A YOUNG MAN IN A BEIJING ELEVATOR

I was in the elevator at the Westin in Beijing the other day and looked over to see this young man standing beside me.

It was clear he was right out of college (or a couple years out), Tumi bag in hand (Excellent choice, mine is 10 years old and still looks new despite 1M miles) and heading out for the day. I had to ask …

He was recruited by Boston Consulting out of University, lives in Shanghai and is working in China.

For the majority of people in this world they don’t achieve their full potential simply because they cannot see what is possible. I did not understand that fully until my mid-20s. The only guidance I was every given is “You must go to University”, nothing else.

So each time, the boundaries would be pushed and it was big, open territory. For many, it is like the elephant and the rope.

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

Anything is possible. You just have to envision it, build a plan and execute. Failure along the way is inevitable. Nothing worthwhile is easy.

2013 03 25 Elephant safari   _-50

But anything is possible in this world. Our world is flat; video conferencing via Skype, cheap flights to anywhere, Google Translate ….. It gets easier to connect globally every day.

Something our children have learned first hand. It will be interesting to see what they choose to do with that. Hopefully it involves an elevator in China.

I would be interested to hear the stories of others ….

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