Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pike Syndrome

The pike is a fierce carnivorous fish that eats smaller fish. What is the Pike Syndrome all about and what are the implications that we can learn from it? Firstly, lets learn about the Pike Syndrome.

In an interesting experiment, scientists took a pike and placed it into a large tank with many smaller fishes. The pike however, was separated from these smaller preys by a layer of glass, forming a barrier preventing the pike from reaching its prey. The pike continuously smashed itself against the glass barrier while trying to reach its prey, but was unsuccessful in its attempts in penetrating this invisible barrier. Gradually, it became discouraged and discontinued this behavior. The pike eventually sank to the bottom of the tank and just laid there. When the pike finally stopped hitting the glass barrier, the scientists removed the barrier, allowing the pike to feast. To their surprise, the pike continued ignoring the smaller fishes, even when they were swimming right next to the pike. Eventually, the pike starved to death, even when its food was swimming right in front of it. This behavior was eventually known as the “Pike Syndrome”.

So, what are the lessons we can take from this “Pike Syndrome?” Well, the Pike Syndrome tells us that our minds are indeed very much in control of our behavior. In the experiment, when the barrieri s removed, the fish were swimming right in front of the pike, yet the pike still perceive the barrier to be in place and starved to death. The pike still believed that the barrier was there. In real life, people are limited by a whole host of barriers such as age, abilities or even self confidence. It does not matter if the barrier is physically there or not, but if our minds perceive a limitation, then a barrier is very much in place. If you perceive yourself to be inferior for instance, this could eventually become a self fulfilling prophecy. In addition, this experiment tells us that it is often difficult to identify the change, even when the barrier is removed. The pike was unable to change its mindset when the barrier was removed and starved to death.

Similarly, people suffer from the same problem as well. We often assume that the barrier is still in place when in fact, it has already disappeared. So, do try to identify cases of Pike Syndrome in your life and in your swimming! Remove the constraints that limit your life by critically examining the situation and remove any false assumptions that have been previously holding you back. You can change and be a better person!

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