The elephant with the rope around his ankle

Some friends and I met someone at the weekend and as we got talking,  he told us that he was a painter and decorator that likes rugby.  After our conversation I felt that he was a rugby player that gave up on his dream and decided to paint and decorate to earn some money.

He was smart, funny, sharp and quick witted.  He was also creative.  His mental agility was incredible and it took him seconds to return the joke in a very intelligent way. Very talented indeed; at some point my friend asked him, “Have you ever considered changing careers to be a stand-up comedian?” His face changed for few seconds as if the light bulb was trying to turn on. ”Who, me?” he replied as if we were asking the wrong person. The conversation went on and his abilities were getting better and better. He was showing the true signs of a natural comedian in him and clever one at that.

He also kept showing signs of lack of self-worth during our conversation.

My friends and I kept reassuring him that we were serious about our statement, to that he replied “I couldn’t do it, I am not very smart, you know”. This lovely and lively chat with this beautiful man took me to some contemplative thoughts.

What were his fears? Why does he feel a lack of self-worth? What happened in his life that stopped him from being who he wanted to be? What sort of resolve? How old was that resolution, and would it ever replaced it? Probably not!

Was his belief that east Londoners with no education or support could achieve very much? Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with being a painter and decorator if it is your vocation, this wasn’t the case.  There’s also nothing wrong with being a working class East Londoner, his believe was!

This made me remember a passage from the book “The golden ticket” by Brendon Burchard.  It tells the story of a man visiting the zoo and getting some explanations from the animals. As he got to the elephant the zoo keeper explained that elephants are mighty and powerful. ”They can break a tree trunk with their trunk, weighing up to 500 tones and can run at a super speed up to 500 kilometres radio” he said.  At that point the listener asked how come if they were so powerful and mighty were they tied to a little rope around their ankle and would not escape. “Because when they were babies they put the rope around the ankle for them not to escape and they grew up believing that they couldn’t escape.”

At some point in his life this man was made believe, either by himself or someone close to him, that he couldn’t make it, so he has to live his life with that rope around his ankle. The reality is, this is the norm. It saddens me to see so many ropes around people’s ankles, talented and gifted people who have so much to offer to themselves, their families and society.

Wrong beliefs are in my opinion worse than fears!

When we feel fear, we know that we have options, we can choose to go for it or not and depending what we choose, our destiny will have one outcome or another.

A wrong belief system is like gas in a house with people in it. We don’t feel it, we don’t hear it, we can’t touch it and most of the time we can’t even smell it, yet it kills everything without warning.

In most the cases there is no realisation of choice, compromise, worth, respect, dreams, and desires. It just is.  Thankfully it’s not always like that, at times there is that light bulb trying to switch on. If you ever had that feeling let me tell you the GOOD NEWS, you can change your destiny.

“What me, now? “ YES YOU, NOW! There is no better time than now.”

Break that resolve in your head and replace it for a new one. Everything they made you believe about what you can achieve or you made yourself believe is rubbish, not true and can be changed now forever.

I hear it every day. “I am rubbish at maths!” “who said that?” “my friends”.

“I would love to be a hairdresser but I am no  good at it”  Really?  who said that? my mother.

I always have the answer question. Who said that? MY sister, my teacher, my coach, myself …

We can all be good at most things, it’s just a case of whether we like it enough to apply ourselves to it.

Let it be different reasons, such us fear, so that we choose not do what we really love, but realise that you have the power, you can choose. You are that mighty elephant that is so powerful, the rope on your ankle is insignificant.

How can I do that? Stop being so hard on yourself and enough of sabotaging your life. Nothing is impossible (I’m possible) and yet it needs lots of self-love and patience with ourselves.

Do I have any records that back up this information? Many, among them myself, although I will leave that story for another blog. Let me introduce you to Rob a dear friend of mine and a successful entrepreneur and someone that I admire greatly.


Rob was a terrible student, after finishing school with 1 B grade O-level in cooking, his tutor told him he would be very lucky if got a job as a bin man (all my respect to the bin-men out there).

Yes is true, at the time Rob had no focus and took his time in finding himself. Then one day he decided that he wanted more out of life and nothing not even his tutor’s voice will prevent him from achieving his dreams and the life that he desired.

Today he is a successful business owner, with a gorgeous lifestyle.

Not only that, he had a dream to open a community centre for his city were local people could enjoy performance, art, yoga, exercise and many other things. Dreams can happen if we don’t give up on them as soon as we find some challenges. I am not saying that it is easy,  I am saying is possible.  After some challenges that dream is also becoming a reality as building work starts soon.

The story is far from finished, Rob suffers from Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and terrible arthritis so he uses walking stick every now and then. This has not prevented him from achieving another one of his dreams, swimming the English Channel. Again a huge effort was put into make this possible as his health, more often than not, forces him to slow down.

He made it, He did it! I could carry on talking to you about his many other successes, like he is publishing his second book and many others.

Is he a super hero you wonder made of something special? No he is not. Super heroes don’t exist I am afraid.

He is a man with many dreams and a huge inner belief in himself.  He accepted the challenges as part of the journey. At times it was not easy, but never for a second thought of giving up any of his dreams. He just kept walking and enjoyed the sweet and sour journey. At times he had to dance in the rain of life, and he did.

The bottom line is that one day that light bulb flickered for a bit as if trying to switch on. He recognised the signs and broke the rope around his ankle. It was time to choose to change the resolve that he would be nobody and take responsibility to change his belief system to be the man of his dreams, himself.

Every now and then check your resolve with life, your belief system, and if it does not match who you are, or what your desires are, break the little rope around your ankle.

This is when you feel Zest in your life.

When you are aware that you and only you can choose your destiny you feel a tremendous joy.  You feel powerful and strong with no ropes to bind and nothing in this life can buy that sense of self and of freedom.

YOU feel zest for life, vibrant and alive, full of passion with a big bag of dreams to follow.  And guess what? They all become reality! Feel, true to your core and full of life, add zest to your life!