Behind the scenes of an Arizona circus, Bobb Biehl started chatting with a man who trains animals for Hollywood movies: " ’How is it that you can stake down a ten-ton elephant with the same size stake that you use for this little fellow?’ I asked, pointing to a baby elephant who weighed three hundred pounds.
" ’It’s easy ... ’ the trainer said. ’When they are babies, we stake them down. They try to tug away from the stake maybe ten thousand times before they realize that they can’t possibly get away. At that point, their ’elephant memory’ takes over and they remember for the rest of their lives that they can’t get away from the stake.’
"Humans are sometimes like elephants. When we are teenagers, some unthinking, insensitive, unwise person says, ’He’s not very good at planning,’ or ’She’s not a leader,’ or ’Their team will never make it,’ and zap, we drive a mental stake into our minds. Often when we become mature adults, we are still held back by some inaccurate one-sentence ’stake’ put in our minds when we were young.
"Today you are an adult capable of much more than you realize. You are far more capable than you were even twelve months ago, and next year you will be able to do things you can’t imagine doing today."