Turning Mountains Into Molehills
by Michael S. Tyrrell
January 12, 2021
Happy Tuesday, Wholetonians!
Do you tend to catastrophize when things don’t go as you’d expected?
Do you take a minor problem or obstacle and focus on it until it becomes a problem of epic proportions?
If you do, you’re not alone. I’m, um, guilty too. We’ve all done it at one time or another…some of us more often than others!
There’s an idiom for this kind of behavior; it’s referred to as “making a mountain out of a molehill.” It means to exaggerate or over-emphasize; to make a big deal out of something that isn’t really a big deal.
According to TheIdioms.com, the oldest record of this idiom was found in Nicholas Udall’s translation in 1548. It was mentioned as:
“…The Sophists of Greece could through their copiousness make an elephant of a fly and a mountain of a molehill.”
Since it’s a clear exaggeration, because of their size, to compare an elephant with a fly, the idiom took off and was quickly established to highlight overdramatization.
When we focus on our problems, obstacles, or anything that didn’t go as we’d hoped or expected, we magnify their importance in our minds, and we turn very solve-able problems into huge unconquerable, exaggerated mountains.
Since I’ve already mentioned an elephant above, it reminds me of the old joke, “How do you eat an elephant? One little bite at a time.”
Any feat that can seem daunting or even impossible can be addressed and accomplished if we just take it one step at a time.
Whether it relates to our businesses or work life, our health, our relationships–any area of our lives that can seem overwhelming, it’s important to approach tackling it step by step, day by day. Sometimes (oftentimes) looking at the big picture can be too much to take in and make our heads spin. And the more we focus and fret on it, the bigger and more daunting it becomes, adding unnecessary worry and stress. This is why Jesus said,
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~ Matthew 6:34
But not only does He tell us to not worry about tomorrow by focusing on the “what if’s,” he also instructs us on how to deal with today’s problems that seem like mountains before us. Jesus tells us to move with faith. To speak with faith.
“…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” ~ Matthew 17:20
So here’s my invitation for you to look for the possibilities in each day; don’t focus on the problems that arise in your day and create huge mountains out of them. Instead, look at each obstacle with faith, each challenge as a “bite” of the elephant and turn those mountains into little molehills.
God bless you; see you next week. Until then…
Michael S. Tyrrell
P.S. If you know someone who would enjoy my weekly emails, feel free to share this link… and thanks! https://wholetones.com/subscribe