Well, Elephant Eaters … we are well into to our 31 Days of Eating Elephants series. How are you doing? Are you starting to wrap your head around how you will attack your elephant? I sure hope so!
One really great way to get started is to look at other people who have done or are doing what you want to do. Having a role model can be helpful. That might be an expert in the field, a celebrity who has shared their story or even your best friend who is just a few steps ahead of you.
The Write 31 Days challenge page is a fab resource as well. Seriously. People are writing on just about anything you can imagine. It’s like a free library filled with people just like you. I’ve really enjoyed learning from some of my fellow bloggers.
But CAUTION!!! There is danger in these waters of looking at what other people have done. Learn from their mistakes, copy the things they did well, use them as role models … but whatever you do, DON’T compare yourself to them!
This kind of comparison can paralyze you. All that hard work you did getting that elephant down to bite-sized pieces? Gone. That elephant will grow to mammoth-size right before your eyes if you aren’t careful. You are where they were, not where they are, so don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s ending.
So how do you learn from people in front of you but avoid the comparison trap? Here are four practical tips:
1. Examine how they started
What changes did they make when they started? What resources did they have? Are you able to acquire those resources yourself, or adapt something similar to make it work? Keep your focus on what you need to do to build momentum.
2. Find several role models
Nobody’s story or situation is just like your’s, so find several people that you can look to for advice or examples. Avoid fixating on one success story and thinking that you have to do exactly what they did to make it. Pick the pieces from lots of places that work for you and ignore the rest.
3. Chart your own course
Do A New Thing! In most things there is no precise right way to do it. Take good notes from your role models and craft a plan that is doable and just feels right. Even some of those “unbreakable” rules can be broken under the right circumstances.
And most importantly …
4. Let Jesus be your ultimate role model
Nobody had a bigger elephant to eat than Jesus. Taking on the sin of the world, changing hearts and minds, dying so that we could live. Yea. Hugemongous elephant. He did it by following the instructions of His Father and tending to the tasks right in front of Him. He certainly wasn’t distracted by trying to do things exactly the way other people had. He had the ultimate Three Year Plan and worked it to perfection.
Share in the comments about your role models and people you are looking to for expertise. How are you using their story to motivate and not demoralize you?
This week I am linking up with Suzie Eller at #LiveFree, with Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, with Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart, Natalie Vengas at Salt & Light, Susan B. Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth