By Evan Sanders
When I was at my worst my dad looked at me and said, “If you are going to stand in the kitchen, you better be willing to take the heat.” That always stuck with me and has been a guiding motto in my life since. It reminds me that when you are cooking and creating on the stove of life, you are going to get grease burns, sometimes there will be singed hairs, and more often than not, the temperature is going to get pretty hot. I know for a fact that after getting burned enough times you want to give up cooking altogether and hit up the microwave – just pop in your food, press the timer and wait until it’s done. But no masterpiece has been created by phoning in your life and letting the time run out. Life becomes a beautiful thing when you start taking chances, dream big, and go after your goals with a vigor that cannot be understood by onlookers. That’s where the flavors of your world start to mix and blend into something magical – something that one day you will be able to eat from, every single day, with absolute delight.
“Anyone can cook, but only the fearless can be great.” - Ratatouille
I have found throughout time that the only thing that truly matters is the solidity of the virtues and character in my life. Because with a strong foundation rooted in love, passion, and a never quitting attitude, I can have everything taken from me, but I still have everything I need to create my world again. When you know who you are and you are unwilling to compromise your beliefs, making decisions becomes a lot easier. If it doesn’t match up with your character, the decision becomes obvious. I think a lot of people get lost when they don’t take the time to really get to know themselves – who they are at their core, what makes them happy and what drives them down into the dirt. It’s a hard thing to do mind you, but self-awareness is free and pays back with unbelievable interest.
I had an old baseball coach always ask me how I felt that day on a percentage basis. I would give him my answer and he would say, “Now give 100% of that 70%.” What he meant was that whatever I had in the tank that day, give it my all. I find that most days I wake up there is just an “average day” feeling looming over me – but I know that in order to become the champion of my world, I have to take that average day and do something great with it. I have to look beyond myself and continue chipping away at monumental dreams because that is how I can turn an average day into a great day. When you are fielding grounders, you can either let the ball come to you and increase your chances of getting a bad hop, or you can charge the ball with tenacity and make an easier play. In life, you can either let the game play you or you can play your game. The choice is entirely yours.
If I had any advice for anyone, it’s to write down the dreams and aspirations you have in your head. Put them on paper and figure out the steps it will take to achieve your goal. Then, start before you are completely ready. Take the first step and never look back. Remember though, big dreams come with big problems – but the satisfaction of having achieved something through blood, sweat, and tears will remain with you for the rest of your life. I believe it was Muhammad Ali who once said something of the sort…suffer the pain of sacrifice now and live the rest of your life a champion.
So go cook. Step up to the stove with intent and believe in what you are doing. Know in the depths of your heart that you are going to create a masterpiece. Then, start cooking.
Thanks for the great post! Stay healthy, stay happy, keep cookin’.