely around almost as if it knows it needs to rest ready for the next attempt, then it does just that, again there is a struggle between the post / chain and the baby elephant.
All this time the circus people are watching ‘just in case’ yet sitting and doing nothing as they are waiting for a particular moment to occur…
At some point between 24 hours and 72 hours the baby elephant does something regrettable…it ‘sits down’. The circus people – knowing what this means as they have done this numerous times before almost celebrate at their perceived victory.
What has happened is this…in essence the baby elephant has made a new belief internally and a public statement externally. It has ‘given up attempting to free it itself from the restraint and has ACCEPTED the limitation’. This action / behaviour stems from a moment before where inside the elephants mind, he or she has said to them self, something like ‘ I will never be able to get out of this so what’s the point trying…’ This belief is now set in motion and will cause / effect the elephants Destiny.
Fast forward 10 – 30 years and you go to see the same elephant in an advertised circus parade that has come to your town. You and your friend sit there with your popcorn or hot dog and wait for the acts to appear, eagerly waiting for the elephants act because they just happen to be your favourite. So what do you see and what do you think…
An elephant comes out in to the middle or so and the circus staff follow it out with a wooden peg, chain and a big hammer of some sorts. They then bang the wooden peg quickly in to the ground once the elephant has got in to position with the chain attached the elephants rear lower leg at one end and to the weak wooden peg at the other.
Your friend turns to you and makes a comment along the lines of “Wow, I don’t get it! that little wooden peg – how does it keep the elephant in place, that elephant could easily get free from it, why doesn’t it?”
This friend is correct, just so you know the facts, an adult elephant can weigh around 5 tonnes!!! and be 3 meters high?!
The reply you give is “It is simply because the elephant BELIEVES it cannot escape that wooden peg because it BELIEVES the wooden peg is stronger than itself. The elephant may even not have the peg and chain anymore, yet BELIEVE that it is still there. Either way a long time back the elephant linked this up in its head and it seems the elephant has NEVER QUESTIONED THAT BELIEF SINCE, so the elephant ACTS AS IF this BELIEF IS REALITY…
Your friend turns back to you and says again “that is insane – that elephant could easily quash that peg in one attempt, run free and be happy!”
You reply “yes absolutely true, you and I know, and everyone in the real world knows that, but the elephant DOES NOT KNOW / BELIEVE THAT”
In other words, what mattered here was not reality, not the reality that says this elephant has grown up stronger and bigger and could at any time it wishes break that peg and potentially free itself.
Rather the elephants ‘BELIEFS’ WITHIN ITSELF – CONTROLLED IT’S LIFE AND THUS IT’S ENTIRE DESTINY….
Do you have limiting beliefs about life or yourself?
Are they dated – meaning you linked things up and a certain time and in a certain context and present tense – they no longer make sense, they are no longer logical even, or they no longer BENEFIT you?!?
In Psychology dated means statements ( beliefs ) made are not statements of Universal Truth. They are / were DATED to the time they were made and in the context they were made in, change the time or the context – and they no longer SERVE YOU!!!!!
From the time a belief was set in place, let’s say 5 years back, you have learned more become more grown more acquired more experienced more given more said more etc…so do you think that particular statement / belief that was in place 1,800 odd days ago is still relevant or beneficial TODAY?!?
Message in a nut shell :
Reality as we know it, matters for sure. What matters MORE however – is the BELIEFS you choose to have installed in the computer between your ears – that interprets ( filters ) that world around you that is real, it is your perceptions that are real to you – that is how you live and function in that world outside / around you.
Might be a good idea to CHANGE the outdated, limited and destructive ‘perceptions’ ( beliefs )
Darren Christopher Rowland