How do you eat an elephant?

No, I’m absolutely not proposing a new kind of Atkins diet where you eat elephants. Yuck! It’s a metaphor for accomplishing a big task. The answer is in small bites(and probably chew thoroughly)   🙂

elephantReally what I am talking about  is slowly achieving tasks, like:

  • riding a bike,
  • learning a language,
  • public speaking
  • training your body (or mind)
  • developing a new skill.

When we do gradually invest time in an activity over a long period, we gradually build up our comfort level and learn easily, digestible chunks!

The first time you drove a car, you were scared, stiff movements but now getting in and driving is totally relaxed.

The same thing learning to ride a bike, at first you wobbled and weaved, but as you invested time, gradually it was something that no longer made you nervous at all. Hop on, and off!

The same for so many things, I have been in Toastmasters for 9 years, so stepping up to a lectern no longer makes my knees knock and that’s a good thing. That comfort didn’t arrive in a meeting, and I am still learning.

I checked the other day what 15 minutes of Headspace (my daily time spent in meditation) adds up to over time, I have done more than 27 hours of training myself to be more mindful, and that is in just 108 days or so.

I have no idea how many hours of spanish language training I have, I only spend 10 to 15 minutes a day but it must be adding up also. Yo no hablo espanol, but I am learning in digestible chunks.

Small bites daily, but they add up.

Can I look now?

Can I look now?

But what about the other side of the coin? What about the cumulative waste of time I do? According to statistics, more than 49% of us watch too much tv. Some age groups are watching as much as 5 hours a day, how much does that add up to in a lifetime? Would you be shocked if I told you 13.5 years – gobsmacking isn’t it?

My challenge to myself is to spend less time in front of the box, and a little more time invested daily eating my elephants – learning new skills, encouraging deeper friendships, and being healthier, body, mind, and especially in my interpersonal relationships.



Are you challenging yourself? What are you accomplishing in digestible chunks? and let’s agree to leave the elephants out of this.

Thank you very much for reading, enjoy your day. 

About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
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14 Responses to How do you eat an elephant?

  1. Good luck with your elephant challenge – Merci for visiting 24/7 in France, author of “Solitary Desire-One Woman’s Journey to France” (video


  2. Over 13 years of TV! Now that’s scary.


  3. Hi David,
    I needed to read this. I watch too much TV. I need to learn to devote small chunks of time to big tasks instead of wanting to get it all done in one shot.
    Good for you and thank you for the inspiration! Blessings! ♥♥


  4. dfolstad58 says:

    Reblogged this on Life and Random Thinking and commented:

    My elephant that I want to eat is weight right now. It will take steps, lots of steps – too many steps for one day. Just like the elephant of learning a new language, or creating a new habit. Digestible chunks a bit at a time.

    I will be parking at the far end of parking lots or even a block away. No elevators, only stairs. I went out and bought waterproof walking boots yesterday so even the days of slush ahead won’t deter this stepper from his route.

    Whatever you want to change, I encourage you to find a way to break it down into pieces. Take steps toward your goal, even small steps in the right direction are progress. Hugs !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I also am about to focus on weight loss via eating less calories. I have a daily moderate exercise program that’s become a daily event, plus am sleeping better and reducing stress, but I also need to learn to drink more water and reduce calories, and that’s the biggest challenge. So, here goes. We’ll see what happens over the next 3-4 months.


  6. Dalo 2013 says:

    Great post, David, there is nothing like a challenge to instill confidence ~ even in failure, there is a feeling of pride in make the attempt which keep us moving toward the goal. Cheers to a great holiday season for you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Three Little Random Thoughts #10 – Cowboy Sayings, Lessons, and Fruit | Life and Random Thinking

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