Don’t Be A Donkey

When you try to pursue too many things, you might end up dead

“Buridan’s donkey is standing halfway between a pile of hay and a bucket of water. It keeps looking left and right, trying to decide between hay and water. Unable to decide, it eventually falls over and dies of hunger and thirst.”

We all have a tendency to be a donkey in life. We think because we are young we can do everything and we can do it all simultaneously. However, we soon find out that we don’t have enough bandwidth.

It’s as if you are trying to fill up 10 pools with water, but you only have 1 hose. So you start filling the first one and then think, hey maybe I can splice this hose into 2 directions at once, now you are making progress in two areas at the same time.

If it worked the first time why not split them again? Now you can fill up 4, then 6, then 8, and by the time you get to 10 you realize that only a little bit of dribble is spilling into each one of your pools.

Your initial water flow and pressure never changed, yet you pushed it in many different directions all at once.

Rather, you should focus on filling one at a time. Getting that project to completion and then moving to the next task at hand.

As we pursue each one of our goals it makes sense that we focus on the one that is really the most important. Afterall, our brains can’t actually multi-task, rather they can switch between one task and another incredibly quickly. But we loose all kinds of efficiencies when we don’t focus.

It’s shortsighted to think about getting it all done at once. Plan for the long term, and even if it takes you 15 years to get that thing done, you’ll drive it to completion and finish it.

Everyone starts stuff, most people don’t finish.

Like what you read? Give Chase Cottle a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.