Monday, March 2, 2009

#48 - 02 March 2009 - "It's Simple..."

It's simple for me to be motivated. I'm working at The French Laundry! That thought is, in itself, quite exhilarating and completely daunting at times. But as I think and write I look out into the population of cooks and chefs and wonder about everyone else... What about the student that is logging onto this blog working for eight dollars an hour and not sure about the rest of their life? Or, think about the graduate that is in the working world and has succumbed to the monotonous daily grind of an establishment that doesn't seem to care about cleanliness and inspiration? And lastly, consider the individuals reading these words that are not in the food industry and may not understand the passion and commitment that we possess and endure - how is all this relative to them??? It's simple...

We all need to harness our inner strength. It is there in all of us. It starts with pride. Pride in doing a job and doing it well. It helps when there is a receptive audience, I'll grant you that. So, foster that ambiance. We all have so much power and don't use it to our advantage. Walk with your held high, be confident and shake hands like you mean it. Little things. Go the extra mile. Do it for yourself and someone will notice. And in that one singular minute, you will have succeeded in being the best you can be. Don't do anything for the reward - do it because it is right. Pick up the trash in the driveway or the paper on the floor. Straighten the chairs, the pots, the rugs, etc., because it looks better. See things through the eyes of your customers, clients and guests. Serve. There is such joy in making people happy.

If you are a cook, cook for yourself but cook for your guests. Put yourself in their shoes. Cook with soul. Put something of you on every plate. You are a crafter of experiences and memories. Make the memory of your food a positive one. By all means work clean...! Be the cleanest one in the kitchen and you'll get noticed. Go the extra mile - not to get noticed, but because it is right, and you'll get noticed. Start creating an attitude within your kitchen. Start becoming positive even when others aren't. Stand up for what is right instead of following along with the crowd. That is a lesson in life, as well...

Step out of the crowd and be an individual. Then return to the crowd and fight the fight. The fight against all that is wrong with society, from biases and hatred to selfishness and greed. Be an individual but be a leader for the team. Stand out as a shining example of the power of the human mind and spirit. Lift yourself up out of the masses and be someone! Lead, follow or get out of the way. Do it all and do it all with a smile. Look people in the eyes and speak to them don’t just talk at them, Engage everyone, everyday and always with meaning in your words and in your actions.

The personal power that we all have can make us more successful than we ever thought. It just has to be harnessed. It's simple. Be what you want to be. Reinvent yourself right now. Start now. Start thinking and doing it right now. Why wait. Failure! Who cares! Again, "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail..." Worried about what other people will think? How do you know what they are thinking? Don't worry about it - don't worry at all. There is already so much negative worrying in the world. Go back to the "Attitude" blog. Did you go back? Do it, I'll wait. O.k., now what does it say to you (did you really go back and read it...?). YOU ARE IN CHARGE. It's simple. You have to commit to a self-based mind thought that, when done correctly, can begin to change the environment around you. "Pay it forward" is more than Hollywood theatrics. It is a mindset of how to live your life. "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail." Power words. Really powerful in action. It's simple.

Nike says, "Just do it." Man that is so simple. Think it. Do it. Do it again. And again. Repetition is the single most simple concept I can think about to improve one's station in life and become a more powerful person. "Just do it." Then do it again, and again, and again... I know it sounds trite. I know it sounds like a late night tele-evangelist or an info-mercial for self-help. It is what it is. Go forth and conquer, everyday. Conquer fear and fright. Conquer demons and dragons and dark days of failure. YOU ARE IN CHARGE. It's simple.

Millions of people can have millions of reasons to not do something. It takes ones person to stand up and say "I'll do it - because it's right". Start a revolution. Start small and get bigger. Start working clean. Start smiling and look people in the eyes. Start making it real. It's simple. Just do it. Peace.