The strength of an elephant is legendary. It is so powerful that it can pull up a tree and swing it around with its trunk as if it were a toy. Their size alone is more than enough to scare away predators. However, we all know about lions’ predation on elephants. It’s been reported that when lions see an elephant, they think their prey is ready. Surprisingly, even when an elephant confronts a lion, he also thinks the same though he can thrash the lion like breaking watermelons.
Lions have their own strength of being clever and agile, but most importantly, their physical strength is anchored with mental strength. To begin with, the lions use psychological warfare to intimidate and confuse the elephants by roaring loudly. Their strength doesn’t come only from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will to win. Yes, it is true that if you don’t stand firm in your faith, then you will not stand at all.
This rule is not only implemented by animals during predation or by fighters while trying to win, but is also applied in our day-to-day lives. Recently, my 10-year-old daughter told me that her classmate got 95 per cent marks in exams, while she got 84 per cent because her friend is older than her and hence her mental capacity is greater than hers. My daughter formed a notion that probably children of her friend’s age can only get the top grade and for her it would be a futile attempt to struggle for that grade. Feeling helpless, she decided to settle for mediocrity.
I was taken aback when I heard all this. The moment I started explaining things, my husband, who was roaming around, thought it was the competitive streak of a pushy and jealous mother which was being channelled to his daughter. So to protect her from that pressure, he concluded that the marks she got were really fantastic and added that he never got such good marks in his exams.
Immediately I had to pitch in to clear the clouds that I was neither upset with her marks nor had I enquired about her friend’s marks. I explained to her that her scope of betterment in academics has nothing to do with her friend’s age. Trying to infuse confidence in her, I said that since her age was appropriate for her class, she could definitely get the top grade if she worked hard enough.
I narrated her the story of lions preying on elephants and told how the capacity has to be anchored in confidence. For lions, there is no succumbing, either it will dominate and win or will be killed in trying to win. They don’t let their confidence decline even momentarily because it might endanger their lives. They fight until the last breath. No wonder they are called the “kings of the jungle”.
Lions start preying on smaller animals and gradually move to bigger ones and then winning becomes their habit. Yes, it can be ours too! Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs; watch your beliefs, they become your action; and watch your actions, they become your habits. Reminding my daughter that the bottom line of the story is that battles are primarily won in the heart, it’s fatal to enter into war without a winning spirit.
At the same time, it’s very important to know your real enemy and in her case, the battle was not with her friend but with mediocrity. We are the losers when we settle for mediocrity. After all, to overcome mediocrity, one must embody an indomitable will to win.
Ritu Dokania is an author based in Dubai.