Hello Everyone. I am excited to say that I have a guest contributor to Mr. Rodge’s Neighborhood. This writer shares their various personal and professional experiences to provide down to earth, practical insights into our daily lives. Please welcome Sam Choi of Simple Wisdom Web and Blog.
Now, besides cooking, there was a few things I learned during my times as a chef in a 2 Michelin Starred restaurant.
Some Back Story
Before people jump to conclusions, I was never considered an exceptionally gifted child. I had some talent in writing and drawing, but what child didn’t? And I never really harvested that talent, and so by the time I was in the fifth grade, my reading comprehension level was two years behind, at the 3rd grade level.
However, later on in life, I got tired of being considered average, and so I pushed myself. I put myself in situations that were uncomfortable, because I knew that I would grow. To give you an example of my somewhat obsession, one of the times I was homeless(and there have been several), I became homeless on purpose because I thought there was something to learn there, and I was right.
And if there was any overarching theme in my life, it would be that growth comes from experience, and you do not have to wait for life to give them to you. As we get older, our focus becomes more narrow, and we start to worry more. We focus on our careers, and we worry about retirement or rent. We lose sight of something much more important than financial security.
We forget to be better people. And that doesn’t only mean being smart or “intelligent”, it also includes our morals, ethics, and principals. How do we become more grateful? How do we become happier, and how can we spread that happiness? The genre of self-improvement has a narrow scope of being more productive or more active. A lot of the material out there tries to motivate you to be more successful and sexier, which is great, but what about our morals?
I think we should focus on our inner state of mind, as much as we focus on our outwardly success. But I don’t want to preach that right now either. Back to what I learned from being a chef.
If you lift weights, this idea will come easy for you as well. When I was a chef, everything was about repetition. I have probably cut 100,000 mushrooms, peas, tomatoes, and scallops. I have probably cooked the same 3-5 dishes over 1000 times each. And what I have learned is, that is mastery. If you want to truly master something, get closer to a goal, it’s all about repetition. Arnold Schwarzenegger thought the same thing when he was a bodybuilding champion. For him, every rep was a step closer to his goals. Getting better slowly, but surely getting better.
But just blindly repeating something is not enough. You also have to reflect. Every time I cooked a dish, I looked back, and saw what I could do better the next time I cooked the same dish. Perhaps the flame was too low, and I could save some time at a higher heat, or the dish tasted to salty, and so I should put less salt next time. You have to reflect and see what you can improve on every time. And then, the final and most important step is to actually make the change.
So if there is something you want to learn or improve upon, however you practice the skill, habit, or craft, remember: it’s all about repetition. And who cares if it takes you longer than a week to master a skill? Too many people overestimate what they can do in a week, and underestimate what they can accomplish in a year. Give yourself some time, you deserve it.
Here’s an outline
- Find your path
- Get closer to mastery through repetition.
- And reflect every step of the way.
Now if you guys want more from me, you can find my info below~
Thanks for reading, and special thanks to Mr. Rodge!
I was watching a video of motivational speaker Les Brown and he instructed the audience to say “Good things are supposed to happen to me.” He recommended that the audience say this to themselves daily. Brown then went on to say we tend to expect bad things to happen to us, so we need to affirm the positive. Affirmations are designed to change our subconscious thoughts by constantly referring to them in our conscious minds. Our subconscious impacts us in ways we are unaware of. We tend to have thought patterns and experiences in our past which, if we are not aware, can undermine our conscious efforts to do better in the present.
So what happens when we start to internalize the message that “good things are supposed to happen to me?” Does that mean everything we pursue will happen? Of course not! Does it mean that you won’t be disappointed? Absolutely not! This message is rooted in your faith in a higher power (God) and yourself. People who believe good things will happen for them will start to become more perceptive of opportunities. They will tend to attract those good people who genuinely can help them.
There is a flip side to this type of thinking. If you truly believe good things are supposed to happen for you, then you will believe that if something doesn’t happen, it just wasn’t a good thing. I’ll keep it real with you, sometimes this is a hard pill to swallow if you are in a desperate situation or have tried repeatedly at something. It’s ok to feel disappointment, but we can’t let it keep us down. In this day and age, we have many opportunities to overcome our circumstances and do well. It can happen when we exude a faithful, positive mindset, with efforts to match.
The beginning of September signals the start of one of our country’s favorite past times ….football season! Over the years, I have seen how sports provides such great analogies for life in general. Just like the start of a sports season, our lives can be broken down into seasons. There are many lessons that can be learned in equating the start of the football season to the various seasons and cycles in our lives.
- Importance of preparation. Every team has prepared by learning and training during the offseason. Each team has spent many hours doing conditioning and learning plays. A lack of preparation will definitely insure that the team will be unsuccessful. Same with us on an individual level. We cannot take advantage of an opportunity if we are unprepared mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. We must commit ourselves to learning and improvement.
- Losing (disappointment). Most teams will lose at least once. It is rare that a team makes it through a season undefeated. A few years ago, the New York Giants won the Super Bowl having lost half of their regular season games. In life, we will suffer disappointments, but the good news is that, like the New York Giants, we do not need to be close to perfect to succeed at our goals. More importantly, we must develop the mental stamina to deal with those disappointments which may arise.
- Injuries (unexpected challenges). Teams will have key players that get injured. Those teams that have good systems in place always seem to suffer less of an impact when this happens. This definitely relates to preparation and foresight. Disclaimer: There are things that happen to us, just like an injury to a key player on a team, which can derail a whole season. We want to focus on things within our circle of control. This is where preparation helps.
- One Game at a Time (the process). A team must focus on winning the game at hand, not the game that is 3 weeks from now or the championship. Winning the game at hand puts the team closer to its goal of making the playoffs or winning a title. Same with us on an individual level. We must focus on the steps to accomplishing our goal as opposed to the actual goal itself. Mastering the steps will naturally result in accomplishing the goal.
Good luck this season!
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How you see things is everything. There are some people we know who suffer through some truly horrific circumstances in their lives, but are seemingly happy. Then, there are some who that had a lot of things in their favor and are unhappy. Heck, I remember watching a program where the person acknowledged they had a great upbringing: loving & understanding parents, money, good schools, health, etc. However, can you believe they actually said that having an upbringing that seems to avoid many of us, was a problem? Really????? Perfect example of how perception shapes our reality. If you choose to see something as a problem, it is a problem. To change our lives, it helps to change our perceptions. Below are 3 ways we can change our perception:
- Spend actual TIME helping people. Notice I didn’t say spend money to help people. Don’t get me wrong, giving away money can be helpful, but it doesn’t seem to provide the same sort of impact for the giver and receiver that spending time does. You will definitely gain some insights into life when you spend time helping or getting to know someone.
- Read about people you admire. Many times, these people have overcome great odds to achieve greatness. Their stories can be inspirational and, more importantly, provide perspective.
- Learn your history. In addition to reading about history, talk to those who have lived through different eras. Understanding your place in a WORLDLY and HISTORICAL context will change your perception and put you on the path to finding your purpose.