Have you ever experienced a catastrophic time when life was too big, too heavy or daunting? This farmer who was gathering up his hay found himself in an accident under one of the bundles. Luckily there are people close and some neighbors are there almost immediately. The first one reaches under the one-ton bale of hay and attempts to lift it off of me. Of course, it doesn’t budge. He grabs his flashlight and shines it under the hay into my face. I blink. He yells over his shoulder to his friend, “He’s alive! He’s alive! Help me move the hay.” Even working together two people can’t move it – not a fraction of an inch. A thousand pounds each? Of course they can’t move it. “Cut the strings,” I whisper. My voice is weak. They can’t hear me. I am not going to last much longer. If they will just cut the strings, the bale will break apart, and they can drag me out of here. “Lift, Joe, lift!” “Just cut the strings,” I mumble, “Please cut the strings.”
Help finally arrives. One of the police officers bends down so I can see his face. “Hold on! A fire engine is here. There are six men aboard.” I do the math. Two big, strong cops and six burly firemen must move a ton of dead weight off me. That’s two hundred forty five pounds each. No way can they possibly do that – but somehow, miraculously, they do. A couple of neighbors who have arrived at the scene stand by to catch me. They lower my limp body to the ground where I lie in a broken heap. Why didn’t they cut the strings? They could have saved a long, tortured hour. How heavy is hay? A piece of hay is about the weight of a feather. How many pieces of hay does it take to make two thousand pounds? Lots. That package of sixteen bazillion individual pieces of hay wrapped in a gigantic bundle is a crushing weight. But separated, it would have been nothing. I feel bad saying this, because it makes me sound ungrateful – and I am very grateful to the guys who saved my life.
What in your life is too big?
What is overwhelming you?
What can you cut the string on to make the problem smaller and something you can deal with?
So how do you cut the cords and make the bale of hay as light as a feather?
Look at the bale as parts of a whole instead of as one thing.
Examine the parts and tasks needed to create the whole
What is the logical order to complete the tasks
Develop a timeline in which each can be completed
Create and follow the plan from start to finish
Review the final outcome to make sure the project is complete.
Celebrate the remarkable completion of moving the ton of work, or bale of hay
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