May 13, 2020 –

Every circus has elephants. No matter that they also had clowns, tigers, and dancing dogs. But the elephants, the largest land mammals, draw the attention of boys and girls. Each elephant has a story to tell. The best story I remember is the elephant rope story.

For years I believed the elephant rope story and how motivational speakers used it to illustrate to people we have unlimited boundaries. The “rope” that keeps us tied to our past can be broken.

The story illustrates when a baby elephant is tied by a rope to a small stake driven into the ground, it will roam out to the length of the rope. The young elephant has not developed its strength and cannot pull up the stake.

As the elephant grows, he doesn’t have a light-bulb experience and realizes he could break free from his bond with ease. So, they condition him to stay within his known boundary, and he doesn’t venture out.

Wild elephants live in families called herds and find it difficult to leave the other members of the group, and they often suffer from their boundary conditioning; they stay with the familiar. But these large land mammals have three distinct personality traits: attentiveness, sociability, and aggressiveness.

If you are into elephant-learning, consider applying the lessons of the elephant’s personality.

Attentiveness. Be thoughtful and considerate of everyone you come into contact with. Don’t prejudge others. Get to know them and then evaluate them.

Social. Be friendly and warm; you attract more people to your cause.

Aggressiveness. Be forceful and assertive but also listen to other’s opinions. The tactic of listening more and talking less is excellent advice.

Step outside your rope zone and test the boundaries. Don’t follow the other elephants. While others mean well, it is possible; you need a new path. When someone compliments you by saying, “You have a memory like an elephant,” they are saying you have an excellent memory. So, unlike the elephant, don’t let imaginary ropes and small stakes in the ground define you?