We learn. And as life, and time and more lessons happen, we sometimes forget things we learned. However, they are not lost, because somewhere along the way we are reminded of these truths.
I experienced this recently. In an unlikely conversation with my boss, I was reminded of a story – and its wisdom – that I had learned long ago.
Someone once asked a sculptor, “How do you carve an elephant?” The artist replied, “You chip away everything that doesn’t look like an elephant.”
In that moment, I realized that was what I have been attempting to do. I am chipping away at everything in my life that does not look like the life I want. Without clear articulation, however, I haven’t been aware of the progress that I have made.
Chip away. Not clear out with one giant swoosh and be done with it. Chipping requires small movements, steady, precise and most of all, consistent.
Clearing out my accumulated clutter – one piece at a time. I don’t have to have the emotional energy to allow it all to go at once. One drawer, one closet. Just one piece at a time.
Losing weight – one change at a time. One pound at at time.
Publishing my writing – one hour at a time spent writing, or fifteen minutes even. One story at a time submitted. Even if I sent out 100 in one week, they are still sent one at a time.
Life Changes – This is perhaps the hardest of all. One change leads my mind to another and then further and like a good book, they link and bind together into one giant picture of the Life I Want To Have.
And it’s overwhelming. And frightening. And is enough to make one run screaming for the hills.
Elephants. Think elephants.
Because anything is doable when I am only looking at the option right in front of me now. Does it look like the life I want? No? Chip it away. True, it will lead me to another decision to be made. And I can chip it away right then, or not. I can reflect and consider and chip it away when I am ready.
And little by little…The Life I Want To Have.
Remember the Elephant.