How To Avoid The Biggest Mistake You Can Make On Your Life’s Journey

Life is a journey.

That’s a statement we’ve heard again and again.

To Journey means “to travel from one place to another.”

If you’re alive, you must be on the go. Moving.

But many people aren’t. They’re standing. Static. Known or unknown to them, because something trapped them in the net of “the greatest of all mistakes”, in Zig Ziglar’s words.


I’ll tell you what that net is soon … After I share this Elephant story with you.


The Big Trapped Elephant

I read about a boy who visited the circus with his dad one Saturday morning. As they stood to get their tickets, his eyes caught the elephants standing right in front of them. They tied these Big Elephants to a single stake.

As inquisitive as any little boy can be, he turned to his dad and asked why the Elephants simply stood there.

“They can’t move son. They’re tied,” his father replied.


Looking at the tiny ropes, compared to how big these Elephants were, he knew that with a single pull, they could drag that stake off and tear up those ropes. And off they’ll go to live life on their terms – without being at the mercy of food and water brought by someone.


So the boy asked his father again, “Why don’t the elephants escape?”


“They can’t, son. The Elephants don’t know how strong they are. They think they are tied down and believe they are trapped by that little rope.”


Traditionally, baby elephants got trained by tying one of their legs to a stake in the ground. Because they were small, tiny ropes were enough to hold them at the spot.


At first, they’ll struggle and kick… trying to pull themselves off the rope. And they fail.

But those little elephants soon grow into big ones. Huge… that those ropes mean nothing. But they’ve conditioned their minds to stop kicking. So they stand there. Trapped. Prisoners to yesterday’s rope.


Products But Not Prisoners

“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” Rick Warren said.


I wish the Elephant knows this.


I wish you know this. And I hope we’ll always remember this.


That there’ll be potholes, turns, twists, crossroads, and sometimes, going off track, as we travel life’s road. But you can’t afford to apply a permanent “brake”, and park life’s car.


Life is a journey.


Back to what Zig Ziglar said about the greatest of all mistakes:

The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you think you can only do a little.” – Zig Ziglar. 


The Elephant thought it could only do a little, which, at that time, didn’t even produce visible results. Those past failures crippled it. It stopped moving.


4 Steps That Keeps You Moving In The Right Direction

We’ve seen that “big mistake”. And I’m sure you don’t want to get trapped in that position. Your life ticks away with each passing second. You drive nearer your grave. Don’t walk into that grave with all the brilliant stuff in you.

Take these four steps to keep you moving, as you journey through life’s road:


  1. Recognize your past mistakes, struggles and pains. No one walks through life’s road without hitting your feet against a stone. We all have our stories of “hard times.” Don’t think life is unfair to you alone. Turn those little mistakes to stepping stones that will propel you forward.
  2. Open the door that leads you out of the past and into the bright future ahead of you. Throw fear behind, and with the key of faith, determine to keep pushing till you get to your desired destination.
  3. Affirm your place and position on earth. You are fearfully and wonderfully made… And God knows the thoughts He thinks towards you. God created you to have dominion, be fruitful, multiply. Refuse to allow your past hold you from being all you were made to be.
  4. Draw daily strength and wisdom for life’s journey from God, His Word, and other seasoned resources.


“It’s not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you.” – Zig Ziglar

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