During a research experiment a marine biologist placed a shark into a large tank and then released several small fish into the fish tank. As you would expect, the hungry shark quickly swam around the tank and ate the smaller fish…the circle of life.
The marine biologist then inserted a strong piece of clear fibreglass into the tank, creating two separate partitions. She then put the shark on one side of the fibreglass and a new set of fish on the other.
Again, the shark quickly attacked the fish. This time, however, the shark banged into the fibreglass divider and bounced off. The shark repeated this behaviour every few minutes but with no success. Meanwhile, the little fish swam around unharmed in the second partition. About an hour into the experiment, the shark gave up. Eventually the shark got tired of hitting the fibreglass divider and simply stopped attacking altogether.
The marine biologist then removed the fibreglass divider, but the shark didn’t attack. The shark now believed a barrier existed between it and the fish. He didn’t want to keep banging his nose, so he stopped trying to eat them and the fish swam wherever they wished, free from harm.
The moral: Many of us give up and stop trying after experiencing setbacks and failures. Like the shark in the story, we believe that because we were unsuccessful in the past, we will always be unsuccessful. In other words, we continue to see a barrier in our heads, even when no ‘real’ barrier exists between where we are and where we want to go.
‘If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds’.