Eating an Elephant

Taking on a big project one small bite at a time

He conquers who endures. Persius

A trip of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Chinese proverb

I may not be there yet, but I’, closer than I was yesterday. Author Unknown

  The idea of eating a huge elephant one bite at a time is powerful. By embracing this concept we can take on seemingly impossible projects and succeed. This is done through small, continuous, persistent steps. How many times have we avoided taking on a difficult project because it seemed too big and enormous?

   There are huge implications to understanding and applying this approach; taking on large and substantial undertakings; trains us and increases will power, self-discipline, focus, and a long list of other positive benefits. How about taking on the writing of a book? It is a tremendous undertaking. By writing a single page per day, by the end of three hundred and sixty five days, we will have written more than enough pages to equal the size of the average book. We can build a small mountain by stacking up boulders one per day over the course of our life. Some never go to college because of the enormity of the undertaking. By using the concept of “one bite at a time” it can be broken down to bite size tasks (credit hours). It is a matter of accumulating enough of them over time to acquire the necessary credits to be reward with a degree. Many have not started that business, built that home, or started that special project because they believe it is too big for them.

   The truth is we are capable of taking on big projects by using the mindset of one bite at a time. Suppose we decide to become the “best we” possible? The task is so big we do not believe it possible. When we break it down to bite size bits it becomes doable. We can do tough tasks through small ongoing and continuous steps.

   We all have a certain number of days and years remaining in our lives. Chances are it is a significant number. If starting today, we committed to a sustained effort to grow a little every day, how much can we grow in the number of days, months and years we have left? The days, weeks, months and years will occur and pass by regardless. We can all eat a little bit of elephant every day. It will be very good for us. If we will only look ahead and visualize what we can become, we will see the possibilities of “one bite at a time”.

 

Challenge: Have you ever eaten an elephant? If so, you acquired a great sense of accomplishment. Have you completed projects that required a long, continuous, seemingly never ending effort? If your answer is yes, then you are an experienced “elephant eater”. Once you have acquired a taste for eating elephants, it is an ability that never goes away. You can use it for great tasks. You have an elephant waiting for you to eat one bite at a time.

Wisdom: With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable. Thomas F Buxton

Spiritual: (NIV)

We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

But he who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:13

You will eat the fruit of your labor, blessings and prosperity will be yours. Psalm 128:2

Patience, perseverance and faith are traits one expects to see in those who have the strength of will and character to take on tough tasks and projects. It is these challenges that cause us to grow so much. God expects us to be agents of change, doers, and achievers and to help make the world a better place. He does not expect us to do all these things alone and by our own strength. He is always willing, ready, and able to help us to do our best.

Prayer: Help me to be able to take on the big projects in my life. I know you are here to help me.  

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