Never let fear, procrastination or the longing for approval from others to take possession of your mind, they become self-forged chains.
~ Ty Howard
Have you ever experienced a moment in your life where you wondered "What to do next?"
Have you ever had a bolt of confidence spring into your being just as you were going to start working towards a new goal, but your comfort zone held you back?
Have you ever had the feeling "It’s now or never!" but you didn’t make your move?
If you answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, you at one time wore the self-forged chains.
I think we all have, or at least will don the self-forged chains in our lives at one time or another. However, we must not become paralyzed and enchained by the set patterns that have been given to us by the world.
There is an old African story that says, "If you take a baby elephant, place a chain around one of its back legs, hook the chain to a stake, and then drive that stake into the ground to restrain the baby elephant until it’s big enough to fend for itself. When the caretaker removes both the stake and the chain from the elephant’s back leg, the elephant will not venture out beyond the length of the chain that once restrained him. The story goes on to say that the elephant has been conditioned to accept residency in a mental prison given to him by his caretaker."
We’ve all heard the old adage "An elephant never forgets," and this story is a prime example of how an elephant’s ability to not forget can do more harm than help.
Through my observation of people throughout life, the same thing happens to humans. We become conditioned to believe that we can only go a far as our chains will extend. We are conditioned to believe things like: "No one in my family ever graduated from college," "We grew up in this type of neighborhood – this is it," "I was born to fail," "I’m damaged goods," "My life is one big joke," "I’m a realist not a dream chaser. Why should I try to break free from the chains? Why should I try to pull up the stake? Why should I set myself up to fail?"
I ask you, "Why not?"
If failure weren’t an option, would you put out more effort?
If money weren’t an issue, would you take more risks?
Is there anyone better suited and deserving of success than you?
The bestselling novelist and the unpublished writer both have the same dictionary full of words to work with. The difference is one took action while the other went through the motions.
The most successful entrepreneur and the get-rich-quick visionary both have the same basic skills and resources to work with. The difference is one is willing to evolve through a process while the other is looking for the next quick deal.
And there is almost no visible difference between the fastest sprinter in the world and one who finishes last. They both run the race by the same rules; yet, the winner is the one committed to win. The winner is the athlete who does what it takes, who trains day after day, who adds a little extra effort to each workout, who can visualize crossing the finish line ahead of the rest.
I ask you again, "Why not you?"
Mahatma Gandhi said, "You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind."
We all will experience different challenges and circumstances throughout life, some more demoralizing or traumatizing than others. I encourage you even in the midst of uncertainty and despair to never allow the chains of complacency to imprison you. We must continue to lay our foundation stones, inch by inch, together, until the entire chain breaks giving way to new birth and possibility to our future.
You have what it takes to achieve greatness in anything you desire. Within you is the potential for extraordinary accomplishment. Do not voluntarily chain yourself to the stake. If you are chained right now – put it up, through it away and move forward! No one is better suited for success than you. See every achievement as a stepping stone to greater things.
When challenges arise, and they will, smile and say, "That’s great because ________." Then find a way to cross the finish line ahead of the rest.
Greet your future with your eyes open, your head held high, a glide in your stride and no thoughts of regret – success is there for you!
Remember: Sometimes you have to take action because YOU know it’s the right thing to do. Because YOU choose not to succumb to limits set for you by the world. Because YOU know your life isn’t a dress rehearsal.
Go ahead — Break and Move Beyond
the Length of the Chains!
About the Author: Ty Howard,
President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of MOTIVATION magazine
Ty Howard is an internationally recognized authority on personal, professional, relationship and habits development. He is the creator and lead facilitator of the trademarked Untie the Knots® Process, and the author of the best-selling book Untie the Knots® That Tie Up Your Life: A Practical Guide to Freeing Yourself from Toxic Habits, Choices, People, and Relationships, as well as dozens of published articles on relationships, healthy habits development, empowerment and peak performance worldwide.
For information on the author click on the following link: Ty Howard.