During a research experiment a marine
biologist placed a shark into a large
holding tank and then released several
small bait fish into the tank.
As you would expect, the shark quickly
swam around the tank, attacked and ate
the smaller fish.
The marine biologist then inserted a
strong piece of clear fiberglass into the
tank, creating two separate partitions.
She then put the shark on one side of the
fiberglass and a new set of bait fish on
Again, the shark quickly attacked. This
time, however, the shark slammed into
the fiberglass divider and bounced off.
Undeterred, the shark kept repeating this
behavior every few minutes to no avail.
Meanwhile, the bait fish swam around
unharmed in the second partition.
Eventually, about an hour into the
experiment, the shark gave up.
This experiment was repeated several
dozen times over the next few weeks.
Each time, the shark got less aggressive
and made fewer attempts to attack the
bait fish, until eventually the shark got
tired of hitting the fiberglass divider and
simply stopped attacking altogether.
The marine biologist then removed the
fiberglass divider, but the shark didn’t
attack. The shark was trained to believe
a barrier existed between it and the bait
fish, so the bait fish swam wherever they
wished, free from harm.
The moral: Many of us, after experiencing
setbacks and failures, emotionally give up
and stop trying. 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
Miss Anyetta. Thank you.