How to eat an elephant

The old saying goes, the way you eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

And whilst I have never found myself in need of eating an elephant, I believe that this mantra is true for all large tasks.

Many people are afraid of committing to a larger goal or challenge because they cannot foresee how they are going to achieve it in its entirety. However by breaking it down into small manageable bite sized chunks anything can become possible.

This is one of the reasons I love running ultra marathons. The concept of running 80km is almost unfathomable. Yet, the reality is, no one runs an 80km race.

You run an 80km race by running a series of smaller runs back to back. eg. the first 5km, the first half marathon, the first marathon etc

I had the pleasure of seeing this play out in reality when I ran one of the most unique ultra marathons I have ever done.

Known as the 4x4x48 challenge, I ran 4 miles, every 4 hours for 48 hours straight. With a little bit of work to get the distance exact, over the space of 12 runs I ended up running 80km in total.

Rather than setting out to run 80km in it’s entirety as per a normal ultra, I was able to tick off each run along the way, making it more manageable. There were times when I was running at 1am, exhausted and with a fuzzy mind. Yet because I told myself it was only 6.5km that I had to run, I was therefore able to achieve it. Each 6.5km eventually added up into a much greater distance.

So how do we do this in real life?

We call it the power of 0

Start by making/saving/investing just $1

Next add a zero to make it $10

Next add a zero to make it $100

I think you see where we are going with this. As you reach your glass ceiling you are going to need to learn how to break it. Or you just break it down into further steps.

Rather than jumping from $10,000 to $100,000 maybe you should try going from $10k to $20k to $30k.

If something doesn’t go right, or you have to start again, follow exactly the same steps.

And remember, as long as you are simply focussed on the tiny task you have to do right now, it will quickly add up to a mammoth achievement.