Learned Helplessness

This morning I read an interesting experiment. That by mistake discovered that human and animal can learn to be helpless. It was so cool.

They had three groups of dogs 1,2,3.

Group 1 got shocked and they would be able to turn the shock of if the pressed a button.

Group 2 also got shocked but they couldn’t turn it of. The shock ended when the dog in the first group turned of the shock

Group 3 was a control group. Didn’t get shocked at all.

After that they did that, they put all the dogs in a big box and shocked them. The dog from group 1 and 3 jump out of the box while the dog from group 2 just lied there, not every dog from group 2 though, 2 of 8 jumped out.

They made other experiments as well but the conclusion was that the dogs in group 2 had learned helplessness. Because no matter what they did, they couldn’t stop the shock that’s why they just gave up. I simplified it a lot. But I hope you get the point.

On my way here the study reminded me of another thing. That are very classic. The circus elephant. It can be tied with a rope to a pole in the ground. And it could easily escape it if it wanted to but it won’t because it have been tied with the same rope and the same pole since it was little. And when you are a little elephant you are not strong enough to brake lose from it. So it learned that no matter what it did, it couldn’t escape it.

Think about it for a second what impact does that have in your life? What are your ropes? Would you do something different? What wouldn’t you try because you think you will fail?

I’m thinking of all the times it felt like nothing I did mattered. All the times I felt hopeless for no reason at all. Because I though to much and worried. Sometimes It just felt like why am I even trying? But it’s true, it’s a lot of things you and I can’t control. But it’s also a lot of things we can control. Normal excuses are, I don’t have time, I don’t have money, I don’t dare. They can be very legitimate and it possible to changes that. If you really want something….

What I wanted to say with this actually is, there are things that you are very capable of changing, capable to do, you can make a change.

I reckon that I can seem naive, but I’m ok with it. I like to dream, I’m a little boy wishing for great things and I have chosen that. Maybe someday I will be like everybody else or Maybe someday I will live my dream.



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