Elephant, Pike, Flea, Dog & Me !

Classical Conditioning - What is your M.O? Presented by RKT

But Who Let The Dogs Out?

Pavlov ???

But First - Lets PARTY !!!

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Am I conditioned ? / Are YOU conditioned?

Am I conditioned like a

Baby Elephant.

Northern Pike

or a Flea?

I invite you to consider the following brilliant analogies and challenge yourself to BREAK FREE!!!

Richard Thompson

What is your Method of Operating ?

modus operandi


mo·​dus ope·​ran·​di | \ˌmō-dəs-ˌä-pə-ˈran-dē, -ˌdī\

plural modi operandi\ˈmō- ˌdē- , ˈmō- ˌdī- \

Definition of modus operandi

: a method of procedurethe best approach … was to do things through quiet persuasion, which was his modus operandi— James Traubespecially : a distinct pattern or method of operation that indicates or suggests the work of a single criminal in more than one crimegot her picture identified, discovered her modus operandi, and put a stakeout on her neighborhood— Time

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Is your Modus Operandi making you DIE?

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Simple Truths: Unchain the Elephant

Lets explore four examples !!!


Northern Pike





he elephants are the large mammals forming the family Elephantidae in the order Proboscidea. Three species are currently recognised: the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), the African forest elephant (L. cyclotis), and the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Elephants are scattered throughout sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Elephantidae is the only surviving family of the order Proboscidea; other, now extinct, members of the order include deinotheres, gomphotheres, mammoths, and mastodons.


Baby Elephant Syndrome

Five years ago, a fellow writer asked me if I had heard of Baby Elephant Syndrome.

I had no idea what she was talking about. I always had pride in what I had accomplished in life. But she felt some writers, including me, needed to work on getting rid of this syndrome.
She explained her theory. An adult elephant can easily uproot huge trees with its trunk; it can knock down a house without much trouble. When an elephant living in captivity is still a baby, it is tied to a tree with a strong rope or a chain every night. Because it is the nature of elephants to roam free, the baby elephant instinctively tries with all its might to break the rope. But it isn’t yet strong enough to do so.
Realizing its efforts are of no use, it finally gives up and stops struggling.

After the baby elephant tries and fails many times, it will never try again for the rest of its life.
Later, when the elephant is fully grown, it can be tied to a small tree with a thin rope. It could then easily free itself by uprooting the tree or breaking the rope.

But because its mind has been conditioned by its prior experiences, it doesn’t make the slightest attempt to break free. The powerfully gigantic elephant has limited its present abilities based on the limitations of the past— Baby Elephant Syndrome.
Maybe human beings are exactly like the elephant except for one thing—we can choose not to accept the false boundaries and limitations of our past. We build on the past to make the future better.

Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden’s mantra serves well for anyone.
“I am not as good as I ought to be.
I am not as good as I want to be.
I am not as good as I’m going to be.
But I am thankful that I am better than I used to be.”
How do you feel about this? What’s holding you back on finishing your work?

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The Northern Pike

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Northern Pike

The northern pike (Esox lucius), known simply as a pike in Britain, Ireland, most of Canada, and most parts of the United States (once called luce when fully grown; also called jackfish or simply "northern" in the U.S. Upper Midwest and in Manitoba or Saskatchewan), is a species of carnivorous fish of the genus Esox (the pikes). They are typical of brackish and fresh waters of the Northern Hemisphere (i.e.holarctic in distribution).




Recently, I read about an experiment with a northern pike.

Scientists placed the fish in an aquarium that had a glass divider separating the pike from a dozen minnows on the other side of the partition.

The pike couldn't see the glass when he repeatedly charged the minnows. Time and again, the pike went for a meal of minnows.

Each time he slammed into the invisible barrier.

Finally, after many days of failure, the pike quit trying.

Then the experimenters removed the glass divider that the protected the minnows from being eaten.

Guess what?

The pike didn't try to devour the minnows even when they got right up to his nose.

In psychology, this is called classical conditioning-conditioning a subject to respond in a particular way. While classical conditioning was a problem for the pike, it is a real tragedy for us when life conditions us to accept failure.


Brilliant Analogy



Learned Behavior

Modeling Behavior from Parents / Influence

Take off the Lid - You are still conditioned?


Fleas are small flightless insects that form the order Siphonaptera. As external parasites of mammals and birds, they live by consuming the blood of their hosts. Adults are up to about 3 mm (0.12 in) long and usually brown. Bodies flattened sideways enable them to move through their host's fur or feathers; strong claws prevent them from being dislodged. They lack wings, and have mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood and hind legs adapted for jumping. The latter enable them to leap a distance of some 50 times their body length, a feat second only to jumps made by froghoppers. Larvae are worm-like with no limbs; they have chewing mouthparts and feed on organic debris.


The FLEA and ME

The analogy of the Flea is like me !

From the Blog by Gareth Turner

"Fleas are well known as being brilliant jumpers; they can jump 18cm vertically and 33cm horizontally! So when a flea is captured in a jar, you need to put the lid on quick otherwise they’re out of there.

However, if you catch a flea in a jar and put a lid on it, fleas very quickly learn to jump below the lid to avoid hitting it. Then when you remove the lid they continue to jump below the rim of the jar and therefore never escape. They quickly become conditioned to their environment, and even when the opportunity to jump higher presents itself, they don’t.

