The Earnest Elephant Fable

A story about the value of pushing for what you want until you get it.

Ethan Elephant was just a child, as far as elephants go, but he was learning important elephant skills each day. Then, one day, he realized that all his cousins seemed to know things that he didn’t! Would he be ostracized by his friends? Would they think of him as a baby? What could he do?

The elephant wildlands were always buzzing with activity, especially on bright, sunny days. Little Ethan and his elephant cousins would spend their afternoons playing in the fields until they were exhausted and thirsty.

As young elephants, they didn’t yet know how to siphon water with their trunks, so they always crouched down to the river and drank directly with their mouths.

One day, Ethan noticed that his cousins started squirting water into their mouths and he thought, “Awesome! I must be able to do that too!”

But when Ethan tried to do it, it wasn’t working out as it did for his cousins. Although he was a little disappointed, he spent the next few hours by the river trying to do it.

That’s when his mom yelled, “Ethan, time to come in for dinner!” But Ethan wasn’t ready. He was committed to learning how to drink like his cousins and said, “Not now, mom. I have to figure this out today!”

Sensing her son’s determination, she said, “Okay, let’s make a deal. If you agree to pick twigs and leaves for your little sister, I’ll give you two extra hours each day to practice.”

Ethan only liked grazing for himself but was willing to help his mom take care of his little sister. And with that extra time each day, he finally learned how to siphon and squirt water into his mouth.

The added bonus of Ethan’s determination was becoming seasoned at taking care of others. He felt so proud that he mastered two new skills by sticking to his original goal.

Moral of the story: Perseverance often leads to unexpected wins.

The Earnest Elephant Self-Reflection

Ethan was a pretty self-confident little elephant, but he lost a little of that confidence when he saw his cousins doing something he was unable to do. Still, he blocked negative self-talk and focused on working towards achieving it.

Instead of choosing to give up, Ethan showed strong conviction in his ability to conquer a challenge.

Many times, the feelings that you allow to take over gain control of the outcomes of the situations you encounter. By choosing to maintain positive thinking, you realize that the answers to each challenge you face become more and more apparent.

Developing one skill also expands your aptitude for everything else. You can achieve more goals by learning skills that are useful in other areas.

So, when one approach seems like it’s unable to provide the outcome you seek, be open to other options. Your persistence will pay off in the end. Not only will you achieve that goal but becoming proficient in one area will boost your self-confidence and propel you to success in other areas as well.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. Which of my goals am I most passionate about? How can I persevere to achieve this goal?
  2. What are some encouraging things I tell myself when I feel like giving up?
  3. What are some additional achievements under my belt as a result of persevering?

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