So many of us are using this time between Christmas and New Years to reflect on 2012 and plan for 2013 and I am no different.
During a break from the hard work of reflection and planning (goal setting is not easy), I was watching the Food Network. I happened upon the show Chopped. This is the reality cooking show where the participants are experienced Chefs and given a basket of the most random ingredients you have ever seen and tasked with putting together a meal using each ingredient.
The show I was watching had only four ingredients in the basket: Squab (that is a little bird that looks like a quail), Kale, Peanut Butter taffy and Red Curry paste. How are they ever going to make that work? As I watch, I begin to relive a lot of the feelings I got when I got the message that I had been chopped from my job. I am really nervous for the participants. My hands start to sweat and I get that feeling in the pit of my stomach that something isn’t going to turn out so well for someone. The format for this show is that someone is going to get chopped – even if they did a great job. Sounds too familiar doesn’t it?
The end result of the competition is that each Chef creates an amazing dish using only what they are given in the basket. Not only are the dishes amazing, they are each incredibly unique – but made with the same four ingredients. This made me think. Maybe this is how I should look at 2013 and the goals that I create. Perhaps I will look at what I am able to create from my own basket of personal ingredients. I am unique and I have a basket of talents that I can use to create something amazing and completely different from the others with the same basket of ingredients.
What if we all looked at being “Chopped” from a different perspective? What could be positive about being chopped? As one of the many people who got chopped from Corporate America in 2012, I see this as my opportunity to change the trajectory of my life and force me to do some real soul searching. This can be just as difficult as being chopped. However, I have given myself a year to explore, learn and grow. That is both scary and incredibly liberating.
If you think of the ingredients in the basket as a metaphor for your personality, strengths, talents and gifts; what can you create in 2013? Instead of thinking about “Chopped” as a negative, what if we think of it as a challenge to create a new you reflecting your unique self that nobody else can copy? This can work for anyone ready to move forward. Whether you are a college student trying to decide what major to choose, someone already in a job and wondering why you hate what you do, or someone who has been chopped and needs to re-tool and move forward.
I am going to live this challenge in 2013 and I invite you to go with me. It won’t be easy and there will be many days when we all wonder what we are doing! However, it can be done. I can do it and you can too. Will you join me?