How do you eat an elephant? The same way you eat anything else, one bite at a time?
Of course, the first obstacle is deciding you want to eat an elephant. It will be tough, it will take a long time, and you will often regret even starting. Okay, my metaphor is starting to fall apart on me but hopefully you get the idea.
In case you have not unraveled my clever play on words here the elephant stand for any large accomplishment, anything big, if you will. And in this case a bite is a day, at least for me anyway.
Some time ago I was feeling really overwhelmed by everything I wanted to do in my life, by the things I knew I needed to do. I would start thing of how to accomplish these things and this massive number of things to do would come rushing in my head. I was often left thinking, “I don’t know if I can do all that.” No matter the number of steps I have to take the first one before I can take the next. So let me start with doing the one thing, the next thing. In some ways my initial approach was a way out. I would think, “Let me just do that one thing today and I can say I have done something.” Well next thing you know things were getting done.
I cannot think of many things that take 365 bites. If you do just one thing, no matter how small, a day you will have taking those 365 bites on one year. And in the end, you will have accomplished something great in just a year.
I often ask those close to me, “what is your one thing today?” I am especially diligent with people that say they are facing any overwhelming problem. Despite, or maybe because of, my personal challenges J people often ask me for advice. I introduce them to this theory of one thing a day. I warn them that I am going to ask them, and then I do… everyday. How can you say you want things to get better if you are not willing to do at least one small things every day to make it better?
I still ask myself this question every day. When I first adopted this practice I actually set an alarm to go off every day about 8pm. I did that so if I forget it was not too late in the day to do something, anything, to make my life better. At first it was anything, even the smallest gesture. Read a chapter, do some pushups, etc. I am happy to say small things have become a way of life and I no longer can consider them my “one thing” and consequently bites have gotten bigger, and easier to chew.
As important as all this is do not fret over it. Just do something, anything. Watch a YouTube video, read a page, do a push up but do something. Let us face it, some days you will forget, be too tired, or just not want to. That is why I say do it every day so if you miss a day or two, so what. How many people can say they even did 300 things last year to make their life better?
So, decide which elephant you want to eat and take a bite every day. Do just one thing every day to make your life better, your dream come true, or to just be a cooler person. And who does not want that.
So, what is your one thing today?