• Dennis Kelley

    David Kelley

    Dennis Kelley is a seasoned professional with over 30 years experience leading teams and coaching people to success. Dennis is in high demand as a speaker, consultant, trainer and an author... Read More

    David Kelley

  • Inspirational Quote

    “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” -- Michalangelo
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  • October 2009
    M T W T F S S
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Eating the Elephant One Bite at a Time

“Step by step. I can’t see any other way of accomplishing anything.”

                                                                                                 – Michael Jordan

When you take a look at the goals you have set for your business and your life, do you sometimes feel overwhelmed? Does it seem like a very large leap to get there from where you are today? Don’t worry. You don’t need to try to get there in one

big leap. Your journey to success will be a progression of thousands of little steps. It’s like eating an elephant. When you look at the elephant you think, “Man, there is no way I am going to be able to eat that whole thing.” The only way to do it is to take one

bite at a time since you certainly can’t swallow it whole!

 Vision without action is simply a daydream, but trying to tackle too much at one time is simply unrealistic.

You still have your daily life you need to live. Going to work each day, taking care of your family, your home, all your other responsibilities, plus having some fun along the way still needs to happen. You can’t just put everything in your life on hold while you pursue your goals. You can do this in conjunction with everything else you have to do. You will still be able to achieve unlimited success by taking one-step at a time.

In the John Whitmore book, Coaching for Performance, he tells the story of John Nabor and his incredible journey to Olympic history. It all started in 1972 when a young swimmer by the name of John Nabor watched Mark Spitz win an amazing seven gold medals for swimming in the Munich Olympics. After watching Spitz win, Nabor decided he too would win an Olympic gold medal. He wanted to win his medal in the 100- meter backstroke. He set a goal to accomplish this in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Nabor had already won the National Junior Championship, but he was still nearly five seconds off the pace he knew was necessary to win the gold. Now five seconds doesn’t sound like much, but when you are competing at that level of competition, it is a huge deficit to make up. Undaunted, Nabor decided to break his goal down into manageable steps. He began by asking himself how much he would need to improve in each practice session to achieve his goal. By taking the number of hours he could practice over the next four years before the Olympics and dividing it into the number of seconds he needed to improve he arrived at his goal. His goal – he needed to improve by one- fifth of one eye blink for every hour of training. That’s right, one fifth of one eye blink an hour. Suddenly he had a goal he could understand and accept as doable. So, he worked diligently and hard over the next four years improving one little bit at each training session.

By 1976, he had improved so much that he was made the captain of the American swimming team, and he won not just one gold medal, but two. He won the gold medal for the 100- meter backstroke and the 200-meter backstroke, the first one in a new world record time and the second in a new Olympic record. He ate the elephant one small bite at a time and exceeded his goal. He achieved his dream and created the success he sought. Nabor was motivated by an end goal he was passionate about and chose a process that created a path for him to achieve success.

Take responsibility to determine how you will break your goals down. You must take your long-term goals and break them down into 90-day objectives. Each 90-day plan will take you a step closer to your end goal. You get to choose how you will break them down further to what you need to do each day. Every morning ask yourself, “What can I do today to make positive momentum toward my 90-day objectives?” Breaking the goals into small steps will get you there with an ease you never expected. The action you take will not be hard work; it will be exciting and fulfilling. Your positive attitude and belief in yourself, along with your satisfaction at seeing progress, will make you proud and give you the motivation and courage to continue along your path toward success.

Add an extra 15 minutes each day to the time you invest in yourself and to working on your success plan,
and you will have added an equivalent of more than two weeks each year to the achievement of your dreams.

Imagine the exponentially powerful progress you will make by taking 15 minutes away from watching television, or surfing the internet or even sleeping and applying it to developing the life you want. Imagine what would happen if you invested an hour or more each day to your success plan! This investment cannot be matched by any other thing you can possibly do. Invest more in yourself than you do in your business or career, and you will see everything in your life move in the right direction.

Make an extra contact knowledgeable in the area you are working on improving, or read another book, or attend another workshop, or anything that gets you closer to where you want to go. The important thing is just to do a little more each day and the rewards will be great.

To Your Success,