Vince Poscente (Olympian and motivational speaker), in The Ant and the Elephant, presents a charming motivational business story about a struggling little ant who was blown onto the back of a wandering Elephant. The tiny Ant, not knowing he had landed on an Elephant, mistakenly believes the storm has wind-swept him into a sparse desert with little food or water...with none of his ant-kind to be found anywhere. A wise owl, watching from above, befriends the lonely and depressed ant and mentors him into accepting reality and using the power of his mind to harness the elephant to head toward a desired goal place with an abundance of food, water and company. Once harnessed and a buzz of mutuality formed between ant and elephant, every step taken and every day dawned brings the inseparable pair closer to the desired place of their dreams - the Oasis.
A parable, The Ant and the Elephant is a little power pack of guidance and sub-conscious training for adults who need to guide their brain into seeing and not thinking. Seeing an image in your mind, your goal for example, is more effective than thinking positive thoughts about a goal. When the goal image is harnessed with positive language it is what the power of a forward moving elephant is to an ant.
Just as the language of the conscious mind is words, the language of the sub-conscious is pictures. As Brio the Owl taught Adir the Ant to imagine in his mind (with all five senses) what he desired most of all, his pictures transferred through to Elgo the Elephant. Every day Adir practised his mind pictures of desire, his skill and strength at guiding the powerful Elgo toward the Oasis grew stronger and more strategic.
A conscious thought uses two thousand neurons a second. But, the sub conscious is so extremely powerful that it requires 4 billion neurons a second. Each time those neurons fire, they strengthen a neural pathway to make a clearly defined and easily to speed along neural highway. It makes sense then to imagine pictures (the language of the sub conscious) to get what you want because four billion neurons makes for a super highway straight to your own preferred oasis.
In The Ant and the Elephant, the Ant is a metaphor for the conscious mind: the logical and problem solving part of ourselves that is aware and in control of decision-making. The Elephant is a metaphor of the sub-conscious mind: that which moves, speaks to us and makes decisions without us having any particular thought to it. The parable within The Ant and the Elephant portrays that until someone provides an opportunity to learn the steps involved in bringing the conscious and sub conscious together, that life will continue at the forward movement pace of an ant. It is better to put the ant on the back of the elephant (join them together to create an elephant buzz) so that decision-making and fast forward movement occur together.
The five steps of goal attainment (the action plan) in Poscente's The Ant and the Elephant are:
- Clarify your vision
- Commit to cultivating positive dominant thoughts
- Consistently focus on performance
- Strengthen confidence
- Control the response to any situation.
Would I read this book again? Every day, actually 🙂 I seriously recommend this book to intelligent people ready to change their life; to fast track their goals and visions. It is also a very useful team work book and for managers wanting to improve their business and organisation. Enjoyable, easy and quick, I read the book in two bedtime night reads.
An excellent companion to this book is Orrin Woodward's single CD of the same name: The Ant and the Elephant. A recording of a talk Woodward gave at a leadership function, Woodward explains the process of enlisting your Ant to work WITH your Elephant to have them charging forward at a forest clearing rate of success.
To buy a copy of The Ant and the Elephant (Poscente, V, 2004, CornerStone Leadership Institute), head to the LIFE Leadership shop. It costs just $12.95 (soft cover) plus P&H. The book is also available in French for 19.95. Order straight off the website and have it delivered to you.
This book review was written by Megan Bayliss, a semi retired Eco Social Worker/Child Therapist and independent consultant of LIFE Leadership, a personal development and leadership training company.