How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

by Rebecca A. Watson on September 11, 2009

in goals, life, olympics, optimism, water

This weekend I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and saw a great white shark. It was pretty amazing. These sharks don’t do well in captivity. They are rescued, cared for and released quickly back to the ocean. I was really blessed to be able to get there and see it.

One of my life goals is to swim with great white sharks. You know–in a giant cage surrounded by bloody fish guts.

For the longest time I thought that it would take ages for me to realize that goal. Actually, there are a lot of life goals I have that seem pretty overwhelming: see the Olympics, live in Ireland, perfect the over easy egg. But I realized on the day I visited the aquarium that it’s all about taking little steps to make the big thing happen.

My goal is to swim with the sharks. I’ve now seen a live great white in person. I live near the ocean. It’s only a matter of time before I’ll be swimming with them. My goal is to see the Olympics. I have friends of friends that ski in the Olympics and the winter games are in Vancouver next. I happen to know someone who lives there. I want to live in Ireland. I’ve visited several areas. I also have a good friend who will help me get a visa and find a place to stay. The eggs? Well, I just keep trying.

I guess the pattern I’m noticing in this is that a big life goal is just a series of small steps. There’s a tendency to look at the large picture and get discouraged. But really, it’s all about finding the path and walking along, asking for directions. This is not an all-or-nothing thing–that’s too extreme. If we looked at it that way, we could be tempted to not do anything at all.

Doing the little things in between is what is really important. Patience and following through is how we can achieve all things, big and small—swimming with sharks and cooking eggs.

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