In terms of goal setting this analogy works in the following way:

If you’re conditioned to only achieve a certain amount, even if you can achieve more, you don’t."


How are we conditioning ourselves to only go so far?

Are you being trained as a flea in a jar.

The videos and links below explain this theory in more detail...

Act Like A Success: Taking the lid off the jar

The Analogy of the Fleas: Self-beliefs, Learning and Success

The following is from Dr. Gardner from his amazing blog...


"The Lesson
So, what do we learn from these fleas? Just as the fleas began with the capacity to jump higher than the lid of the jar, we as human beings have the capacity to accomplish great things. However, through our experiences and our own reasoning, we sometimes come to believe that our ability to succeed is limited. For example, when I was in grade school, I excelled at mathematics, and I regularly won in-class math competitions. However, as I transitioned to Junior High School, I ended up having trouble with algebra and eventually dropped out of math. Ever since then, I have avoided math classes and held the firm belief that I am not good at math. In essence, my beliefs about myself limited my ability to succeed in math. "

(I can add, what about MATH, Singing etc what happened as a child, now still effects us... The 85-year-old lady that was told by her 5th-grade music teacher she couldn't sing... - RKT)


Below Dr. Garder speaks of ways to break free.

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The Analogy of the Fleas: Self-beliefs... Dr. Gardner

Fleas We can learn about this principle (surprisingly) from a jar full of fleas. As the video below demonstrates, if you fill a jar with fleas and place the lid on the jar, the fleas will jump and hit their heads on the lid.

Classical Conditioning

The difference between classical and operant conditioning - Peggy Andover
Classical Conditioning - Ivan Pavlov

Modus Operandi - How Do I Change?

Breaking the Pattern - Dr. Gardner

Breaking the Pattern
So, how can we move beyond the limitations that we place on ourselves? I believe that the following suggestions will help an individual begin to shape positive, affirming self-beliefs and will help them begin to move forward in their learning and in their lives more effectively:

  • Flood your life with new, empowering knowledge. Placing new beliefs into your mind can help empower you and give you a new perspective. I have found that motivators like Zig Ziglar, Norman Vincent Peale, Stephen Covey, and Anthony Robbins have helped me to see the world from a new, empowered perspective. I recommend reading their works and listening to their audio seminars. I also recommend reading sacred literature that teaches of your own worth - I have gained deep personal beliefs about my own worth, and these beliefs have given me a foundation of confidence in myself and in others.

  • Remove dis-empowering relationships and messages from your life. As I mentioned in my post about toxic coworkers, some individuals are toxic in nature and actually tear down everyone around them. To achieve true success, it is vital that you eliminate these individuals from your life, wherever possible. In addition, the media we listen to, view, and interact with can heavily influence our perspective on ourselves and our lives, so be sure to control the flow of information so that true, positive, empowering knowledge is obtained.

  • Set goals. Plan out what you would like to accomplish in your education and in your life and then identify exactly what must be accomplished to reach those goals. When I plan out exactly what I must do to succeed, I realize that the first few steps are actually doable, and I often begin to move toward my goals.

  • Do something that is difficult. Accomplishing a difficult task can help build confidence in your abilities and give you the skills and tenacity required to do something that is even harder. Success breeds success, so set out to do something difficult and worthwhile.

  • Recognize setbacks as temporary. My friend and coworker Tracy Austin once articulated the belief that, "There is no failure, only feedback. There are no mistakes, just lessons learned." Viewing your shortcomings in this manner enables you to learn from your experiences as you move toward personal success.

I believe in the power of the individual to achieve great success. As I work to improve and heighten my self-belief, I find that I am blessed with opportunities to move forward in exciting, new ways. I close with a powerful quote:

To show your true ability is always, in a sense, to surpass the limits of your ability, to go a little beyond them: to dare, to seek, to invent; it is at such a moment that new talents are revealed, discovered, and realized. - Simone de Beauvoir

Posted by joel gardner at 4:04 PM

Think about this and perhaps do something about it..

The baby elephant, northern pike, and flea all have the same essence of classical conditioning just like us as humans...

Yet we as humans can change our MO (method of operating modus operandi)

It takes a METANOIA (a total change in our minds and hearts) to do something about it.

What is holding you back?

What chain, as the elephant had as a baby, is keeping you in captivity now, even though you have the power to break free?

Do you really have to stay in the circumference of the chain?

What barrier like the northern pike has conditioned you to stop trying even though that barrier is not there anymore? -

Do you really have to starve?

What lid is still limiting you from jumping to the highest heights you can?

Do you really only have a short capability or are you still conditioned?

All of these questions challenge your MO Modus Operandi!

Once we name our limitations, challenge why we have them, face the false truths we hold so strongly and challenge ourselves to break free, only then can we live to the highest, the full potential of our true selves.

Our conditioned mind holds us prisoner, yet who has the power REALLY?


Don't Stop Believing !!!



Below is a webpage my amazing daughter Clare created for a blog in college..

Breaking Habits

Row Row Row Your Boat

Row, row, row your boat,

Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,

Life is but a dream.



Originally created by RKT 2013