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As many of you who follow my blog know, I’ve worked a lot in restaurants. And to me, they are a great analogy for life.
Today as I was pondering what to write about, it occurred to me that we often complain that things didn’t turn out the way we wanted them to. But did we actually put in our order? I mean, if you go out for breakfast, you look at the menu and place your order with the waiter, right? You don’t go in and say “just bring me whatever you want,” do you? Of course you don’t!
But so often in life, that is exactly what we do! We just wait and see what happens, and then complain about it! Be honest with yourself. How did you get into the job you have right now? Most likely, you started out in a position that sounded pretty good at the time, and then as time passed, you were offered a promotion, or maybe a different job description and you simply accepted it and continued to go to work, like you always have. But are you happy with your work? Or is it just sort of “ok”? Or maybe you actually dread going to work!
How did this happen?
It happened because most of us have never taken the time to define what is valuable to us. Maybe we love being outdoors, but instead are “stuck” working in an office with fluorescent lighting. Or we love children and instead are working with adults.
And as for our strengths – are you using your strengths at work? Perhaps you are a very social person and would be great at PR, but instead are “stuck” behind a desk. Or you really suck at technology and have to be at the computer all day long!
What if you decided to find work that utilized your strengths and reflected your most important values? Maybe you love the outdoors and want to protect the environment for future generations, are super social and hate being in an office environment? This describes a real friend of mine who is now in charge of fundraising events for WWF, being social and also helping the environment!
But if you don’t know what YOU want first, how can you possibly pick something on the menu of “life” and hope to enjoy it?!
When you go to the restaurant, it’s good to know you want breakfast, and it’s good to know you know you want eggs…
But a word of advice when it comes to knowing what you want: don’t be TOO specific!
You want breakfast and you want eggs, but maybe the Chef has a special you never even dreamed of that is sooo much better than plain old bacon and eggs! (like my friend who ended up at WWF – she KNEW she wanted to do something that reflected her love of the environment and utilized her social skills, but had no idea what that looked like, and then “happened” to hear about the job at WWF.)
So, know the essence of what you want out of life, based on your strengths and values, and be sure to “order” what you want (I want to protect the environment and utilize my social skills), but then leave a little room for the Universe to be creative.
The Chef’s Special is usually MUCH better than what you had in mind!
So I leave you with this question:
On the menu of life, are you game to try the Chef’s Special?