Story of the Cows and Rhinos

by Michael Berry on October 13, 2014

You learn in personal development that life is a journey, not a destination.

The difference between success and failure as an entrepreneur starts with departing from the masses.

The Story of the Cows & Rhinos

This is little story of the cows and rhinos. Of course I can’t take credit for this it was developed by Scot Alexander, but here is my adapted version of it.

There once was a herd of cows out in this cow pasture. And of course there was grass and manure all over the place. But out in the middle of this herd of cows was this rhino, and he was totally out of place. Six thousand pounds of muscle; and thick armor of skin, with this big horn sticking out of his head. And the rhino wanted to leave the cow pasture and go to the promise land. And off into the distance you can see the promise land. But to get to the promise land you must first go through the jungle. The jungle is filled with thorns, quicksand and hunters; but the rhino has that 6 inch thick skin.

Contrary to the better judgment of the cows, and some of these seem to be very learned cows; the rhino leaves the cow pasture. And wouldn’t you know it there’s adversity, hunters shooting at him, quicksand etc. Eventually the rhino meets up with some other rhinos and they say to him we’ll help you get through the jungle. There will still be some adversity but we’ll show you where the quicksand is and you don’t have to walk into the arrows, right? It’ll still be a bit of a struggle but we’ll help you to make it a nicer ride.

Eventually our rhino friend makes it through the jungle and to the promise land. And there is your wonderful Starbucks establishment; just kidding. What does our rhino do? Jumps back into the jungle. Why? To help the other fledgling rhinos get through the jungle.

And then one day when as our rhino is relaxing, laying in his mud hole, he notices other rhinos coming out of the jungle. One by one they’re coming out of the jungle and he asks where are these rhinos coming from? And in a moment of clarity he realizes it must be the cow pasture. These rhinos were actually cows it’s just that they had been conned into believing they were cows. So convincingly that they even looked like cows, and even smelled like cows.

We’re all rhinos. We were born risk takers; all this self imposed limitations, is all just a story.

What stops people from getting started in any worthy endeavor? The simple answer is fear. Fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, fear of success (worthiness). But the biggest and most persistent enemy of productive action is fear of criticism! People don’t commit to taking action because they fear criticism. Criticism from their friends, family and neighbors. The driving force behind most people’s decision making is: wanting to look good, and avoiding looking bad. This is a very fear-based way to live. Seeking approval from ignorant well-meaning people has crippled more potential greatness than anything I’ve witnessed……I heard a very learned man once say, “Don’t worry about what your neighbors think, they probably don’t.”

Learn to just Love(n) (in) the MOMENT!

To Your Success,

Personal development is our business and our life,

Michael Berry
In personal development we learn that “we all see and experience the world not as it is, but as we are”.


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela Arnold December 24, 2010 at 9:33 pm

This story makes you really think outside of the box. Who are the real rhinos and who are the cows? Thanks for the post.

Michael Berry December 27, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Yes it does Angela and thanks for your comments. Happy New Year to you and your family.

Nicole Rushin January 1, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Smells like cow, looks like cow, it must be a cow. Very interesting how we blend into our stories. We create our own pastures. Sometimes all it takes is for one Rhino to walk out and the others will follow. Great story.

Michael Berry January 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Yes one Rhino can do it if the cows will stop listening to other cows and think for themselves.

Anonymous January 2, 2011 at 5:56 am

I love this story. It sounds like there really are no cows except those who let others or their own negative self talk convince them that they are. I wanna be a rhino. No wait. I AM a rhino!! And this year, 2011, will prove it!

Willena Flewelling

Michael Berry January 3, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Good for you Willena and thanks for your comments.

Michael Berry January 10, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Thank you Andrea for your comments. I loved your comment cause it’s not work it’s fun.

Melodie Kantner June 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm

Scot Alexander has been one of my favorites for quite a while. I have all the Rhinoceros Success books. Since reading them I have collected a few Rhinoceros figurines to sit around my office and remind me to charge at my dreams and goals.

Michael Berry June 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm

That’s great Melodie. Thanks for your comments.

Jane Araguel October 17, 2011 at 11:45 pm

What a nice story. It is true that most of us fear criticism from the people around us and this limits us from doing so many things. If we always hear what people say and try to please them then we will be going nowhere.

Michael Berry October 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Thanks again Jane I appreciate your comments.

W L M B Fernando October 22, 2011 at 5:56 am

I Like this stroy. Yes. in the film “Apocalipto” in one scene The father tells to his son ” Dont be fear. Deep rooted fear is a mental illness. That can be very difficult to be cured.”

Michael Berry October 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Right on Fernando. Thanks for your comments.

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