One of the most challenging things for me is cooking dinner for my family. Let’s be clear it’s not because I don’t like to cook, but instead because it seems like no one, but me ever knows what they want to eat when I ask. Of course, when I get done one of four things happen when I ask how they like it. One I get “oh, I wasn’t that hungry”, so they didn’t eat, or they say, “it was okay, but I liked it better the last time you made it”, or “it was good”, or my all time favorite, drumroll please…..”I really didn’t feel like eating that today!”. The reason why those responses bug me is about half of them don’t have anything thing to do with what I cooked. The people who I cooked for knew what they wanted to eat, but they never told me, even thought I asked!
I’m sure this seems like a weird topic for an article, but let me bring it home. Many of you know, you want to be happy, financially secure, loved, etc., but you have no idea how you are going to get it. Similar to my dinner analogy, you end up adding the things you think will bring you happiness, instead of thinking about what will actually make you happy. The results are frustration and/or disinterest, in the “meal” once it’s done. If YOU don’t know what you want your life to look like specifically, it will be VERY hard for you to create it. You will end up with proverbial “food” on the table that you have no real interest in eating because it wasn’t what you wanted in the first place, it just sounded good or looked nice.
If you are looking to build your life in a way that makes you truly happy, I would like to share a recipe that may help you find YOUR special sauce! Each of you is unique, and so is what you want. Even if you are a twin, have multiple siblings with the same parents, or grew up in the same house as someone else you are all different. That is why, it is so important to find your special recipe for happiness.
The first step for most of you, will be asking yourself a very important question…How do YOU want your life to look? Just like my dinner question, if you don’t know what you want, you will probably end up with a meal in front of you that you never wanted to eat. So, the key here is identifying what is really important to you, not your friends, not your parents, not your peers, but you. Do you want to be married, would you rather be single? Do you want to work long hours, do you want to travel all the time? Do you want children? Do you want to live an adventurous life, or would you rather be stable? These questions help you identify some important first steps. It is very difficult to get to a place in your life where you can define something you have never taken the time to evaluate. You cannot start developing the kind of life YOU want if you never stop to think about what you want. Creating your life based on other people’s standards, is a recipe for disaster. Start by thinking about what you want, and what is important to you.
When I want something special for dinner, there are a few things I must take into consideration before I start. Do I have the right ingredients, and am I WILLING to pay in time, effort, and money what it will cost to make it. For instance, there are some meals that will take me all day to prepare, so if I am going to make them I will have to be committed to preparing them, BEFORE I start. You have to look at the cost of what you want, and then you have to decide if you are willing to pay it BEFORE you start trying to create it, otherwise you may start, but you will not finish. Count the cost. With each dream, or desire, we have to put in the work. Nothing is automatic, and nothing just happens. Decide if you are willing to do what it takes to get what you say you want. That means, you may need to go back to school, stop shopping or going out, so you can put money away, etc. everything has a cost. There are numerous costs to everything you do in your life, time, money, and energy. Are you willing to pay the cost to get what you want, try to get as clear as possible to understand what the real cost will be, and then ask yourself if you are willing to pay it.
Here is the final step, you have to put together a plan. For instance, I want a shrimp and lobster dinner, I need to have the money in hand to buy it, I need to know where to get it from, and I need all the ingredients to make it taste the way I like it prepared. I need to decide when I am going to have this meal, I need all the ingredients in front of me before I start, and then I need to make sure everything is all in place when I start to cook, in other words I need a plan. Once you know what you want, and you have counted the cost, you need a plan to show how you are going to get from point A to point B. The plan is the vehicle you take to turn your dreams into a reality. You want to make sure you get to your final destination, so why would you leave that anything to chance. Make sure you develop a plan that will get you where you want to go and then make sure you follow it.
There is no reason why your life should continue to be ruled by chance. Stop just “making” dinner, and make your life a recipe of your own creation, instead of continuing to serve yourself meals, you don’t want to eat! Bon appetit!