What Baby Elephants Have to Teach You About Living from Limitations vs. Pursuing Your Dreams

Do you know how elephants are trained in India and Thailand?  

There, elephants are trained to haul and carry tremendous weight — like trees, rock and sand — that, in some cases, is unmanageable by heavy equipment.

Farmers begin training the elephants when they are very young to do these jobs, rather than when they are fully grown.

By starting when the elephants are young and relatively small, the farmers have a lot more control over these powerful animals.

Their proven, repeatable system of training elephants works every time, and produces predictable results.

Once they capture a baby elephant, they tie a heavy rope around it’s leg and stake the other end of the rope into the ground to prevent the animal’s escape.

While the elephant initially tries to pull itself free, eventually, it succumbs to it’s captivity, and stops resisting.

The elephant thus grows up understanding it’s limitations. Even as this powerful animal grows in strength and certainly in size, it believes it is incapable of escape.

As a consequence of this type of training, as an adult, the elephant can be easily led around and restrained by a thin rope made from river reeds woven together. This is how a farmer controls a two-ton elephant… imagine that!!

We human beings behave similarly, believe it or not.

In the same way that the elephant learns its limitations as it grows up, we too have limited beliefs that keep us from expressing our full power in life.

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We don’t even realize that we’re engaging in “river reed” thinking. We limit ourselves based on the training and indoctrination about who we are, what we are capable of, and what type of world we were told we lived in while we were growing up.

Continually, throughout our lives, we receive messages. Advertising, experience, training, school… all of it has something to do with our belief in our own limitations. “I’m not enough” is a very common feeling. “I don’t have enough, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not good enough, I don’t make enough…” These beliefs are not true, but they are pervasive.

No matter the circumstances we face, the truth is that we are not limited by anything — only our beliefs. Our thoughts about our circumstances act the same way as the reed rope on the elephant’s leg, holding us back and leading us to believe that we are trapped or limited.


No “thing” in our world is greater than the Power we have within us to achieve our dreams.

It is only our history, training and beliefs that hold us back.

The truth is, we are resilient and can persevere through any circumstance we face. When we allow ourselves to be restricted by the ropes of self-doubt, low self-esteem and fear, these limiting thoughts control us and distract us from living a life we would truly love living.

It doesn’t have to be this way, at all. The power of Life that is within you is greater than any circumstance, condition or situation you have ever faced or will ever face.

The only thing that determines what you can be, do, have or give in your lifetime is what you choose to believe about yourself, others and the world around you.

3 steps to free yourself from “river-reed rope” thinking:

STEP #1: Identify Your Limiting Beliefs

Write down what you would love for your ideal life to look like.

For a moment, imagine a life you’d love. Where are you living? What is your workday like? What are you doing? Imagine living that life.  

Now, write down the beliefs you currently have that are not in alignment with the beliefs of your dream life. Those thoughts are the “river reed” ropes that are shackling you to your current circumstances. They are not serving you or your dream.

STEP #2: Replace Your Limiting Beliefs with Empowered Ones  

In order to rise above your limited thinking, simply shift your perspective. Choose and write down beliefs that challenge your old beliefs. What would your best self write down as your beliefs? How would the “Self” you see living your dream approach the steps to achieving your dreams? This is key to the goal setting process.

STEP #3: Have a Clear Intention, Be Resilient, Persevere and Let the Rest Go

Affix the paper you wrote as your best self to a place you see regularly, like your bathroom mirror for example.

Read the dreams and the empowering beliefs you wrote down there out loud each morning when you wake up, and each night before you go to sleep. This will help to reinforce these dreams and beliefs.

Let the rest of the limiting beliefs, those “rive- reed rope” beliefs, go. They may have served a role in your life. They got you to where you are. And, at the very least, they showed you a way you DON’T want to approach life any more. But they no longer serve you in the here and now.

You are far more powerful than you know. Just as the elephant has the power to simply break the river-reed rope and walk off into the jungle, into the life they were truly meant to live… you have the ability to break free from your limiting beliefs and create a life you truly love living too. Persevere!

For more proven strategies and step-by-step secrets on how to overcome fear, procrastination and limitations in order to create a life create you truly love living, click here to download a FREE copy of my “Stronger Than Circumstances” ebook.


Categories: Abundance, Success

Comments (12)

  • Sandey Sunday I. Igwe

    Thank you,Mary,for reawakening me to Bible Sense for abundance and prosperity. I love the practicality of your presentation that makes it so easy to understand and follow. I hope to participate in the Full Spectrum Wealth. I am greatful.

  • What a blessing you give! Reading this blog brought me back to the many Sundays I spent at LEC listening to you share stories like this one.

    So many times I have sought a spiritual connection and most of those times my seeking has brought me to you. Coincidence, I don’t think so.

    As I practice the application of the spiritual principles you and many of my other favorites (such as Panache Desai and Tosha Silver) teach I feel as though I am truely living a councious and awake life.

    The circumstances (homelessness and unemployment) wanted to tie me to my limited thinking but I kept seeking your messages like this one and it kept me sane. Now I have the job and the place to live and am grateful for the growing experience.

    I used to hug you on Sundays so please accept this cyber hug ((Mary)). :-)

  • Great article. Very helpful and empowering. Thank you!

    • Mary Morrissey

      Hi Lisa, thank you! I am happy that you find this article helpful.
      Please share it Lisa, I’m sure your friends and family will find it very helpful too!

      Have an awesome day!!

  • Brenda Mcknight

    I’m so thankful the Universe led me to you. I have been trained like the elephant’s and did not know it. Almost 69 years I’ve been living by the negative programming of my care taker who did not care for me and told me everyday that my life would never amount to anything, so what I have called to happen for all these years. One failure after another over and over again. Now you’ve sent us knowledge and and book of why, what, where and where to break free of these childhood programs ruining our lives as adults. Thank you Spirit, thank you Universe thank you Mary Morrissey.

    • Mary Morrissey

      Oh Brenda, thank you for sharing this part of your story! I am proud of you! You are reading and being aware of yourself. That is success! Just that is what makes you big! Being aware of yourself and knowing that you are FAR GREATER than any circumstance that you have faced for so many years or are facing now.
      Please keep in touch! I think you will love the new posts that are yet to come and don’g forget to share this article. I bet it will be very helpful to many people!

      Thank you again and here’s to your PROSPERITY!

  • Larry Paul Bly

    Thank you Mary! I have started a morning prayer group following your Morning Mentor. We are working on our departments here at our Center for Spiritual Living Antelope Valley. As well as the department’s development we have Independent Contractors in a symbiotic relationship with us. The development of their businesses benefits the whole and each individual.

    Mary, thank you so much for your guidance to prosperity!

    Larry Bly

    • Mary Morrissey

      I’m proud of you Larry! Congratulations for that Morning Prayer Group! We need many many groups like that one in this world right now!

      Please keep up with the great work and please share the article if you like it… The blog is my way of helping out many more people.

      Here’s to your Spiritual Growth!

  • Edrienne

    Thanks Mary!

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