Distraction is Destruction in Life and Cooking

Posted by Jeff Pennypacker on

I just got off the phone with a good friend. We talked about business and life some. After we finished talking I literally picked up my phone, opened and email as I do most days and hit the voice to text button. I went on this rant for a few minutes. I wanted to share it with you and maybe it will bless your day. (I also posted a video on our youtube channel about it.)

Just so you know....at first it may seem like there is nothing to do with cooking in this post but stick with me and you'll see...


Most small business owners are people trying to make something happen. At some point they run up against obstacles. Obstacles are there for a reason. Most people don't like them and most people want them gone. Me too. But obstacles are there to help you grow into something that you would never have been before.

I talked to so many business owners and friends over the years (I use to coach small business owners) that when they get up against something and get a little desperate...they get distracted. They think because the obstacle is so big that this new "opportunity" Must be the answer. They think they are being forced into a different direction. When if fact they are really just being told to grow and learn new skills so they can overcome the obstacles and prosper in what God has already given them.

Think about it so many small business owners in their first couple of years struggle. They struggle to make a profit, have time off, and simply struggle to enjoy life other than the freedom to make all of your own decisions, which for most is to work harder and longer. Funny how that works.

The work is hard, it's long, and there's very little money coming back into their pocket. I understand that. I've been there several times. When that happens you have a choice whether to give in to distraction or whether to get direction. I have followed the path of destruction many times looking for greener grass on the other side or a new opportunity that seems even more amazing than what I'm doing now. I think..."That the opportunity will produce more" and I start calculating, rationalizing, and planning for this whole new thing. Not realizing the whole time I'm doing that I become distracted from my business or current situation.

It's time to recognize and understand that habit exists in your mind and from that your actions follow. With this understanding, when you get desperate you don't get distracted by some pie-in-the-sky fluff that will probably never come to fruition but instead get direction. Get clear with your direction and move towards the obstacles so that you can overcome and get into profit Zone.

This is why I like cooking so much. Cooking shows you in real-time what distraction ends up turning into. Imagine you're on the stovetop cooking something and you get distracted. What happens? One of a few things happens. Maybe you get distracted and forget to add salt and pepper or some sort of ingredient and your food taste like dirt and you're now disappointed. Or you can get a big distraction like the need to change a diaper or your potty training kid missed the potty completely. The next thing you smell is that of burnt food. The you don't get to eat any of your food and you're just angry.
We have this saying "When you burn something it gets bitter, and once it gets bitter it never gets better." I'm talking about the food and I'm talking about you. Every day I learn life lessons and practice these life lessons through the food that I cook.
If you're distracted nothing good comes from it. Focus and clarity will make your food will taste better and your life will go better. Mise-en-place.
So..."Mise-en-place" ...because my definition of mise en place is to get your act together.
Chef Jeff

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