Over the past couple of weeks I have come across a few challenges… some in work, some in personal life…
- How I respond
- How I react
Dad always said, “respond, don’t react”… This is good advice, but, in keeping with The Gambler... you gotta know when to do either…
I got to thinking about this advice in light of the few challenges that came my way… I know enough about myself to know that I gotta keep my “over-thinking” in balance... and I know enough about myself to know I have the tools to figure it out... or who to ask for help when I need to…
I think I really like challenges... even if sometimes my fight or flight is really a hide-my-eyes and hope it isn’t a really there situation... I like these challenges because they force me to grow. They force me to look inside and outside myself for a solution. They force me to learn more about what I do and why I do it.
A couple of these challenges had some common denominators in my mind: a couple of my old, favorite clichés… How do you eat an elephant?... and KISS.
I got to thinking about both of these at the same time… How do I keep it simple if I am trying to “eat an elephant”… are you kidding!?!?
As I began to “eat the elephant”, and think of how to keep it simple, I came across a couple things I would add to the “eat the elephant” thought…
What don’t I even need to consider “eating”?
*Note: I would never really eat an elephant… so please do not even consider it an option… this is all just philosophical... Side Note... elephants are one of my favorite creatures on the planet :) If you have no understanding of elephants... please read about them... they are awesome creatures!
I do not need to consider eating the bones.
I do not need to consider eating the contents one removes prior to cooking.
I do not need to consider eating the parts that are in-edible.
So, all I really must consider is what is left after removing these things. It certainly takes the size of the task in question down to a more do-able size… a size I can now bring under the KISS Principle… And, if necessary, I can now host a banquet to invite my friends (stakeholders, peers, fellows, etc.) to assist in the eating of the elephant.
I guess I have learned that sometimes it is not just the BIG PICTURE that I come up with that matters… and the WHAT DO I NEED… but sometimes the pattern of thought for a big challenge should be WHAT DON’T I NEED… sometimes that will keep the focus on finding solutions that meet the need, whether it is project or personal… What doesn’t matter enough to put added weight to the equation?
Sometimes, when something seems to big, it is better to begin to consider what doesn’t matter before determining what does matter...