Daily Archives: September 3, 2013

When Overwhelmed – Cache & Drag

I ran across a great article over the past week and wanted to share it with you.  As a first post of the new school year I thought it was very appropriate.

I know how optimistic and anticipating you are about the upcoming year and what it has in store.  Before the year totally gets underway and you become focused on the details of getting the next project, assignment, or lab done, I thought I’d share these thoughts about keeping things in perspective and not becoming overwhelmed in the tasks and events that are ahead of you this year.

During the Gold Rush days, on the famed Chilkoot Pass between Canada and Alaska, each traveler was required by the Mounties to drag one full ton of “adequate” food and supplies up the 32 miles that lead over the icy summits. Some of these travelers, by the way, were women wearing corsets and long, full skirts. And yet, they succeeded. How? By caching (read: storing) 950 pounds of their supplies by the side of the path, then dragging (read: dragging) a mere 50 pounds for a half a mile forward, then returning to the cache for another 50 pounds, and the process is repeated. When it all worked out, a person might walk 80 miles for every single mile they moved their provisions—which sounds discouraging. But in this way, they were able to move—literally—a mountain of food, pots, tools, water and everything else they needed to build a new life. I’m not suggesting that any of us pack up the contents of our house and drag them in 50-pound bundles through the streets. But sometimes, it can be helpful to put an idea or dream to the side for a while and then, in full defiance of our relentlessly go-forward-at-all-costs culture, to go backward and haul the crucial supplies necessary to make it come to fruition.

The same is true when we get ‘stuck’ or overwhelmed with our work, studies, or an activity that we’re in the midst of trying to get done. Stop, and don’t let the magnitude of the project get in the way of moving forward. Take the task and break it down into little pieces, work on them one at a time, and eventually – in due course – the bigger, seemingly insurmountable task will get done.  Call it taking ‘baby steps’; taking a ‘deep breath’; or just taking a break to get a new perspective – when you’re feeling overwhelmed and the world seems to be crashing down – CACHE AND DRAG – eventually, with persistence, you’ll get there.

God bless and have a great week.