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How to remove a mountain

THERE’S a story told of two men who go fishing. One is experienced, the other is not. Each time the experienced fishermen caught a fish, he threw it into his ice chest to keep it fresh. He noticed, though, that each time his colleague caught a big fish, he threw it back into the river but threw the small fish into the ice chest. Baffled by this strange behaviour, the experienced fisherman asked his colleague why he was throwing back the big fish. The inexperienced fisherman answered, ‘I have a small frying pan.’
Instead of valuing the pan as an asset, the man looked at it as a liability. The only option he saw was to throw the fish back. This was avoidable with a little more thought. And this is what happens in the case of some people with dreams or plans. They come up with a big dream or plan, but give it up the moment they realise it is too big for their pan – that is, their current resources or means.
You need not throw away your big dreams or abandon your plans simply because your current resources do not (appear to) match the size of your dream. It’s important, though, that like the fisherman, you don’t deny the fact that your current resources or means are not adequate. You need to acknowledge the fact that your pan is too small to allow for the immediate and speedy fulfilment of your dream. Do not rush into a decision you will regret later.
The farmer did not need to throw away the fish; he had a second option, though: borrowing a bigger pan from his colleague or a neighbour. But was this option the best? I think not. Better than the first, yes, but certainly not the real solution.
Yet there are people out there – and you probably know some – who think borrowing a big pan is the second best thing to having a small pan. More to the point, borrowing can come in the form of getting a loan or borrowing money from a colleague, just to fulfil a dream. Now, there is nothing wrong with borrowing, but it has to be done for the right reasons. Borrow because you want to spend the money on something of value or a workable plan. Borrowing, if not handled well, can land you into a debt trap.
The fisherman had a third option: he could have kept the big fish in the knowledge that, when preparing the fish for a meal, he would only need to cut it into pieces small enough to fit into his pan. In other words, he could eat the fish piece-meal. In the end he would still be able to eat the whole fish despite its big size in relation to the capacity of the frying pan.
You need not discard your big dreams simply because of your current level of resources. If you are convinced that your dream is achievable and realistic, you can take the approach of unbundling the dream into smaller packs, then dealing with each pack one at a time, in succession, until the whole plan if fulfilled. There is wisdom in the Chinese proverb which says: ‘The man who removes a mountain starts by carrying away small stones.’
Do you have a big dream? If you are convinced it is the right thing to do, break it down into smaller, chewable bits instead of trying to swallow it all at once or throwing it away. If you try to swallow everything all at once, you will choke. If you try to use shortcuts to fulfil your dreams, you will fail.