#111 – How Do You Eat An Elephant?


Today marks the end of my 2016 Book Reading Challenge where I completed my goal of completing 15 books before the year ends. Last year I had this lofty goal of completing 100 books in a year and I ended up reading only 16. That’s when I got to know that in order to fulfill lofty goals, it is equally important to stay focused towards your goal and work double hard towards making it happen. Once in a month, if you slowly read paragraph by paragraph you are never going to finish 100 books !

So, this year when the 2016 challenge was announced on Goodreads, I resolved to read 1 Book. Yes, you read it right, I resolved to read just 1 book. Some of my friends on Goodreads raised their eyebrows looking at this silly decision of mine. A friend even asked “Just 1?” . I said yes “It is one book at a time”. I once read in a book, that if you want to eat an elephant… How would you eat it? In this case, the author referred to the problems of our lives as “elephants”.

Here is his beautiful analogy. No task gets completed if you get scared just by looking at it. It is always a good practice to divide the large task into small dices and then start eating it LIVE one by one. You manage to eat hundreds of elephants with this simple approach. Even with books, with the kind of work schedule and office work I had, it was impossible for me to complete even one book  with the number “100” dangling on my Goodreads profile all the time. Hence I decided to trash those double zeroes and KISS (keep it simple stupid). And the result was I managed to read more than last year with less stress. My brain somehow was way more relaxed.

Maybe, that’s why scientists say “Written goals have more power over the unwritten unrealistic ones”. Soon after I finished each book, I kept on progressing with another book. So by reading one book at a time, and resisting the temptation to buy more and more books and not reading them… I plunged into taking actions. Every day before sleeping I made a habit of reading atleast 10 pages. In this way, I used to get better sleep and also finish off one book each month.

Somehow, the strategy just worked for me. I further applied this strategy to all walks of my life, by tackling one issue at a time. Life seems to be much more simpler and happier now. 98% of all problems can be solved if we don’t panic and calmed the fuck down. What’s your strategy in dealing with problems/achieving goals in your life?

Love,

ARK

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