Recently I re-read Eat That Frog, a book about overcoming procrastination by Brian Tracy. One of the many stories that I recite is the story of adventurers trying to cross the Sahara Desert. The text below outlines how Brian applies it to procrastination, but the concepts could be used in project management, health and wellness, or even spiritual growth.
The desert was 500 miles across in a single stretch, without water, food, a blade of grass, or even a fly. It was totally flat, like a broad yellow, sand parking lot that stretched to the horizon in all directions. More than 1300 people had perished in the crossing of that stretch of the Sahara in previous years. Often drifting sands had obliterated the track across the desert and the travelers had gotten lost in the night.
To counter this lack of features in the terrain, the French had marked the track with black, 55-gallon oil drums, five kilometers apart, at exactly the curvature of the earth as you crossed that flat wasteland. Because of this, wherever you were in the daytime, you could see two oil barrels, the one you had just passed and the one five kilometers ahead.
And that was enough.
All you had to do was to steer for the next oil barrel. As a result, you were able to cross the biggest desert in the world by simply taking it “one oil barrel at a time.” In the same way, you can accomplish the biggest task in your life by disciplining yourself to take it just one step at a time. Your job is to go as far as you can see. You will then see far enough to go further.