This post entails a metaphor created by Jonathan Haidt and it is used here to emphasize on how vital is to change your thoughts and direct your mind to achieve your goals, regardless your situation. So what is the relationship between the Rider & the Elephant:
In the story, the rider looked into the future and set a different path of choice, created a new plan and gave an order to the elephant to move forward, to the river where the latter can eat and drink for the rest of the day.
Since the new path wasn’t clear and had lots of obstacles, the elephant did not move forward and stood still to enjoy whatever is available around regardless the abundance of grass and water in the other side.
The elephant, the power and energy is the center of emotions and a storehouse of memories. The elephant cannot tell the difference between real experience and the one planned; it wants what it wants now and does not give up short-term sacrifices for long term rewards. It is fearful of change and thinks in absolutes: “right or wrong”, “like or dislike”, “love or fear”.
While the rider is a master of planing and loves to make up and tells stories but cannot control the elephant by simply doing that.
The moral of the story is that:
You are the elephant and the rider in the same time!
Awesome. . .
The rider is your conscious mind; it is the aspect of your mental processing that you can think and talk about in a rational way, while the elephant is your subconscious mind, where you are unaware of your feelings, thoughts, motives, and emotions.
You can imagine and look into your future and your sweetest dreams, but you cannot reach and achieve unless you control your mind, change your thoughts, and be aware of your feelings.
Your subconscious mind has one job, and it is to protect you from whatever comes your way. It keeps you safe from changes, from taking new steps and decisions, or pursuing a dream – The elephant’s weaknesses as per the metaphor.
However, the subconscious mind is the center of storage and memories, thus you can choose what to store and what to save in. How do you do that?
Firstly, you need to rewire your conscious mind. Your mind is your thoughts — you can change your mind by creating new thought patterns; the more you practice a new thinking habit, the more the same neurons will learn to work together and wire together. As neuroscientists say, neurons that fire together, wire together.
Secondly, you decide what to send to your deep mind. It is powerful beyond imagination, and it can store even things that you are not aware of, especially negative experiences, news, and everything collected through all your five senses.
So what do you think happened next?
The rider decided to influence the elephant with vivid, emotionally charged pictures and images, and created a clear path free from all obstacles that might triggered the elephant to stop.
To conclude: “Begin know to take care of your conscious mind, knowing in your heart and soul that your subconscious mind expressing, reproducing, and manifesting according to your habitual thinking.” Joseph Murphy – The Power of Your Subconscious Mind.