"When young, they are attached by heavy chains to large stakes driven deep into the ground. They pull and yank and strain and struggle, but the chain is too strong, the stake too rooted. One day they give up, having learned that they cannot pull free, and from that day forward they can be 'chained' with a slender rope. When this enormous animal feels any resistance, though it has the strength to pull the whole circus tent over, it stops trying. Because it believes it cannot, it cannot."
"You'll never be able to."
"You can't do it."
"You should have more realistic goals."
"It'll never happen"
"You'll never amount to anything."
I believe this little story of how elephants are trained is powerful for parents and teachers of young people. We can learn a great deal about the importance of the message sent by our attitude and language towards a child's achievements (or lack thereof), their creativity, their entrepreneurial spirit, etc. How many of the potentially great leaders and entrepreneurs of the future are held down by the illusion of great chains that in reality don't exist?
Share a comment below and tell me where you've seen these so-called chains at play (or seen them broken).