Do You Have The Baby Elephant Syndrome?

Don’t let the past dictate who you are, but let it be part of who you become~~Anonymous
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Five years ago, a fellow writer asked me if I had heard of Baby Elephant Syndrome. I had no idea what she was talking about. I always had pride in what I had accomplished in life. But she felt some writers, including me, needed to work on getting rid of this syndrome.
She explained her theory. An adult elephant can easily uproot huge trees with its trunk; it can knock down a house without much trouble. When an elephant living in captivity is still a baby, it is tied to a tree with a strong rope or a chain every night. Because it is the nature of elephants to roam free, the baby elephant instinctively tries with all its might to break the rope. But it isn’t yet strong enough to do so.
Realizing its efforts are of no use, it finally gives up and stops struggling. After the baby elephant tries and fails many times, it will never try again for the rest of its life.
Later, when the elephant is fully grown, it can be tied to a small tree with a thin rope. It could then easily free itself by uprooting the tree or breaking the rope. But because its mind has been conditioned by its prior experiences, it doesn’t make the slightest attempt to break free. The powerfully gigantic elephant has limited its present abilities based on the limitations of the past— Baby Elephant Syndrome.
Maybe human beings are exactly like the elephant except for one thing—we can choose not to accept the false boundaries and limitations of our past. We build on the past to make the future better.
Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden’s mantra serves well for anyone.
“I am not as good as I ought to be.
I am not as good as I want to be.
I am not as good as I’m going to be.
But I am thankful that I am better than I used to be.”
How do you feel about this? What’s holding you back on finishing your work?

5 thoughts on “Do You Have The Baby Elephant Syndrome?

  1. Pingback: elementary beginnings | The House on the Horizon

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