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Stretch oneself too thin

[ 2012-08-22 14:59] 来源:中国日报网     字号 [] [] []  
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Stretch oneself too thinWe need to both do everything we can and be careful we don't stretch ourselves too thin, given our limited financial and material resources.

My comments:

Here the speaker likens themselves to a piece of elastic rope. If you stretch the rope, it grows in length while at the same time gets thinner and thinner still.

If you keep stretching the rope, of course, sooner or later it’ll get so thin that it snaps in two.

In the top example, the speaker is reminding his partner not to overstretch themselves, given their limited financial and material resources. In other words, they should perhaps concentrate on doing one or two things well rather than on investing money, time and energy in, say, 10 projects at the same time.

That way, they run the risk of stretching themselves too thin – doing so many things at once that they fail to be effective in any.

If, that is, they do not altogether snap – like a piece of rope.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin(张欣) has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.