How Do You Eat an Elephant? (Dealing with Information Overload)

by Elliot Lozano

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(Photo Copyright Terrah Lozano)

Answer – One bite at a time…

To take control of your life you must take that first bite out of that huge elephant called information and action. Everyone faces similar obstacles on how to digest and implement the gauntlet of new information and ideas that we are constantly exposed to and expected to consume. We are faced with information overload almost daily. The problem isn’t having enough information, the problem is sorting through it for information implementation. Not only must we read, watch and learn from many sources, we must also implement the relevant information into our lives.

Knowledge without action is useless. It is through action that we grow, our lives get better, and we attain a sense of fulfillment.

But, how do you take action?

  1. Be aware of the goal at the outset of your research. By being aware of the goal, you will be more aware of the solution as it presents itself.
    • For example, let’s say you are wanting to improve your people skills. That would be the goal.
  2. Sometimes, however, there will be many solutions. When you are faced with this situation, you will have to rely on the research obtained combined with your previous experience and intuition to make the decision and take action.
    • For example, your goal of people skills would require that you are aware of the areas you are not strong in (which may be every area). By being aware of this, you will know when you come across information in your research that is relevant to you.
    • Additional ways to clarify this information would be to read reviews and get opinions from others on the research you find. So, the combination of your awareness and feedback will give you the sense you’re on the right track.
  3. After discovering solutions and taking action, you have to assess your results and see where they fit into the grand scheme of things; i.e. are your results what you were expecting? are they what you want? what actions do you plan to do to improve your results?
    • For example, let’s say you have applied the people skills you learned about from reviews, opinions, and your personal assessment. Now, you have to ask yourself if the research you did produced the results you wanted.
    • In this case, the results you want may be more friends or better relationships. Did you achieve this? Are you on track?
  4. Finally, you then take this information and plug it back into your system for improved results and eventual success.
    • For example, now you have a good idea of the results you just received in your quest for better people skills. Are you happy with them? Could you improve upon them?
    • You have to be honest with yourself here. Don’t just give up and settle for less than your best, go back and tweak your process with your new data. You can use your new data to refine and further personalize your evolution to get even better results.

Sounds simple enough, right?

We know this may sound general in nature, but there is no short cut to success in any area of life, whether it is for financial success or spiritual enlightenment. We once heard that, “Every overnight success story took years in the making.”

This is true for any endeavor that is worth pursuing. Of course you can learn through the wisdom of others and condense your learning curve, but the curve must be traveled by you. You must be the one who takes action and produces results, and those results will be measured against your own rubric.

However, we must also not let this self-defined rubric defeat us because we are too strict and not flexible. We have to embrace the positive and negative attributes of our persona while trying to achieve this purpose. That’s what makes us human. We must not be too hard on ourselves as we progress through the growth and learning daily. We must revel in our successes and quickly learn from and shake off our failures.

Just don’t be afraid to fail and get back up again. Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.”

The point is to continue on in your efforts, digest the information, take action, and you will produce results. Through everyone’s continual growth and development, everyone will continue to find ways to lead. And the world needs us to lead and contribute through fulfilling our purpose.

Every day we get better and better at becoming the person we want to be.

As Gandhi said, “We must BE the change we wish to see in the world.” This information and action may seem like a daunting and burdensome task, but by heeding Gandhi’s advice and being the example, this task becomes simpler.

Through your example of you passionately following your pursuits, others will be inspired to take charge of their life, find their purpose and live to their full potential. In this way, when you are trying to help someone close to you by sharing your newfound knowledge, you won’t look like a hypocrite because you yourself are living it.

By taking small actions, they all add up to the big actions and making big differences.

This is your life to live, your life to lead and your life to potentially influence those around you through your leadership.

Now, it is imperative that you take action.

One bite at a time.

Now, your turn. What are your thoughts on taking your first bite (or millionth for that matter) of that information and action elephant? How are you resolving to absorb that information and take action to make a difference? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please make them below.

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