Free Trial Manage Train Learn

Mohini, the Tigress

If you ask people today to tell you what changes they would like to see in the world, most will tell you they'd like to see a saner, more peaceful, and more connected world with visions such as, "I want a world where there is no war and no hatred" and "I want a world where people share and not hoard" and "I want a world where children are cherished and the old respected". When, however, you ask them if they believe these changes will ever happen, most will say, "No, there is nothing I can do".

As a species, we've become used to accepting things as they are. As individuals, we lack courage to change anything, particularly ourselves. We complain because it gets us off the hook of taking steps to act. For many, this is how it is with making the changes needed to grow.

Mohini, the Timid Tigress

In her book, "Radical Acceptance", Tara Brach tells the story of a white female tiger called Mohini who was given to President Eisenhower in 1960 in an exchange of gifts with the Indian Government. In those days, before more enlightened approaches to the treatment of captive animals, the beautiful and rare tiger was placed in a standard 12 by 12 foot cage in the National Zoo in Washington DC. Day after day, Mohini would pace up and down in her cage tracing a figure of 8 for hours on end. After some years of this, the zoo staff decided that Mohini deserved better. So they built an outdoor wildlife park complete with hills, trees, and pond, just like her native India. When Mohini was moved from her cage to her new home, she retreated to a secluded corner of the park where she spent the rest of her life, pacing up and down in an area of 12 by 12 foot in a figure of 8.

Don't Limit Yourself and Your Dreams

Most of us are just like Mohini. We impose our own limitations on what we can achieve because we don't believe there is an alternative and we don't have the courage to make the changes needed. Even when others give us the opportunity to grow and spread our wings, we move to the new place but repeat the habits of the past for fear of change and leaving the familiarity of our comfort zones.

In truth, there is an alternative and we can do it. It starts and ends with the size of the limitations that we put on ourselves. If we settle on small dreams and ambitions, that's where we'll stay. But if we remove the mental cages completely, dream as big as we can, and seize opportunities when they come along, there is no limit to what we can achieve.