Updated: Aug 22, 2020
Question: How do you eat an elephant?
If you do not already know the answer to this question, then you may be pleasantly surprised.
As our first principle of Success, taking action seems like such a simple and insignificant start. The power, however, lies in that simplicity.
Have you ever faced a big problem? I don't mean what to wear for an important meeting? No, I mean a problem that seemed so insurmountable that it drove you to inaction. You froze. Overthinking the possible solutions.
I remember a business trip to Harare a few years back. We were preparing for an important meeting with all senior management. The founder of the company and the IT guy were frantically trying to get his new laptop to connect to the printer so they could print briefs to be discussed. The software was installed and reinstalled. Drivers disabled and re-enabled. Countless reboots and some Oscar-winning head-scratching yielded no results.
On the verge of calling HP tech support, in strolls the founder's son picks up an inconspicuous looking cable and says "Should this not be plugged into the laptop?".
When we start a new challenge, be that a business, or a personal improvement journey, we tend to start with a list of what we need to do, and often imagine the problem or task to be much more complicated than it actually is. Our to-do list then can end up being pages long and once it is done, we have no idea where to start.
Fixing this is as easy as eating an elephant.
Let's try this... Grab a piece of paper and pen, or your phone if that is where you make your lists. Now sit back, and a envision your end-goal, and what that looks like. Now think of what you have to do, to get started.
Don't start writing just yet!
Now, what was the very first thing that came to mind? Not the string of thoughts or actions, just the very first thing you thought would need to get done. Got it? Great!
Write down the first thing you have to do. That first thing that popped into your mind.
Put down your pen or pencil, or tap save on your phone.
Go and do that one thing! Right now!
You see instead of getting bogged down in creating countless lists and to-do's and plans often all we need to get going, is to get going.
Once you have completed that first action, write down the very next thing you need to do... rinse and repeat...
You will no doubt need a few lists on your journey, but when getting started, simply focus on the first thing, and slowly you will create momentum. Before you know it, you will be unstoppable!
Answer: One bite at a time