Monday, July 14, 2014


What inspires you? What keeps you going? I have been thinking recently about why I love cooking, trying to decipher what it is that drives me. Food fuels people. Literally. People need to nourish themselves to survive, and so I romanticize it by making that food good. Might as well enjoy what you are eating if you have to eat, right? 

I have never been a huge sports fan. I enjoy the tradition of sports. I get into a neighborhood kickball game, I think it's fun to have a party for the Super Bowl, and it's entertaining to attend a baseball game with your family in the summer time and indulge in a hot dog or bag of cracker jacks. Do athlete's play sports because they want to encourage these traditions? Or do they enjoy the smiles of the fanatics who religiously watch "their" games? I can't say because I am not one of them. 
Each time you play a game, you improve. It's never the same game, but always similar. The same rules apply. 

Practice makes perfect, but I hear no one is perfect. When you go to yoga it is called a practice. This practice shouldn't be perfect. In fact, they encourage you to get a little sloppy; fall on the floor, push your limits. If you don't try, then you will never know what you can accomplish. If what you are practicing doesn't push your limits, then you need to change your practice.

Someone said to me the other day, that they are happier when put in an uncomfortable environment. Could this be true? Why would anyone be happier when uncomfortable? Uncomfortable shoes definitely don't make for a happy feet. I know from experience that an uncomfortable living situation does not provide happiness. So maybe uncomfortable has another meaning in this instance. Uncomfortable might mean stimulating. Uncomfortable keeps you on your toes (no foot pun intended). 

If you are in an unfamiliar place, all of your senses are stimulated. If you are practicing a new skill, all of your being is engaged. If in a new game, you need to be ready for anything to happen. And so, your brain is in motion; you are challenged. Challenge is what fuels me. Challenge keeps me going. Challenge in my education, in my relationship, in my career. 

A person's job is something they are good at. An athlete is good at the game, a cook makes good food, an accountant is great with numbers. If you are making money doing something you aren't good at, it would behoove you to change your career. It would be torturous of me to be an accountant because numbers make me miserable. You may be thinking, well you would be challenged as an accountant, isn't that what you want? Not exactly. I want to challenge the skills that I have, or that I have the potential to have. My math skills are lacking potential. 

In a world where new inventions are created daily to make life easier, why would anyone want to challenge themselves? What is the saying.."work smarter, not harder"? But don't employers value hard workers? This is all contradictory. 

The challenge is your decision. You can walk over the bridge, or brave the rocky gully. And I would say there is a time for both. Somedays I just want to walk over the bridge. But if I never tried hiking down the steep terrain only to scale the other side of the crevasse, I would not know if I could do it, or what I might find when I did. There is never a better time to challenge your self.  It's your job, no one else is going to do it for you. 

Selfishness is not something that people tend to value. But you aren't often rewarded for selflessness.  Sometimes you have to be selfish, because honestly no one is going to be selfish for you. You need to take care of you. It will take you farther than you think. 

Failure occurs. A lot of factors can cause you to fail. But one thing is clear. You will fail if you fail to try.