Problems--- how do you look at them?
There is an old story by Jack Jones that goes something like:
Many moons ago there lived a young warrior in a small mining village. He
dreamed of marrying the Chief’s daughter. Her beauty was legend across the
Each year during the Spring Solstice the Chief would hold a banquet in her
honor and allow suitors to vie for her hand. And each year the great
warrior suitors would leave the banquet disappointed and confounded. For
the task which the Chief put them to was an impossible task. How does one
eat an Elephant?
Great warriors from across the land again gathered during the spring
solstice. The enormous pile of roast elephant sat all but ignored in favor
of more exotic delicacies as all the warriors had given up on the Chief’s
challenge many moons ago.
As the night wore on the Chief noticed that a young warrior had seated
himself next to the enormous pile of roast Elephant and was taking steady
determined bites. The dancing started, and still the young warrior ate. The
old men and women returned to their huts and still the young warrior ate.
The moon crossed the night sky and still the young warrior ate.
The next morning the Chief saw that the young warrior still sat at his
post, eating determinedly. Even though the young warrior had eaten through
night the pile of roast Elephant looked unchanged in size.
The aftermath of the banquet was cleared during the day and still the
young warrior continued eating. The Chief ordered that the roast Elephant
be left for the young warrior.
The young warrior ate through the day and the second night.
The next morning the Chief called for all of his villagers to gather around
the roast. “My good villagers, I have an announcement”, said the Chief in a
deep and resonate voice. “Today my daughter marries!”
The crowd hushed. “But no one ate the Elephant”, yelled one brave and
slightly intoxicated villager.
The Chief, with a sly smile upon his face, turned and pointed to the young
warrior who was still diligently attacking the roast. “Stand young warrior
and tell me: how do you eat an Elephant?”
The young warrior stood. His stomach visibly engorged. He took a deep
breath and then said in a proud and calm voice, “Chief, one bite at a
“My dear villagers, I never cared whether my daughter’s suitor could eat an
entire Elephant. I was looking for a special warrior who had the grit and
determination to tackle any problem, no matter the size. I wanted a warrior
who would never quit once he set his heart upon a goal. And today I have
found that warrior”, said the Chief.
Some people make mountains from molehills. Personally, I prefer molehills.
I hate problems and obstacles but the best way to handle them is head-on.
Everyone has problems! Everyone does. You may not want to believe that but it is true.
If you can think of one person that you think doesn't have problems, then it is probably because they have more confidence, more optimism and less tendency to procrastinate.
Something's may seem just too big. But get at it, peck at it, nip at it, start the project, begin the conversation, put aside just $5.00 a week and don't touch it.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)