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When You’re Hitting a Wall…


I read this quote the other day.  This is a quote attributed to Tyler May.  Honestly, I’m not quite sure who Tyler May is, but this is a great quote.  This is a perfect quote for when we seem to have a difficult obstacle in front of us and we’re not quite sure where to start or how to tackle it. When most people don’t know where to start, they tend to procrastinate and take no action at all.  And the worst kind of action you can have is inaction.  In order to get through that brick wall or obstacle in front of you, you have to focus on one thing at a time.  The whole thing can seem overwhelming, but one thing, one brick, that’s doable.

How do you eat an elephant???

Before I heard of this quote from Tyler May, I had another quote or way of dealing with obstacles that seemed overwhelming.  When faced with something really challenging, I would ask, “How do you eat an elephant?”  The answer is, “One bite at a time.”  And that is exactly how you face any challenge.  You break the challenge down into smaller pieces and then tackle those smaller pieces.  That sounds simple enough.  Instead of worrying about the entire project, challenge, or obstacle, focus on that one piece and do your best completing that.

Why do your best on a small piece?

Notice that I said to take one piece and do your best completing that.  I said that purposely.  Do your best on that one piece.  Because in anything you do, always give your best effort.  If you put your best into each piece, then  putting it all together increases your chances of having the best outcome possible.  It’s been said time and again that we need to focus on the doing part of any project, not the outcome we hope to achieve.  If we focus on the doing part, and doing our best, then the outcome will take care of itself.

Enjoy the ride!!!

And guess what you need to be doing while you’re focusing on that one piece.  You need to enjoy the ride.  Do your best to enjoy what you’re doing.  I remember times in my past where I had to go somewhere I really didn’t feel like going, so I would go into it with a bad attitude.  And guess what?  I’d have a bad time.  No surprises there.  But one day, I decided to change that.  I decided I would go into everything I could with a positive attitude and get the best out of it.  And guess what?  I started enjoying things more.  Rather than thinking about other things I would rather be doing, I began focusing on what I was currently doing and doing it well.  I was focusing on the one brick in the wall.  The one that was right in front of me.

The Takeaway

Any large task can seem daunting when we look at it as a whole.  But when we take a task and break it down into smaller ones, we get to complete the task, challenge, or obstacle one step at a time.  Not only that, we get to do that one step, as best as we can.  And when we do that, it propels us into the next task as we gain the confidence of having completed one small piece and are now motivated to complete the next.  It doesn’t matter if you’re focusing on one brick or eating one bite of the elephant, do your best and enjoy the ride.  You’ll make much better progress, have more fun doing it, and get a better outcome if you focus on one brick at a time.

Like Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”  I encourage you to identify the direction you need to go, the step you need to take, and make it the best step you can make.

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