You know if I had a dime for every time in my life I heard that “people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan”, I would not be writing this blog as I would have more money than I would know what to do with. So, ok maybe then I would be still blogging however it would be about how to spend that much money, as the media of late seems to think the United States is packed with the filthy with wealth stolen from the backs of others. However I digress as I just finished reading a BBC story on all the (implied) undeserving rich “risk takers” in New York.
Yet back on track, since that’s not the case and here we both sit, figured it would be good to further wax about getting things done and how it might work other than quoting clichés. As one of the fatherly keys I was given as a youth was to “take small bites”, and I’m not talking meals here. As the task my father had given me was to break up this large section of concrete walk way and haul it way to make room for a new one. Well needless to say I stood there in awe of the seemingly immense task ahead of me and stated to pound here ad there in the massive are. After leaving me to my own demise, my father returned to check my progress.
Well you can guess he was not pleased with what he found, however to his credit, instead of getting mad and delivering one of those “dad” type lectures. He instead took the time to educate me, he explained “son break your work down n to small pieces”, this way he explained you’re not blinded by the bigger task at hand and if properly managed the small pieces you will surely achieve your goals. To further this he broke one slab and carried it away saying, see doing it this way, you can also see the fruits of your work which motivates you to keep going.
To me this was a viral lesson, as taking a single “small bite” provided not only the path to the next, however more importantly the motivation to move to the next. In life, I’ve found that be it the manual demolition of a sidewalk, or the construction of a half a billion Euro data center, it all works the same. As when approaching any large task, the first thing I do is look for the logical break points to create those bites. I also look out for that face my father saw in me that morning over 4 decades ago in my teammates and instead addressing it with discourse; I take the same route my father took with me being that of education by example. As if you will to roll up your sleeves and do things which teach, that is worth all the harsh words which are bound up by Webster.
However you know something? While I promised to stay away from clichés, I didn’t promise to avoid a riddle, as how do you eat an elephant (assuming in the first place you wanted to)? Yes, one bite at a time! Bonn Appétit…