Elephant… How do you eat yours?
You have probably all heard the question “How do you eat an Elephant?” and the response that comes back “One bite at a time!”.
This metaphor is widely used to demonstrate how you break down what, at first site, appears to be an insurmountable goal or activity into ‘bite’ size, manageable tasks.
During a meeting the other day, one of the participants used the metaphor but went on to say that while people recognise they have the elephant they do not necessarily stop and look at how big it is (the size and shape of the task in hand). That got me thinking and the following eating/food metaphors came to mind around goal setting and achievement, that even if they only raise a smile with you, I thought I’d share…
When you stare at your elephant and think how you are going to consume it all, perhaps you could consider the following possibilities
How many sittings might you need?
- How many individual tasks do you need to complete?
What parts are perishable and must be consumed within a specific time and which can be treated (cured) so that they can be snacked on when you feel peckish?
- What has a definite timing points that must be met and what can be done by regular/routine activity?
What different meal options could you try?
Roasting, flash frying, BBQ, pot roast… After all be pretty boring eating the same meal every sitting.
- What different possible ways are there of dealing with the task?
Where can you find the recipes? – books, chefs (experts), websites, friends, colleagues…
Where might you be able to find information on the different options and expertise for executing it?
How about inviting some guests over for a dinner party to share the feast?
- Who can you ‘invite’ (involve) to help you get the tasks done?
- How will you go about inviting them?
What will the celebratory meal be (not elephant) when you’ve polished of the pachyderm?
- How will you celebrate success? What will you look forward to when you’ve finished the task?
Be great to have your comments…