Don't Try to Boil the Ocean


I heard an expression last week I’d never heard before… and it’s one that keeps boiling to the surface, so to speak, in a way that’s captured my attention.

As I mentioned yesterday on this flash briefing, I hosted my first LIVE event in Dallas this past weekend…. and all last week, leading up to the event, I was a buzz with activity, trying to make all of the last-minute arrangements and take care of details.

Every Thursday, I do a FB live interview called Bright lights — and the women I was interviewing, Susan McCuistion, was sharing her ideas behind her social campaign called StandFor … which is all about focusing on the things we stand FOR rather than the things we stand against.

She was talking about how often times, we get so intent on standing against something …. like standing against discrimination…. standing against war…. standing against hate…. that what we end up doing is calling in more of that which we stand against. What we focus on expands.

Her campaign is aimed to get people to focus on the things they STAND FOR…. stand for equality, stand for peace, stand for love.

At the end of the interview, I asked her how could we participate in her campaign and do our part to StandFor something…. and she said it’s small actions that can create a ripple effect. And then she used the expression I had never heard before…. she said, “You know we can’t boil the ocean!”

I love that expression. Have you heard it before? You can’t boil the ocean.

How many times do we stop ourselves from doing something because we feel like we can’t do it ALL THE WAY so why bother. If you can’t boil the ocean, why stand for anything?

The expression especially got into my head as I was in the midst of trying to do ALL THE THINGS for the Storytelling Symposium…. and I was most definitely trying to boil the ocean.

Within 2 hours of that interview, I was sitting in a nail salon when one of the speakers at the symposium called me to check in on things. When she asked how the final preparations were going, I told her I felt I had done everything I could to be ready. I told her there were 1000 more things I wanted to do…. but I knew the event was going to be good as it was.

She said to me, “Oh April … yes…it’s going to be amazing. I know you want to do it all, but remember, you can’t boil the ocean”

Say what??? I had never heard this expression before, and within the span of 2 hours, 2 different women had said this to me. Clearly, I was being sent a message…. and I really needed to hear it.

AT the conclusion of the Symposium… after having spent the better part of 4 hours teaching women how to identify key elements of their story… and encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone to start sharing their story with other people….. I reminded them that all they had to do was take a few steps forward. I told them, You don’t have to boil the ocean.

Are you overwhelmed by the thought of sharing your story or figuring out the important bits? Do you feel like you can’t start showing up to share it until it’s perfect? Are you waiting for all of your i’s to be dotted and your t’s to be crossed?

Remember, you can’t boil the ocean. But what you can do today is just start. Take a few steps forward and trust that it is enough!

Stories are a powerful way to communicate with others. —
Give your own story a chance… let it shine a light for someone else.…. As always, I’ll be cheering for you!


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