How do you eat an Elephant?
I think the answer will surprise you…
This phrase and mindset has been around for awhile. As you know “how do you eat an elephant” is actually referring to a way to take on large projects and the effort you put forward in doing those projects.
Here’s a test, go to Google and type in “how to eat an elephant” and you will see what I mean. I was amazed by the results. There are hundreds of websites, blogs, you-tube videos and even published books on how to eat an elephant.
But what was really fascinating was the fact that there are 3 different schools of thought on the subject. Let’s take a look at all three shall we….
Ok so first you have the traditional school of thought that you eat an elephant one bite at a time. Its origins are sketchy but the some think the first time it was used was in 1921. At the time Frank Cody the Superintendent of Schools wrote in The Detroit Journal of Education, “it is entirely possible for a man to swallow an elephant on bite at a time…” In the 1940’s and 50’s it was believed that the saying had Chinese origins. Then in the 1970’s American General Creighton Abrams said, “When eating an elephant take one bite at a time.”
When you have a huge project you need to accomplish something everyday and keep the project moving forward. Sounds pretty straight forward. That is until you get to the second school of thought…
So the second school of thought is that the elephant is going to rot and get rancid and you’re going to get sick of elephant really fast unless you deal with it quickly. In this case you want to have an elephant eating party. Invite all the neighbors over, have elephant and some fruit, drinks, and music and you’re all set. With dividing up the “elephant” (project) it can get done quicker and it shows a team effort.
So instead of taking on this huge task by yourself, outsource some pieces so that the project can be running in several different directions at the same time. Get your mind away from doing it alone to what can you have others do for you. Then the most unusual school of thought is the third one…
So in the third school of thought you want to stop eating the elephant and feed the elephant. You want to feed the elephant little pieces of candy at first and then move on to bigger and more complicated meals as your elephant grows. You go to grilled cheese and Tater tots all the way up to a seven course meal by the end.
The thinking here is that you are trying to create something not dismantle it. So you want to get your thoughts away from destruction and more towards building up the project. You want to feed the project. You start with the simple tasks and work your way up.
With these three schools of thought you can see that eating the elephant has never been easier.
In the end what you need to have is a clear plan, a vision of the end result, and the drive and determination to get you there. You can accomplish anything as long as you start. You have to start.
So start today. Take that first step to achieve what you want.
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Prosperity to you and yours and we will be back again soon!!