HOW I ATE AN ELEPHANT                                                                                                                                               

In 2005 as I stood there in my messy office, looking at eight drawers crammed full of receipts, bills and piles of paperwork, it was completely overwhelming - I was five years’ behind to the IRS and it was like being in prison! It felt like there was a huge elephant sitting on me and I could hardly breathe. How would I ever be able to get out from underneath this elephant?

All of a sudden I had a brilliant idea, “I can do anything for 15 minutes.” so I got my little white timer, and turned the dial to 15 minutes. I started with the first drawer and pulled out one receipt. When I wanted to quit, I heard the tick, tick, tick of that little white timer and knew I could  keep going a few more minutes, so I worked until I heard the “ding” of that timer. Each day I set that little timer for 15 minutes, took a break, then came back and worked another 15 minutes. Before long 15 minutes turned into 20 minutes, then 30 minutes and soon I was on a role!

I kept closing my eyes and feeling what it was going to be like,   having  my taxes completely finished.   The only way this feeling would ever be a reality was to completely focus and   take  action every day, doing the thing I had put off for so long. I also had to give this dreaded project that I hated the most, a new meaning. I had an Aha moment - this was my ticket to freedom!

I remember the day I saw the first drawer completely empty -  this  once, seemingly impossible to overcome obstacle, would now be possible. I couldn’t believe that I actually looked forward to working on my taxes and couldn’t wait to do them.  

A short time later, my prison  sentence had come to  an end as I laid 5 years’ worth of back taxes on my CPA’s desk. How I loved that little white timer -15 minutes changed my life forever.

I had learned to eat an elephant! ​

Taylor Kay Stephens

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