Try Something New

A man was visiting a foreign country and was passing some elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” the trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

How many of us are like these elephants? We won’t try something new because we believe that we won’t succeed even before we start. Our attitude and perspective is what makes the difference. Too often we believe in ourselves that we cannot change, that we aren’t good enough. The reality is that we are – we have the talent and abilities to do great and wonderful things, the only thing we need to do is try.

Today as we move forward, make the commitment to yourself that you will try one new thing today. Go out of your comfort zone just a little. You may not like it, but on the other hand you may find that you love it.

I’m going to end today’s morning meditation by sharing the thoughts of three great people:

Michael Jordan, one the most successful, innovative and inspiring athletes of our generation said the following… “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. He believed that failure is a part of learning. He once said: “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. “Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Like Edison, don’t look at your failures as failures, look at them as steps towards being more successful next time.

Master Yoda from Star Wars memorably demonstrates the power of the force. He showed Luke that size matters not and lifts Luke’s X-Wing Fighter ship from the swamp. Luke is shocked to see Yoda’s strength with the force, he says, “I can’t believe it.” Yoda responds, “that is why you fail.”

High Ropes

Be the Yoda. Don’t be the elephant conditioned to believe that your whole life you will be held back because of where you come from, because of what you think you know. The only person who will limit you in your life is yourself. Today, I encourage every one of you to try something new, to challenge yourself and to believe you can do something you thought you could not.

– Greg Albisser, Camp Ahmek Director