Monday, 30 June 2008

Monday morning Inspiration # 36

A couple of months ago, I had a unique experience of going to the Bombay circus. I was out there to buy tickets for the evening show. There was a really long queue so I opted to have a walk around and see the animals. The only advice I was given by the keepers were not to feed or disturb the animals. Walking along side the tents I was excitedly looking at the animals in their cages - camel, horse, dog, lion and a variety of parrots. In the last tent I passed there were three elephants and a calf.

I was surprised to see each of them tied with a rope(that could easily be broken by these giants) - with one end to a front leg and the other end tied to a stake in the ground. There were no cages , no chains for the mighty beasts. It seemed peculiar that the parrots commanded a cage, but the elephants didn't; perhaps there was a pecking order among animals!

Noticing an animal trainer, I approached him and asked why the elephants just stood there and made no attempt to escape? "Well" he said, "When they are very young and much smaller we use the same kind of rope to tie them. By the time the elephants grow to full size, they are conditioned to believe the ropes are unbreakable. They think that the rope can still hold them, so they have given up trying to break free"

The explanation satisfied my curiosity but I was totally astonished. The ropes were really no more than obstacle relics. A firm pull and the ropes would snap, but the elephants don't seem to care. It would seem that the animals had no desire to test their boundaries. They were prisoners of self belief.

I couldn't help but draw parllels between elephants and humans. Such self-limiting beliefs prevent us from fully realising our potential. How many of us go through life holding a belief that we cannot do something, jus' because we failed at it once earlier?

I for that matter have chose to live up to mu full potential. I will conciously fnd such self- limiting beliefs and challenge them . Better a broken rope than a withered spirit.

P.S. This MMI is modified from a story I came across in my favourite magazine "Frozen Thoughts"
Have a great week ahead!
To read other Monday morning Inspirations click here.


Shionge said...

Hiya Shalini, thank you for an inspirational post and I want to thank you for your numerous visits to my blog too :D

Yes, maximise our full potential indeed.

A Random Visitor said...

I needed that post - it has given me a temporary reprieve - but my self -belief (doubt) runs very deep.

Thanks a lot anyway.

Shalini Gowrisankar said...


Thank you so much! Glad that you liked it :). Its always a pleasure to read your blog :)

@ a random visitor

Thanks a lot for dropping by my blog space :) Good to know its helped you, jus' believe in yourself and I'm sure your belief won't let you down :)

Bit Rocks! said...

ya shalini....thats pretty much correct..I have lot of things whic h i fell i cant do n i m bt gvng a try!!!!!!


Shalini Gowrisankar said...


Glad that this post helped you realise your potential :)

Preetilata【ツ】 said...

that was an awesomely grt inspirational post dear. so true... grt work shalini dear.

btwn m bk 2 blogging.. tk cr

Vasanthan said...

you now why i like your MMIs? Its because the message is not too deep to understand. everything is put in a very easy and convincing way.

it is a good source of inspiration. and good for the Monday blues.

perfectly describes our traditional fears which are preventing us to be great.

Shalini Gowrisankar said...


Thankyou so much dear! :) I'm glad your back to blogging. Will visit your space soon :)


Exactly! traditional fears.

Thanks for your encouraging words. Its people like you who keep me going :) else I would have quit blogging long back.

curryegg said...

Ahwww.. Honestly, this is a good post. The idea is based on your observation..
Ya.. sometimes, we don't believe in our potential and that is when we limit ourself from reaching our goal. I like Tony Buzan idea, expend your ability.. ;)

Thank for the visit and nice to meet you again!

Shalini Gowrisankar said...


Thanks for that valuble comment :) I'm glad we have met again as well :). I have been wanting to read Tony Buzan's books for quite sometime, but yet to find sometime for it. Stay in touch :)

Manivannan said...


Just came across your blog. Was nice
to read, especially the observation of elephant's thought.

Lots of such elephants reside in us too! Keep posting good stuff.

- Mani

venkat said...

Thank you for a very inspirational story which is the truth for most of the people.It is a very good lesson which inspires

Shalini Gowrisankar said...


So, true. lots of such elephats reside in us. A sad fact indeed. Thanks for dropping by, will visit your blog soon :)


Thanks for dropping by, glad to know it inspired you :)

Lena said...

great post! you are right, too often we put limits to ourselves.
But like someone said "The only place where your dream becomes impossible, is your own thinking" :)

PS: great pic of yours :)

Shalini Gowrisankar said...


Thank you so much! Happy to see you back in my blog :)

Red Phoenix said...

very very true.we are just scared of our failures & moreover the fear of repeating the same is what haunts us.Many of us do think on the lines of the elephant.
A nice parallel drawn ...:)