The thick, sinewy bite of elephant sticks in my throat. I don’t recognize it, bathed in the juices of intense creative problem-solving. Even the enthusiasm in which this particular elephant has been marinading hasn’t dissolved the cartilage. My gag reflex cuts in, and I have to make a decision—spit or swallow.
The get’erdone dip that characterizes every project has arrived. All I can think about is finishing and moving on. I’ve arrived at the revision stage. Pressure—a series of blunt comments, maybe, an inexorable deadline, or a curve ball—threatens to derail me. I feel overwhelmed. My heart pounds. It is a precarious moment. My decision here will not only colour my project; it will define me as a person.
Option one is to spit the wad into a napkin. I can opt for expediency. Just delete the problem section and replace it with something simpler, faster. Then, I compromise quality for speed, and the foundation of my high standards begins to crumble. Like in Amazing Race Canada, I accept the penalty—two hours added to my time, not to mention the disappointment of surrender.
Or, I can swallow. I can breathe, stay calm, accept the challenge, and work through potential solutions. Tim Sr. from Amazing Race Canada does just that as he stares down a plate of muktuk in Iqualuit. Resolute, he downs the ten pieces of whale blubber one at a time in minutes, and the team moves on. No complaints. No gags. Just determination. Get’erdone.
If I am to eat any more elephants, I must transform my get’erdone mindset from a negative to a positive. After all, I know the moment is inevitable. I know what to look for, and I can anticipate my reaction. Thank you, Tim Sr., for the example of the efficacy of a positive get’erdone mentality. Carve through the unpleasantness. Focus on the task. Just do it.