How to train circus elephants

I heard a story on a podcast this weekend that I really liked, so I think I’ll share it!

The way you train a circus elephant…

If you understand that, for the rest of your life, you can challenge yourself when you get stuck.

Because what they do is, when a baby elephant is brought into the circus, its still wild and untrained, of course, and they drive a big, metal, iron stake deep into the dirt. And they put a big chain on that. And they put that big chain around that baby elephant’s ankle. And that little elephant has an elephant hissy-fit, and he’s trying to get away, and he’s pulling and he’s jerking and he’s doing everything he can to get loose.

And he can’t get loose, and so finally he gives up.

Fast forward twenty years later, we can visit that baby elephant as an adult elephant, and do you know how they restrain adult elephants?

They drive a small stake into the ground, and put a tiny little rope on the stake, and tie it around his ankle tight enough that he can feel the pressure on his ankle.

And that massive, unbelievably powerful elephant, who, at any moment could just walk away, who could just shake his leg a little bit and pull that stake out, without any trouble at all, chooses to not move.

Because inside of his brain, theres a baby elephant that couldn’t get away.

And because of his past, because of the way he was taught (wrong), he now believes that he can’t get away.

The only thing holding him there is his belief in mythology. He believes a lie. And thats the only thing holding him there.

So, its important to know circus elephants are trained. Sometimes the only thing hold me back? I believe a lie.