I spend a lot of time with people exploring their ultimate desires and what they dream for themselves in this miraculous life. It seems that after a certain age – usually around 10 or 13 years old – the answers to the question, “What’s YOUR dream?” become quite boring.
See, by that age, we’ve been conditioned to believe certain things about our dreams and desires that just aren’t true. That they’re out of reach, for example.
I’m reminded of a story I heard once about circus elephants.
Elephants have amazing memories, which serve them well in things such as migratory habits. But in other cases their remarkable memories imprison them.
Before circuses stopped using elephants in their shows (YAY to the end of that!), when a circus had a new baby elephant, and it needed to be kept somewhere, the trainer tied the elephant with a chain to a stake. After a short while (elephants have the largest brains of any land mammal and are capable of complex thinking), the baby elephant learned its limited range – the length of the chain – and it would no longer attempt to wander beyond that. It learned its limitations. When the elephant is older, it’s been said that the trainer no longer even needed to affix the chain anymore, because the elephant already “knew” the range of possibilities, so to speak.
There’s a great mantra I like to use to remind myself of this:
“I use history, but I don’t permit history to use me.”
The truth of the matter is, the only limitation we have is the belief that we have a limitation. And the good news is, we can discard that belief.