I heard a story on the radio this morning about elephants. Apparently in Asia, elephants do hard labor for their owners. And they never wander away.
The reason: They are tied with a thin cord to a stump. As you and I know, the elephant is strong enough to walk away, breaking the cord, breaking the stump, and trampling anything between them and wherever they want to go. However, they don't even try. Why? Because they were conditioned as baby elephants.
When a baby elephant is born, a heavy shackle is placed around their foot. Try as they will, they cannot get away from the stake they are shackled too. The more strong willed ones often hurt themselves in the process, but after a while they finally learn that they cannot get away no matter what. As they get older, the owners trade the shackles for a small cord, and the metal stake for a wooden one, but the elephant no longer tries.
How many of us are like elephants? A long time ago we were told by someone that we couldn't do hard things. We didn't amount to much. We were ugly or dumb, or incapable, and we began to believe it. And now we believe that we are shackled by heavy hard things, when actually all that is keeping us from reaching our potential is a thin cord that we could easily break if we just tried.
Maybe you're facing something difficult and you are thinking to yourself, "I can't do it... I just can't." Think again.
Are the shackles on your feet or are they only in your mind?