Small strokes fell great oaks.
That’s a quote from Ben Franklin. “The journey of 1000 miles,” said Lao Tzu, “begins with a single step.” Creighton Abrams wrote, “When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time.”
We live in a world that conditions us to want it all and want it now. These quotes remind us to take a breath. Big things start small. Small, consistent actions, over time, move the needle a great distance. If we try to “eat the elephant” all at once, we’ll probably get indigestion.
I’ve often used a basketball analogy for this idea. If you get behind 20 points in the first half, there are no 20 point shots to get you back into the game. The way to get back in is one trip up the floor at time. Score and go play defense. Score and go play defense. If you come out trying to get it all back at once, you’ll probably do foolish things and lose by 40.
The overnight success is a rarity. The truth is most overnight successes have been working at it for years before they finally attained their success.
What’s my message? It’s easy to feel like your dreams aren’t happening fast enough. I’ve often felt it myself. Remember there is no deadline. There’s amazing lessons and experiences along the way.
This I promise, though, if you keep whacking away, even the greatest of oaks will eventually fall. Rome wasn’t built in day and neither are you.
Patience and keep working. Good things will happen.
P.S. – No elephants or oaks were harmed in the writing of this blog post. What great metaphors they make, though.