Summary of The Ant and the Elephant

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The Ant and the Elephant book summary


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Former Olympian Vince Poscente’s entertaining short parable works with the metaphors of a determined little ant as your conscious mind and a habit-driven elephant as your subconscious mind. You make hundreds of small decisions daily, mostly without thinking, because your subconscious runs your life. Yet these accumulated choices put most people on safe, predictable, boring paths of mediocrity. When you see glimpses of what you could become, heed those insights. Don’t revert to your old ways just because change is hard and progress may be slow. With the right mind-set and determination – think of an ant’s diligence – you can overcome inertia and break through. Turn to Poscente’s five-step action plan, based on “clear vision, commitment, consistency, confidence and control.” Align your conscious goals with those of your subconscious so the ant rules the elephant. Convince your inner, more conservative self that your goal is not only possible, but also inevitable. getAbstract recommends this accessible, heartwarming story to anyone seeking to reduce fear, alter old habits and change for the better.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What things hold you back from your “peak performance” and potential;
  • Why your subconscious mind – your elephant – follows safe, predictable routes;
  • How to control and guide your subconscious; and
  • How to succeed with a five-step action plan, using “clear vision, commitment, consistency, confidence and control.”

About the Author

Vince Poscente, a former ski racer, made it to the gold-medal round at the 1992 Olympics. A frequent public speaker and CEO of The Goal Acceleration Institute, he also wrote InVINCEable Principles and The Age of Speed: Learning to Thrive in a More-Faster-Now World.



“The Ant and the Elephant”
A powerful storm blows Adir the ant far from his colony. He fears he will never see his friends again and wonders where he is. A churlish crow visits Adir when he is in the depths of despair, eats the ant’s hard-earned food, tells him about an oasis and flies...

Comment on this summary

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    Steven Mehta 3 years ago
    I really like the part regarding looking for all the objections and having a preset response to it. 
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    Yazan Jadaa 4 years ago
    Sounds like a very interesting book
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    Rajan Suri 4 years ago
    Loved the statement - "commit to the commitment" and I can vouch for the power of connecting emotions to the final goal.
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    Daniel Jacobs 4 years ago
    Interesting stuff! I can see this being very helpful in my professional life.
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    BYOUNGKWON LEE 4 years ago
    It gives clear guide how the conscious(Ant) works with subconscious(Elephant). Very good guide book to make a leadership and self decision. It makes me to try the 5 steps action plan. " Clear vision, Commitment, Consistency, Confidence and control ".

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