I read this story and thought it was a great metaphor for managers and their teams. Vivek Paul, CEO of Wipro Technologies said that he saw an elephant trainer outside Bangalore.
The trainer had 3 elephants tied to 3 small stakes, and he asked him "How do you keep such large elephants tied to such small stakes?" The trainer looked and said "When they were young and they tried to break free they couldn't pull the stakes over. When they grow older they don't try anymore."
How often has this approach affected us, at work or at home. We need to shake off the shackles of the past and keep our minds pushing new boundaries. We know what we are capable of now so why limit ourselves today on past limitations. We have changed, times have changed. Don't be afraid to try something because it failed in the past - you are now a different person, you have new skills, you have new experiences - this time it may succeed.
Think also about how you may have affected others - have you blocked something in the past, which prevents them from trying in the future or blocked ideas?