Answer: One bite at a time.
We’ve all heard the riddle before, but how many of us have dismissed it as a children’s joke and not the insightful piece of wisdom that it is. Our grandest goals and most daring dreams can seem so distant and daunting that, too often, we fall victim to overwhelming thoughts and fail to even make an attempt to accomplish them. Somewhere deep down inside we feel the emptiness and disappointment of knowing we are neither living up to our potential, nor fulfilling our true purpose and destiny.
But the elephant is just so BIG!
Where can we possibly start?
How about at the beginning?
Almost exactly one year ago, my dream of writing a book seemed completely unattainable and absolutely overwhelming. I was paralyzed and intimidated by the sheer size of the project. Where do I start? In what program do I write it? Do I have enough material? Who will publish it? How will it be printed? How can I find the right editor? Do I really think I can do this? Will anyone want to read it? Will it be good enough if they do? I’m already too busy; how will I find the time?
Rather than letting obstacles and self-doubt stand in the way, I vowed I would start writing on January 1st, 2012. My goal was simple: sit down at the computer and write a page each day. That’s it…just one page a day! Rather than focus on the enormity of the elephant, I would just take a small bite. I did exactly that for about a month before hitting some stretches where I missed my day. I made up for it on other days by getting on a roll and writing more. I made my final push after school let out in June and submitted the manuscript to my editor, Erin Casey, on July 5th. The number of pages is almost exactly the number of days it took to write! I literally wrote a book one page at a time. In September, nine months after starting, I was holding the finished and printed book in my hand.
After seminars, it’s not uncommon for teachers to say they feel overwhelmed by the number of hooks, costumes, and ideas for engagement I have assembled for my course. I always tell them the same thing: I didn’t start with any of this. I built it one lesson…one idea at a time.
Whether you’re building a new course, implementing new concepts like the Common Core, or just trying to design an absolutely amazing, mind-blowing, life-changing classroom experience for your students, you don’t have to tackle it all at once. How about just worrying about getting through tomorrow and then dealing with the next day when it comes? You’ll be shocked how much you can accomplish when you take on life’s biggest challenges by the spoonful.