“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” ~ Anais Nin
Standing in front of me was a huge elephant. Back then in 2015, during my visit to Hua Hin Safari & Adventure in Thailand, it’s my first time to have such a close encounter with elephants. It’s an amazing experience where we’re free to feed them with fresh fruit out of the palms of our hands.
What intrigues me is that there’re no chains, no cages… but only a small rope tied to their front leg.
I couldn’t help but felt intimated by its gigantic size.
At the same time, I started wondering, why these magnificent creatures just stayed there and made no attempt to break away from the ropes, which they could easily do that, at anytime.
“Don’t worry. Move closer to the elephants, stretch your hand forward and feed them,” the trainer reassured us.
From a very young age, when they are much smaller, trainers will tie them with the same size rope that is enough to hold them.
Due to the natural instincts, baby elephant will try to wander, or to roam, or even break free from the rope. But it’ cant because it isn’t yet strong enough to do so.
After several futile attempts, the baby elephant realizes that it’s impossible to escape, and finally gives up and stop struggling.
As they grow up, they’re conditioned to believe that they can never break away.
Even though an adult elephant has enough strength to overcome his restraint, he doesn’t make the slightest effort to break the puny rope.
Are You Chaining Your Elephant?
“Your attempt may fail, but never fail to make an attempt.”
Like the elephants, how many of us stop chasing our dreams and live the life we really want, simply because we failed at it once before?
How many of us are being held back by false boundaries, old beliefs, and limitation of our past?
It’s time to let go of what is holding you back!
Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone
Fast forward to today, the same wandering thought struck me once again. During my recent visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney, these two beautiful Pelicans truly amazed me. Just like the elephants, there’s no chain, no cage or whatsoever restricting them to this small pond.
They could easily flap their wings, soar high through the wide blue sky and venture into the other side of the world.
And yet, they choose to stay in this comfort zone, which guarantees them an abundance of delicious food, shelter from the storm and predator.
Like the pelicans, how many of us give up on our dreams and settle for a mundane realistic life, simply because of a false security that we hold onto?
How many of us have avoided pursuing our passion because of fear? Worse, how many of us are living the life because of someone else’s opinions and expectation?
“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” ~ Paulo Coelho
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Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear
Who doesn’t like to stay in a comfort zone? Dealing with things that we are familiar with, everything seems to be in our control. We feel safe and secure. By settling to the mediocre usually helps us stay emotionally even, free from worry and anxiety to a great degree.
Question to ask: Is this the life I really want?
Wrapping up in your little safe cocoon, keep warm and cozy may sound like a great life but it also means that you maybe missing out on a great deal of adventure- no risks, no challenges, no new experiences.
Just don’t die before you’re dead.
Take a moment to zoom out and look at the bigger picture of life.
What’s stopping you from living your dreams?
What’s stopping you from living life on your own terms?
Here’s a sneak peek of one of the many possibilities that pelicans could have, if and only if, they choose to live freely on their own terms.
*P.S. If you’re traveling to Gold Coast, Australia, you can see this Pelican Feeding at Harley Park every day at 1.30pm. You’ll love it!