11 October 2014

don't be the big elephant thinking you're the baby elephant

Here's a striking quora story from Dinesh Dharme:
Elephants in captivity are trained, at an early age, not to roam. One leg of a baby elephant is tied with a rope to a wooden post planted in the ground.
The rope confines the baby elephant to an area determined by the length of the rope. Initially the baby elephant tries to break free from the rope, but the rope is too strong.
The baby elephant "learns" that it can't break the rope.
When the elephant grows up and is strong, it could easily break the same rope. But because it "learned" that it couldn't break the rope when it was young, the adult elephant believes that it still can't break the rope, so it doesn't even try!
And here's another parable on quora from Graeme Shimmin:
There is an old story about two Greek islanders vying to become the strongest man on the island. 
One trainee bought a newborn calf. The other laughed at him. How could a calf help his rival train? But every day the wise trainee lifted it. Every day the calf got a little bigger and heavier but he could still lift it because it was only a little bit heavier than the previous day. After a year the wise trainee saw the calf was now a bull but he could still lift it. 
In the meantime the unwise trainee had tried every day to lift a bull. He had failed every time. 
So, don't be the big elephant thinking you're still a baby elephant, and don't worry if your rival laughs at you for lifting a newborn calf and keep on keeping on. :-)

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