Have you ever heard the question: “How do you eat an elephant?”


Those that haven’t might seem a bit perplexed by such an odd question; those that have, and have been presented with its oddly profound and yet remarkably simplistic answer may understand where I’m going with this…


A mere 13 days ago (eek! That’s not even a full two weeks – time flies, doesn’t it?!), I published my very first blog post, WET PAINT ( ). From there, two more posts: TIME TO DREAM ( ) and POWER THROUGH THE PAIN ( ). It hasn’t been too drastically long since my last post; however, I also find that due to persistent lack of sleep (four hours a night really is not adequate, folks!), the days are beginning to blend together in a heap of overcast haze dotted by trepidation about the upcoming fall semester.


Several weeks ago, I was anxious, in a good sort of way – if that’s even possible. Enrollment was set for my final two classes in pursuit of my MBA. Books were ordered, and now it was just a matter of time before the official start date. A week before, I was able to log on and download the course requirements, getting a firsthand look at the assignments in detail, and having the opportunity to mentally prepare myself for the task ahead…


Oh. My.


Not that I’m an analytical person by any means (that’s a satirical joke; you’ll catch on…), I started adding up the anticipated word counts on the assignments due for each of the two classes… In comparison to a standard fiction/mystery novel (80,000 words), in total, these classes will have me writing the equivalent of nearly half a novel – in eight weeks’ time! And trust me when I say the subject matter is anything but page-turning! 38,000 words… on operations management, and strategy in global competition. Yep, that’s right! Look at me, doing the ‘happy dance’, knowing that for the next two months, I’ll be spending my non-working waking hours researching outputs, functionality, mass customization, core capabilities, service gaps, and AFI frameworks, crafting SWOT and supply chain management analyses, describing strategic implementation practices, and generally trying not to write myself into a glassy-eyed stupor! 38,000 words! An average of 703 words a day, for the next 54 days… And that’s just the writing assignments! Three separate textbooks, each with at least 12 chapters – also to be read within those eight weeks, along with all the research necessary to complete the 38,000 words of writing!


So, I return to the question: “How do you eat an elephant?”


The answer: One bite at a time…


Simple, I know. Simple, and profound.


These two classes – my last two classes – are proving to be behemoths; however, as with any plate, piled high with all the makings of a monumental feast, I dive in, fork and knife firmly in grasp. And if my next few posts arrive late, please forgive me: my mother taught me to chew quietly, chew thoroughly, and not to talk with my mouth full!


4 thoughts on “Devour

    • smudge says:

      Honestly, had I known earlier the extent of work required in these two classes, I would have split them up (although the thought of dragging school out for an *additional* 8 weeks is a tough pill to swallow). Classes have started, however, and I’m determined to see this project through to completion! This won’t be the first term when I’ve managed two classes simultaneously. It will, thankfully, be the last, though!


  1. imaginativeworks says:

    Great post, and I love the elephant self-motivation adage. My day started with a quote, and I believe part if not all of it is from Ralph Waldo Emerson, and it is as follows, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Have faith in yourself and success can be yours.”


    • smudge says:

      A very powerful motivator, indeed! Funny that you mention your belief that all if not a portion of it being that of Emerson… As I’ve indicated, ‘not’ being an analytical person by any stretch of the imagination (insert snort and snicker), you may enjoy a little history read about that exact quote! I found it fascinating – as most true history is!
      Thanks for stopping by, giving us a read, and thanks for your wonderfully encouraging words! All the best!


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