From the short stories series: The Elephant Rope

In this article I am going to share with you a motivational story that helps you understand why our believe system is so powerful. What we think or believe, influence both our actions and the image we have about ourselves. This upcoming short story is about some elephants who hold on to a certain believe system that controls their minds in a way that they suffer from it.

Powerful reads

Short stories are powerful reads. The great thing about them is that they’re very easy to digest, and there’s always something to learn from it. Whether they’re true stories or not is another thing, as many of them are legends supposedly hundreds of years old. However, the stories that I’m talking about in this series are so powerful and inspirational that many of them really do get you thinking. Although the authors of most of the short stories continue to be unknown, that doesn’t take away the power of those reads. For now, enjoy the story of the elephant rope!

The Elephant Rope

When a gentleman passed an elephant camp, he gazed upon the standing elephants.

He suddenly stopped, because there was something that surprised him.

These elephants weren’t being kept in cages or held by the use of chains. All that was holding them back from escaping the camp, was a small rope tied to their front leg.

It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds, but for some reason they didn’t.

As the man gazed upon the elephants, he was completely confused as to why the elephants didn’t just use their strength to break the rope and escape the camp as it was easy to do.

Curious and wanting to know the answer, the gentleman stopped a trainer nearby.

He asked this trainer why the elephants were just standing there and never tried to escape.

The trainer replied:

“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.

The gentleman concluded that the only reason that the elephants weren’t breaking free and escaping from the camp was their believe system. Over time they adopted the belief that it just wasn’t possible.


The story of the elephants is somehow metaphoric for life. I mean we all go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before. There is a name for that, the Elephant-chain syndrome. It happens when we are held back by self-imposed limitations and entrenched thinking patterns.

Humans are exactly like elephants except for one thing — we can choose ‘not to accept the false boundaries’ and limitations that have been created by the past.

It strikes me that people often make the assumption that they have to be good at first and that things come your way in an instant. But viewing mistakes as “gifts” or valuable lessons are more helpful. They support you to go into the right direction. In the blog This to me is the definition of success, I spoke about how making mistakes is part of learning and a big part of finding success.

No matter how much the world tries to hold you back. Always continue with the belief that what you want to achieve is possible. Believing you can become successful is the most important step in actually achieving it.

For more short stories, go here:

At last, I’ve been reading plenty of short stories in the past couple of weeks. Therefore, I found the lessons behind them truly wonderful. There’s always a moral to learn at the end of each story. If you like these kind of short stories I can come up with more each month. You can find them over here, or sign up to receive more short stories:

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