Here's something very interesting.
A man was standing around observing the staff of a circus taking the animals back to their enclosures at the end of a long day of performing. It intrigued him to see that the elephant trainers were leading their charges away with nothing more than thin cords tied around their front legs.
He approached one of the trainers to remark, "I would have thought such huge and powerful creatures would be able to break through those little cords and get away from you."
The trainer explained, "Of course they could, but we start training them when they are only babies. They can't snap the cords then and only ever try once or twice. Then they assume for the rest of their performing careers that they'll be unable to break free."
There you have it. It would seem that the proverbial long memories of elephants are not an advantage to them in every way! We have long memories too. It made me start to wonder if humans are all that much brighter than elephants. Perhaps I've limited myself in exactly the same way by the exact same thought patterns.
"I've tried hiring a PR guy for my books, and although he talked big, he didn't really deliver the goods so I'm not going to try again."
"I've tried speaking up in ladie's groups, but nobody was really interested in my opinion, so I'm going to keep it to myself from now on."
"I've been to parties thrown by So-&-So before and had a bad time, so I'm never going to go to the next one."
"What's-his-name called me an idiot so I won't be mentioning any more of my ideas to him."
Instead of being "wise" and "careful" what if some of this thinking is just making us choke off our true potential? Maybe when we get nervous about trying new things that we truly want to try, it'd be worth taking a moment to consider whether it's just "elephant mentality."