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Taking Small Steps to Climb an Overwhelming Obstacle

Do you ever get overwhelmed by all of the world’s problems? I do. And, sometimes I even get overwhelmed with the projects I need to do around the house–never mind all that noble saving the world stuff.

However, I learned something today that I found helpful to understand how doing good in the face of overwhelming challenges is possible.

This afternoon my wife Laurel and I began tackling a project we’ve been avoiding for months… cleaning up the chaos of our garage. As we worked together throwing things away and organizing stuff, the project became less overwhelming. We began to wonder why we put it off for so long. Now, we’re not done yet… the garage still needs a lot of cleaning, but a good first step in the process has been taken and it will end with a clean garage.

Along side this I’ve been thinking about the crisis in Syria and the refugees that have flooded out beyond it’s borders. The forth largest city in Jordan is a refugee camp that didn’t exist a year ago. Over twenty percent of the population of Lebanon now consists of refugees from Syria. As I think of our people on the ground in these countries I wonder how we can make a difference with these enormous problems. Can I apply the simple lessons I learned today while cleaning out my garage, to this more significant crisis? I list them here for your consideration:

  1. Start small, but do something.
  2. If possible, don’t face your project alone, but work with a friend.
  3. Commit to keeping at the project over a longer period of time. Don’t try to do everything in a day, but try to do a little everyday. I read recently that most people tend to overestimate what they can accomplish in one day and underestimate what they can accomplish if they consistently work at a task over time.