Once upon time…

Have you heard the story about the pike?A pike was put in an aquarium with a lot of small fish and whenever the pike was hungry he ate one of the small fish. After a while, a glass wall was put up in the aquarium and when the pike tried to eat one of the smaller fish, it hit the glass wall, and eventually gave up. The glass wall was then removed and the pike was free to swim amongst the other fish, but didn’t react when small fish swam right in front of it. The pike had learnt that it was impossible to catch the small fish and eventually starved to death. It had also learnt that it was helpless and despite the change in circumstance, didn’t try to catch the small fish. In the pike’s world it was impossible to catch small fish regardless of where they were. This is what happens when you learn to be helpless. People often react in the same way, and we have an attitude to life where we say in advance that there is no point in trying, I can’t do it. This is an attitude, which means that we give up before we have even tried. Which dreams have you given up because you have learnt helplessness? //Marianne


© 2012 Marianne365days – Change Your Life One Day At The Time – All Rights Reserved


18 responses to “Once upon time…

  1. Wow that was a very good story… heard it for the first time 🙂

  2. i agree with the above! very good story! z

  3. I’ve seen this with my high school students, it may have started with a subject that was really complicated, suddenly school was complicated, then life and now they wear the tag “I’m totally helpless” and it is a huge struggle to show them they are not and even bigger struggle to convince them of letting go of the label… Interesting challenge but sad at the same time! alexandra

    • I see it all the time as well when I coach people at their work. Once people start to believe it’s true it can be very hard to break. Ask your students to give you 3 good reasons why it’s true. The reasons has to be very good, and then challenge them. Then you start over again. When you’ve done this exercise a couple of times people usually starts to realize that there is no foundation for their beliefs. Good luck! 🙂

  4. What a wonderful analogy, Marianne. Once again, your posts stimulate and add a dimension that, otherwise may be missed… 🙂

  5. Phil Gayle_For Singles and Couples

    Hi Marianne,
    Great informative & inspiring post.
    Unfortunately I’ve seen too many who have ‘Pike paralysis’, they have disappointments from a few setbacks in their past and therefore stop trying to make the adjustments necessary to try something new.
    It’s sad…but this post is a warning to those of us who will listen.
    I most certainly am not giving up. 🙂
    Have a great weekend.

    • Phil, thank you for reading my post. I think it’s very sad that people give because of old setbacks, especially as we don’t know what the future holds. What is impossible today, can be possible tomorrow. I’m glad to hear that you’re not giving up! :).

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