What Stories Do You Like to Tell?

How to Carve an Elephant

Michelangelo was once asked how he would carve (sculpt) an elephant.  He replied "I would take a
large piece of stone and take away everything that was not the elephant." Bernini.elephant.1

How can we apply this to our decision-making process?

In our relationships: There is little dispute that the majority of things we fight about are not the real issue.  Once one thing ticks us off, a bunch of other little things are more than happy to jump on the dogpile.

In a perfect world, two things would happen.  

First, we'd find a way to gently ask our mate "Is that the elephant?"

Second, before we blurt out something we're likely to regret, we'd ask ourselves the same question and avoid adding fuel to a fire we're trying to put out.

It seems blindingly simple to at least do the latter.

In business: Whether we are part of a team working on a project, a salesperson, a customer service rep, an executive, or a waiter in a restaurant, differences arise largely based on assumptions.  Someone says (or doesn't say) something and we make assumptions that lead to conflict.

How many of these assumptions would simply go away if we could just quickly ask ourselves, our customers, colleagues,  co-workers, and even our competitors "Is that the elephant?"

For your portfolio: It is imperative to understand that what qualifies as news these days, be it the weather, economics, politics, or market forecasts, is really just opinions.  If you're a journalist or commentator these days, you don't make money by agreeing with everyone and being bland.  The money is made in taking a stance, right or wrong, and building a following.

Too often, we are inundated with so much information regarding politics, economics, and markets, that we have no idea what we should do, only the feeling that we should be doing something.

Confidence in a plotted course is blurred by a tsunami of stuff that is, in fact, "not the elephant".

Remember this: "Elephant rhymes with relevant"



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