Remember the post Eating Your Words on Purpose? Here is a continuation of the conversation about food-related words.
Words Are Food Phrases #2: How do you eat an elephant?
I think we all know the answer to this riddle…One bite at a time. I love this saying because it plunges deeper than the surface answer and uncovers some treasure-worthy advice. Many goals or problems appear monstrous at first glance–like the giant mammal, the elephant–but once broken down into mini goals or tasks, are revealed as entirely manageable. If you keep plodding along, step by step, you’ll eventually find yourself at the finish line. Or the elephant’s tail. I’m one of those people who tend to experience a state of overwhelm when I look at a really big-picture situation. I’ve learned that if I concentrate on one little thing at a time, I’m able to get it done, with a lot less stress and self-doubting.
Words Are Food Phrases #3: Biting off more than you can chew.
I think this relates to the preceding phrase. Biting off more than you can chew is not something you want to do, according to the traditional use of this idiom. However, if you nibble away at the massive portion you have in front of you, why not take the biggest serving you can? Go for it! We often underestimate what we can handle because we don’t want to disappoint ourselves or someone else. We don’t want the added stress or risk the possibility of failure. Innovators, entrepreneurs, and other influential individuals would never have gotten as far, or achieved as much, as they did if they subscribed to the idea of only biting off what they could chew.
My advice is to take on those elephants and bite off way more than you can chew. Then calmly take small forkfuls and chew thoroughly to receive all the nourishment possible. And enjoy the process!
Do you agree with my take on these phrases? I’d love to hear your thoughts!