On eating elephants
Life is filled with moments where you suddenly stop and go “oh! I get it”. These moments are wonderful and inspiring and really make you feel like you’re finally getting somewhere. I often hear people saying, that it all just clicked into place one day, but on closer inspection that’s not completely true. If we haul out the various clichés about life being a journey and every journey starting with a single step etc., we can see how our greatest achievements are created by many tiny changes that lead up to the big AH HA! But often we become so frustrated with the apparent lack of progress that we give up and decide that whatever it is that we are attempting or what we want in life is impossible.
I’m very much a big picture person. I do love a grand plan and I’m perfectly able to envision the finished product of whatever I’m working on. I can see quite clearly what I want my life to look like, but I am unable to see the process involved, and if I’m really honest, I’m impatient to see the end result. Or rather, I used to be. I don’t yet have the “perfect life” (lets face it, nothing is perfect), but these days I’m certainly a lot closer than I once was. I’ve come to understand that in order to get what I want I need to focus on each tiny, seemingly insignificant step along the way.
A quote that’s been popping up a lot for me lately is “We are what we repeatedly do”, and that’s exactly what the AH HA moment is all about. Its about repeating a thought or an action until it becomes ingrained and you reach a point where you don’t even have to try. You’ve created a habit that’s a positive force and you ARE what you wanted to be. The best part? This principal can be applied to absolutely any aspect of your life. Marvelous stuff!
For example, when I still struggled with feeling anxious and having negative thoughts that ran away from me like a speeding train. I spent a few months consciously reminding myself that I was in control of my reactions and that I would be a much happier person if I made sure that I looked at things positively. It was a great deal easier than I thought it would be and I had an unexpected day where something happened that would normally send me completely off the deep end, but… Voila! Habitual positivity. I'm never going to be a perpetually happy bubbly positive energizer bunny (not all the time anyway people like that scare me!) but around 80% of the time I am a very positive person and, I hope, a positive influence.
Change is an extremely intimidating thing, but it is what we all need in order to be able to live the lives that we dream of. Very few people are able to change overnight without some massive motivational incident, but everyone can make one tiny change every day until you suddenly go “AH HA!” Making the commitment to change is the hard part. The rest is just about making it manageable for yourself.
As my mum likes to say, How do you eat an elephant? One small bite at a time.