How To Eat An Elephant

Eating an elephant

I’ve been coming across a lot of books and articles lately that talk about top-down visualization.  Not the type that refers to the programming world, but rather the psychological method.

The basic concept is that you have to very clearly visualize the result you want and then work backwards and define every task that must happen to get you there.

I must admit, I’ve lost sight of where I want to end up, because I’ve been spending all of my time fighting to get the money to pay my family’s monthly bills.  It’s been like bailing water out of a boat that has a hole in it. I’m so busy trying to keep us from sinking that I don’t even have time to think about where I want the boat to go. So we’re still not very far from the dock we left ten years ago.

The problem is that I haven’t clearly defined the final vision. Clearly defining a vision may entail a cork board with actual photos, quotes, and other visual cues that remind you of your goal. Don’t be afraid to revise your vision. Sometimes, changing things up keeps you from ignoring it. Did you ever put a post-it note somewhere as a reminder and then leave it there for so long that it almost became invisible to you? Same concept. The important thing is that you have it in front of you as a reminder.

Don’t worry about thinking on a scale that is “too grand”. Always set your goals higher than you ever think you’re going to accomplish. Why? Because after a while you will believe the new higher goal is what you want and if you don’t reach it, at least you’ve still reached a goal that is greater than your original vision ever would have been. If you’re going to spend your time working toward something, why not put all your effort and belief into it….otherwise, don’t bother. If you don’t try something, you’ll be haunted the rest of your life by, “should have, could have, would have”.

Once you have your final goal in mind, break it down backwards by asking, “What do I need to do next before I can get to this step?”. You will eventually break the vision down to the first step required to move to success. This is also called “eating the elephant”, if you follow business seminars. In other words, it’s seems like an impossible task until you chop it up into manageable pieces. It’s also much less overwhelming.

Remember, Bill Gates has the same 24 hours in his day as you do in yours. What are you going to create?

Enjoy your elephant! Bon Appetite!

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