Discover Your Potential

Long back when I was in Kerala, I had a chance to visit Guruvayur temple. The temple authorities have elephants in their possession. Once a year, these animals are decorated with gold ornaments and necklaces for the annual procession of the deity. They are well taken care of on the huge ground at the back of the temple, about three kilometres away. It’s a tourist place. Tourists can watch these big animals, being bathed and fed by their mahouts (elephant trainers).

When I visited this place and was just leisurely strolling around as an onlooker, these 13–14-foot giants weighing about 25,000 pounds were being taken to the washing and cleaning sheds for their daily ablutions.

I was surprised and confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front legs. No heavy iron chains, nor any protective gear. It was obvious that the elephant could, at any time, grab the mahout in its trunk and throw him away, crashing away from the ropes it was tied to. I got chills. But none of the elephants did any such things. They were pretty calm, marching towards their marked area. I saw a mahout nearby and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals were quiet and made no attempt to get away.

“Well,” he said, “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. Of course, they try to break free, but this special rope cuts them at the ankle the more they try to break it down. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe that breaking free is injurious to the ankle, so they do not try to release themselves. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free. It is a mental trap”. I was stunned. 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.

Just like these elephants, we are in a mental trap. Many of us were brought up with a false self-limiting belief, like, ‘I’m not good enough.”

‘Why try if I am not going to make it’, or ‘success, is for the special ones’, or ‘ oh... I never did it, I am not good at it’ and many more versions of this same belief. These thoughts create inferiority complexes in our minds, which limit our potential, talent, and capability within us.

Finding your purpose in life takes a lot of self-awareness and experimentation. The most important part is to get started. Today is your day and you owe it to yourself. As cliché as it sounds, you only have one life to live so why not live it well? There is a thrill in what it feels like to toss and turn all night in bed because you did something stellar, and it excites you.

I know you can do it. I’m not saying just for the heck of it. I know you can do it because of the amazing things seemingly average people have done, if you look back in the human history — when they believed in themselves and they did wonderful things.

Sometimes you will hit the low — the moment where you feel quitting but that’s the moment, you’re inches away from success.

So, tap your hidden talent. Discover your potential. Never mind. Your attempt may fail, but never fail to attempt.

Images (c)


More by :  Kiran Tagare

Top | Individuality

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