Category Archives: Healing the Human Family

Work Through Your Elephants


Do you ever start projects and don’t finish them? There was such excitement in the beginning. The ideas were flowing and you felt that once you had all the pieces you needed, this would be your best project yet. But then something happens. Anything, really. And whatever it is, now feels like a barrier to being able to follow through on your plans. And so we have another unfinished project.

Let’s discuss Ways to Follow Through without Overwhelming Yourself

1. DO A SELF-INVENTORY. Before even starting the project, do an inventory of the strengths you already have that can be used in your plan. Then think about what skills you need and what it’s going to take to develop it.

2. PACE YOURSELF. Don’t go full throttle just yet. Imagine the man running a 5K and he sprints the first mile, powering ahead and taking an impressive lead. Before he has a chance to be too proud of himself, he realizes he still has 2.1 miles to go and he’s already winded. You know what happens next – he’s no longer in the lead as one by one the runners who paced themselves started pulling in front of him. Not only did he come nowhere close to winning, he had exhausted himself so much in the beginning stages that he didn’t even finish the race. Disqualified by his own exhaustion. Moral of the story: don’t be that guy.

3. RESPECT THE VISION BOARD. Not your thing? Make it your thing. Go old school with it and clip what appeals to you out of magazines, brochures, and any other material that can help you create a collage of your best life. Get your scissors, glue, and markers ready 3rd Grade Art Class style. (Glitter optional).

4. TALK LESS, DO MORE. I talk to my clients about an interesting habit some people have to talk, brainstorm, philosophize, theorize, and conceptualists. Basically do everything accept for take real action. It makes them feel like they’re working on things when in reality they’ve just been thinking about working on things. The Visioning stage should be just that, a stage. Not a place where you get stuck in your mind for years instead of moving into action phase.

5. BREAK THE ELEPHANT. Someone (I don’t remember who but they must have been wise) once asked me: What’s the best way to eat an elephant? To which I gave my thoughtful answer of: I don’t know, how. Unknown Wise Person replied: One bite at a time. I liked it. I liked it so much I started sharing that with my clients. Like it so much I’m writing about it. Break the big tasks into bite-size pieces. As great of a multi-tasker I’m sure you are, take a mindful approach and focus on one thing at a time. And speaking of breaks – have some.

6. TAKE BREAKS. Not the eternal breaks where you step away from your project for awhile only to never return to it again. But legitimate breaks where you stop for a moment even before you get tired. You can take a pro-active approach to self-care. Go ahead and decide when and how long you’ll put things down to let yourself regroup and refresh, then back to it.

I think the main key to completing projects is to keep working on them until they’re done. That’s right, there’s no mind-blowing formula to it, and you probably don’t need a weekend retreat to have that revelation. What you do need is stick-with-it-ness, self-motivation, and portion control as you work through your elephants.


Helping Others Helps Ourselves

This article wworking togetheras originally called, “Why You Should Help If Your Neighbor’s House Is On Fire,” which more accurately reflects the premise that we have to be more supportive to each other while cooperatively reaching for our goals, but that was way too long a title.

If I were to believe that I am only as good as my neighbor, would that cause me to behave differently towards them? Would I take more time to get to know them, and be more helpful? The answer is Yes. Knowing that my personal success depends on whether or not the people around me also have opportunities to be their best selves, may in some way inspire me to make it a personal responsibility to contribute to the success of others.

In a way, it may seem to be coming from a selfish place. “If I want to get ahead in life, I have to help others get ahead.” In another way, there are great benefits to this sort of communal thinking which would simply be a better way of life. The reality that we must all get ahead together would replace the idea that we must get ahead of each other.

Imagine there is a fire in the home right next to yours. You look out your window and see your neighbors run out and away from their house to safety – except for the bravest of the homeowners who is desperately making every effort to extinguish the fire herself while the blaze gets bigger and bigger. At first, you conclude this scene is way too dangerous so it’s best to just let the fire pros handle the issue – they’re on the way. Then you realize that the blazing fire is spreading rapidly, and quickly making a trail towards your own house. All of a sudden, doing everything you can to help your neighbor and stop these homes from burning becomes your top priority.

We can’t ignore one another’s situations. How others around us are doing is interconnected with our own circumstances. Real success does not only involve the individual, but society as a whole – and brings us closer to healing our entire human family. This is the level that we should be thinking on when we are making plans to get ahead.

If it were recognized that each person could indubitably amass greater wealth by focusing more on working together, rather than focusing so much on competing with one another – we’d be more productive as communities and as a society.

Find out what you can do to help someone reach their goals and in turn you are bringing yourself closer to reaching your own. It will be a great thing when we realize the immeasurable benefits of each person using their individual talents, abilities, and gifts to contribute to progressing as a whole.