Q: How do you eat an elephant?
A: One bite at a time.
Earl Nightingale defined success as “the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” That’s to say, success isn’t a destination, it’s a voyage. You don’t just attain success at the pinnacle of your career, the completion of a project, or even when you turn out the lights at bedtime. Truth is, you actually achieve success every time you take another step toward your worthy ideal. Be it your spiritual journey, your career path, or your personal relationships – as long as it’s worthy and you’re moving toward it – you ARE a success.
Think of your worthy ideal as an elephant. If you just step back and look at the elephant in all of its gigant-normous splendor you might be tempted to run screaming in the other direction. But now look at just one part of the elephant about the size of, say, a single serving of your favorite pasta. You could eat that, right?
That’s why effective project managers break their projects down into bite-sized pieces that are easier to track – and accomplish. They know to “chunk” the work into manageable tasks, prioritize them, and then get started on the first thing now!
My theme for this stream of consciousness is “Chip Away: to reduce or make progress on something incrementally.” Each time you take another bite of your elephant you’re chipping away at your goal. Don’t worry about the whole elephant all at once. Focus on the single serving in front of you now. Once you’re done with that serving, then you can look at the next one.
Every day, I’m just chipping away at my goals. Are you?