Do You Suffer from Elephant Thinking?
Lately, I've been pondering the changing world we live in. In reflecting on this topic, a concept one of the most forward-thinking people I know, Charley Johnson, shared a while ago came to mind. Many people are so afraid of change they can't move ... but change is happening quickly. Click here for a video that presents some astonishing numbers reflecting rapid change.
In good times, in bad times, and in between times, the same rules apply. If you want to do something, you will find a way. If you don't, you will make excuses. The future of our industry is not in some new technology or exclusive new product. It's in the minds of the people.
The mentality that holds many people back is due to "elephant thinking." Elephant thinking stems from when a baby elephant is trained for the circus. The baby elephant's leg is chained to a pole in the ground. The baby elephant wants to get away. He pulls and tugs, but he can't escape—the chain is too big and the pole is too deep in the ground. So he stops trying. As he grows up, he just assumes he can't get away. Today, he's a six-ton elephant. He could sneeze and pull out the chain, but he doesn't try.
Circus trainers say they can put a piece of string around that six-ton elephant's leg and he won't break away. This assumed constraint is a belief you have based on past experiences, embedded in your mind at a very early age. Your parents, your siblings, your friends and your environment have all shaped you, along with things you were told you could or could not do. These same constraints are still around in your life today.
We all have invisible walls in our own minds that keep us from getting to our full potential. These walls keep us from seeing problems as opportunities. They keep us from going after what we want because we think we just can't do it.