Eat an Elephant One Bite at a Time

This year I’ve been training for a marathon and this Saturday – December 14, 2013 – I’m going to finally run it! Training for a marathon has really illuminated the saying we’re all familiar with: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” It would be very difficult to decide to run a marathon one week before the race or even 6 weeks before the race and expect to be mentally and physically prepared. It is a large task and it requires you to consistently train and prepare over a long period of time. Many days it seems like you are making very little progress towards the goal, but each run builds a cumulative effect on your body to be up for the task.

Similarly, this lesson has been going on in my life in 2013 as well. During the first half of the year I was in a very difficult work situation. I continued to try to ‘bite off’ the whole problem at once and it seemed to get worse every time I tried to do that. Finally, not out of enlightenment but frustration, I just threw up my hands and stopped trying to ‘fix’ the problems all at once. I turned the situation completely over to God and just asked that HE give me bites that I could handle when I could handle them. The job situation didn’t get better, but I did feel a sense of calm and confidence that I could handle each day’s bite. It wasn’t long until a door opened for a new opportunity that has led to a new career that is the most rewarding and satisfying I’ve ever had professionally. I have brought the ‘one bite at a time’ mentality along with me to the new job and I have seen tangible results from this approach.

What I’ve learned from all of this and have seen results with over the last 6 months is that you need to just focus on eating what is in front of you each day. There is no need to try to take a bigger portion because you feel great today and there is no need to worry about how big the problems or opportunities are going to be tomorrow and shy away from what is on your plate today. All I can do is focus on the moment, eat what the good Lord puts in front of me each day, and remember that life is marathon training and can’t be done all at once.

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